The Lawyer Inquiry: Reina Maria May

Reina Maria May was born in Amsterdam on 1 January 1950. She now lives in Highgate and is a partner at Collyer Bristow.

What was your first job?

Junior research assistant at the Faculty of Law, Amsterdam University, 1970-72.

What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?

6,000 Dutch Guilders annually, then the equivalent of £800 a year.

What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?

Run an art gallery.

Which law could you live without?

The law of the jungle.

What was your most embarrassing professional moment?

I have a nasty hunch that that moment is yet to arrive.

What car do you drive?

A Skoda Felicia 1.3 LXI+.

Which famous person would you like to go out with?

It is a toss-up between Harold Pinter and Ruud Gullit – they are very sexy in their own separate ways.

Where would you go to eat?

At Lemonia in Regents Park Road, London.

What's the best thing on TV?

I know it sounds prissy but I do not watch TV.

Which movie do you wish you'd appeared in?

Any movie with Greta Garbo, but especially Ninotchka and Anna Karenina.

What's your most often-worn piece of clothing?

My black leather skirt. My partners insist.

What book(s) are you reading at the moment?

One chapter from Days of Devotion by Pope John XXIII each night before bed.

What is your all-time favourite record?

Blonde on Blonde by Bob Dylan.

What piece of advice would you give to anyone entering the profession now?

A solicitor must be able to empathise with his/her clients. If that is not on your list of priorities then don't bother to enter the


What do you like about yourself?

My lack of cynicism.

What do you hate about yourself?

My lack of cynicism.

Where would you most like to be right now?

At the hotel Cenobbio dei Doge in Camoglie on the Italian Riviera in romantic circumstances.