Paul Dolman, Travers Smith

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Ken Livingstone – he’d probably claim it was congested and charge me.

Name: Paul Dolman
Firm: Travers Smith
Title: Partner
Lives: Clapham, London
Education: University of Bristol
Work history:
1996-98: Trainee, Travers Smith
1998-2006: Assistant, Travers Smith
2006-present: Partner, Travers Smith

What was your first-ever job?
In charge of the jelly gun at a pork pie factory. I’ve never touched a pork pie since.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Writing off a company car in the Isle of Man.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
The Bishop’s Finger, 5.30pm on a Friday evening.

What time do you usually leave the office?
7pm – although there’s rarely a ‘usual’ time.

What do you do at weekends?
Walk about 10 miles around a five-mile golf course in directions that bear no relation whatsoever to the line between tee and green.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
The Banks Arms, Studland – not really a restaurant, but has one of the best beer gardens in England.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
Professional cricketer, playing for England by default.

What’s the best thing about your job?
The people I work with.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Having to be available 24/7.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Missing a flight for a very important meeting in the US. As Woody Allen once said: “80 per cent of success is about turning up.” Sadly not quite true, but an important lesson nonetheless.

What car do you drive?

What book are you reading?
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer.

What’s on your iPod at the moment?
La Bohème.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
AA Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
We acted for 3i on the acquisition of Pinewood Studios and I had to get Ridley Scott to sign a statutory declaration. He was in Paris promoting Hannibal at the time and I got to meet Sir Anthony Hopkins.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you take?
A sand iron and a large quantity of golf balls.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
48 hours.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
Owen Wilson. He’s more amusing than I could ever be.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Ken Livingstone – he’d probably claim it was congested and charge me.