Work Life Quiz: Steven Hodkinson, Umbro International

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
I’d like to say rock guitarist or rugby player, but in ­reality a policeman.

Steven Hodkinson

What was your first-ever job?
I did a milk round from the age of 11. Getting up at 5.45am was good preparation for life as a corporate lawyer in private practice.

What was your worst ­experience as a trainee?
Playing in the office cricket team and knocking the senior partner for 32 off one over. I wasn’t retained on qualification.

Where’s the best place to go to find out what’s really going on in the office?
My team knows everyone and everything that goes on. Especially my brand protection manager. I worry about him.

What time do you usually leave the office?
As close to 5pm as possible. I’m an early starter so I try to finish promptly.

What do you do at weekends?
Walk the dog, mow the lawns, wash the cars, play golf badly. It’s rock ‘n’ roll.

What’s your favourite ­restaurant?
Sam’s Chop House, Manchester. The corned beef hash is unquestionably the finest on the planet.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
I’d like to say rock guitarist or rugby player, but in ­reality a policeman.

Who’s your hero and why?
Oliver Reed. He extracted about 1,000 years worth of fun from 61 years of life. I’m also an admirer of rugby’s Jason Leonard and Jason Robinson. Humble, modest, but the absolute best at what they did.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Being involved in an ­industry that everyone knows about and has a view on. Football is the only truly global sport.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Reports, bureaucracy and time differences.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
I trusted a former boss who made certain ­representations to me and then failed to deliver.

What car do you drive?
Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. I’m in the football industry, I can’t help it.

What book are you reading?
I’m part-way through an MBA at the moment so I’m reading ­Principles and Practices of Marketing by some chap called ­Jobber. I can’t wait to see how it ends.

What’s on your iPod?
I’m a huge Gomez fan. Elvis and Frank Sinatra are also never too far from the top of my playlist. Apart from Gomez, in my world, music stopped being made about 20 years ago.

What’s your favourite ­children’s book?
I’ve read The Lord of the Rings at least a dozen times. Sauron reminds me of my mother-in-law.

What’s the most exciting deal you’ve worked on and why?
A lot of the deals at Celestica were very interesting as they were in Central and Eastern Europe. The first deal in the Czech Republic was very memorable as somebody was shot and killed outside the office in Prague and our Canadian parent company tried to pay the purchase consideration with a bankers draft in ‘Euro dollars’.

If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take?
My iPod and my wife, although to describe her as a luxury item might get me into trouble.

What’s the worst partner ­conference location you’ve attended and why?
We had a senior management ‘team-building event’ in a barn near Skipton. There were eight blokes in a dorm the size of my office. Most of us slept in our cars to avoid the snoring.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
I once went in on Tuesday and finished the following Saturday. At that point I knew that private practice wasn’t for me.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
If he buffed up a bit, Brad Pitt might be able to do it.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with?
Janet Street-Porter. Can you imagine that voice echoing in a lift and then echoing in your head?

: Steven Hodkinson
Company: Umbro International
Title: General counsel
Lives: Hartford, Cheshire
1984-89: Parklands High School
1989-91: Runshaw College
1991-94: LLB, University of Essex
1994-95: College of Law, Chester
Work history:
1996-98: Articled, Chaffe Street, Manchester
1998-2000: Assistant solicitor, Wacks Caller, ­Manchester
2000-03: European legal counsel, Celestica
2003-05: General counsel, Bentley Motors
2005-09: General counsel, Umbro