The work-life quiz

Martin Powell, managing partner, Withy King

What was your first ever job?

Raw material inspector, Westinghouse Brake & Signal Company, Chippenham, Wiltshire

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Being told to turn up for my first day only to find that they hadn’t bothered to tell me that they were closed that day. The next day was not much better as I was left in reception for two hours. I’m pleased to say that things could not be more different now.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
The pub after work.

What time do you usually leave the office?
Physically about 7pm, mentally rarely.

What do you do at weekends?
Family time. Cricket, golf, national hunt racing, depending on time of year.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Le Beaujolais in Bath and Cala Connills in Sant Elm, Majorca, which has fantastic food in an idyllic location.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
A racehorse trainer or otherwise leading a corporate organisation somewhere.

Who was your mentor or role model?
Many people, including my father. Crucially three friends from school and university and a number of work colleagues during my 26 years at Withy King.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Empowering and mentoring other people and seeing their talent develop.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
There are a number of benefits to partnership models, but coping with owners as employees and managing them can be tough work.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
You cannot always be collaborative, even if you want to be. Sometimes you just have to get the job done.

What car(s) do you drive?
Jaguar XK8 – one of the benefits of listening to mentors.

What book are you currently reading?
Brian Clough’s autobiography.

What’s on your CD player at the moment?
Motown Gold; The 12th Man: The Final Dig; and George Formby’s It’s Turned Out Nice Again.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome.