Work Life Quiz: Adrian Bland, Wragge & Co

Adrian Bland

What was your first-ever job?

Litter picker on the Killington service area of the M6 near Sedbergh – in the days when you just used your bare hands.

What was your worst ­experience as a trainee?

Being called at my desk in Brum by an irate partner asking why I wasn’t at a pre-meeting for a ­completion meeting in London on a corporate deal. I said no one had mentioned a pre-meeting. He said: “You should have asked.”

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

The Old Joint Stock near Birmingham Cathedral.

What time do you usually leave the office?

7pm to 7.30pm.

What do you do at weekends?

Spend time with my family, go to the gym and work.

What’s your favourite ­restaurant?

Simpsons in Edgbaston.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?

A policeman, but I’d have liked to be a stand-up comedian.

What’s your favourite film?

The Draughtsman’s ­Contract.

What was the first record you ever bought?

Tobacco Road by The Nashville Teens.

Who’s your hero and why?

Sir Ernest Shackleton. He’s the ultimate leader and his is a superhuman tale of survival in the Antarctic.


What’s the best thing about your job?

The people. 

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

It can be attritional.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake?

I don’t have any regrets about any career decisions.

What book are you reading?

The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier.

What’s your favourite ­children’s book?

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?

Battling the bank and the receivers on behalf of the owners of a group of ­companies over a very ­hostile receivership. Total war, but ultimately the receivers had to be ­discharged and their costs met by the bank. My clients were particularly strong-minded, clever and resourceful; tough taskmasters, but playing and winning in their team was quite an experience.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two ­luxury items would you take?

A solar-powered or wind-up radio to listen to Radio 4 and a picture of my wife and son.

What’s the worst partner ­conference location you’ve attended and why?

My best memory is of a client conference where a former colleague closed the event with the quick ad lib, “Better go now before the receivers move in”. The roars of laughter from the crowd confirmed that everyone else was thinking much the same. The ­matter was settled by an ex gratia payment to the irate owners.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?

Thirty six hours.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?

Kevin Spacey – he always reminds me of me (on screen that is), although my wife can’t see it at all.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?

Gary Neville. I’m a Man City fan. Then again…

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order)

I’ve carried out two ­citizen’s arrests; I was once charged by a yak; I like to play the banjo in my spare time.


Name: Adrian Bland

Firm: Wragge & Co

Title: Partner and head of real estate

Lives: Birmingham


1974-77: LLB (Hons), University of Birmingham

1978: Law Society Part 2 exams, Leeds Polytechnic

Work history:

1978-80: Articled clerk, Evershed & Tomkinson

1980-87: Associate, Evershed & Tomkinson

1987-89: Partner, Eversheds

1989-98: Head of property, Eversheds

1997-2003: Senior partner, Eversheds

2003-date: Head of real estate, Wragges