The work-life quiz

Paul Matcham, head of construction, Maples Teesdale

What was your first ever job?

While at school, delivering Christmas mail for the Post Office.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Being asked by leading counsel, who was on his feet about to open the case, to pour him a glass of fizzy mineral water and the bottle exploded.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
The pub with the trainees, the newly-qualified solicitors and support staff. The knack is to remember what was said the following day.

What time do you usually leave the office?
It varies, but usually between 6.00-6.30pm.

What do you do at weekends?
Read newspapers, tabloids especially. Listen to Jonathan Ross on the radio. Pick up bargains on Portobello Road. Spend time with my boys and friends.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
The Ivy, when I can get a booking, and The Dockmasters Indian Restaurant in Canary Wharf when I can’t.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
I would have loved to have been an antiques dealer.

Who was your mentor or role model?
John Carleton, my headmaster at Westminster School, Stuart Surridge the former Surrey cricket captain and a number of people at Maples Teesdale have been mentors. As to role models, I would like to have emulated Mohammed Ali, Lord Denning, Eric Clapton, Nelson Mandela, Michelangelo and Jack Nicholson.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Not having to deliver post. The people. The variety of problems to be tackled in a day.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Convincing just about everybody that what I do during my working day is as exciting as I think it is.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Buying a fizzy bottle of water for leading counsel and running back to court with it. I learnt that running with fizzy water can lead to accidents in court and that, in general, running while at work is unnecessary and, in my case, undignified.

What car(s) do you drive?
A Saab Convertible.

What book are you currently reading?
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon.

What’s on your CD player at the moment?
The first Scissor Sisters album.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
The Winnie the Pooh series.