Alan Hanson:Ashurst

What time do you start work each day?  As soon as I’ve finished my first cup of coffee.

Name: Alan Hanson
Firm: Ashurst
Position: PR adviser
Lives: Hong Kong

What’s the most boring thing you’ve been asked to do in your job?

In my very first week at Ashurst, I was asked to compile a report of the previous year’s press coverage, which involved going through all of our cuttings and adding them manually to a spreadsheet. I’m glad to say it’s generally been uphill since then, although I suppose I’ve stuffed a few envelopes and made a few name badges in my time. It’s tough at the top, you know.

How much time do you spend on Facebook each week?

Hardly any. I prefer ’social networking’ over lunch or with a drink in my hand, to be honest.

What is the most unusual Christmas present that you have received from a colleague?

There are a couple that spring to mind. The best was a bottle of tequila and a Cuban cigar. The worst was a copy of David Hasselhoff’s autobiography (I think it was called Making Waves).

If you could introduce one law, what would it be and why?

I’d ban cats.

How do you plan to spend your next bonus?

You’re asking the wrong person – speak to my wife.

What are the best perks of your role?

Free stationery – I haven’t had to buy a pen in years.

What do you wear on dress-down Fridays?

Umm…a pink shirt.

Have you ever been asked to do anything at work that you suspect might have been illegal?

Nothing that could ever be made to stand up in court, apparently.

What is the most irritating habit of any partner you’ve worked for?

Using 20 words when five will do. There’s no one particular culprit.

How do you unwind after the end of a hard week?

Hong Kong has some amazing countryside and there are some great places to go hiking. I’ve never really been an outdoorsy type but it’s nice to get away from the high-rises from time to time.

Do you see your colleagues on weekends?

Yes. Hong Kong is a pretty small place and it’s surprising how often you bump into people here. Sometimes I even meet up with people willingly.

Have you ever fallen in love at work? (If so, please provide details).


If you were a lawyer what would your practice area be and why?

Strangely enough, I’ve always found competition law quite interesting (not something I admit to at parties), although I have quite an argumentative streak, so perhaps litigation.

What do you eat for lunch?

Shark’s fin soup, of course. Or a sandwich from Pret.

Is your salary (in thousands) greater than your age?

Yes, although I get paid in Hong Kong dollars these days, so I’d be worried if it were lower (HK$1,000 is about £80). Plus I’m considerably younger than I look.

What items do you always carry around with you at work?

My glasses – because you never know when you might need to look intellectual. That said, lately I’ve been told a few too many times that I look like Louis Theroux.

Of whom do you have photos on your desk?

No photos, but I do have a pretty cool view of Victoria Harbour.

What’s your favourite local?

There’s a pub not far from me called The Globe, which does a cracking steak and ale pie with mash. It’s where I go when I miss home.

Soy Latte or Nescafe?

Neither, thanks.

City break or weekend in the country?

City break.

Sum up your firm in three words.

Not half bad.