Dorothy Henderson, Head of Employment, Travers Smith

What was your first ever job?

Working as a waitress in a Hungarian patisserie in Hampstead.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Serving a divorce petition on a woman who had been sectioned and was in an asylum. Her middle name was Biserka.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?

The table with the most trainees on it in the canteen.

What time do you usually leave the office?

Between 8pm and 9pm – unless there’s an emergency or I’m trying to get to the theatre.

What do you do at weekends?

Catch up with family and friends; watch the latest episode of Desperate Housewives; ride my horse; enjoy not having to wear a suit.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Fredericks in Islington.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?

Fantasy answer: a playwright or novelist.

Reality answer: something involving literacy (rather than numeracy) and organisational skills.

Who was your mentor or role model?

No single one I can think of – lots of influences from different people.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The people I work with.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

Trying to give my clients a straight answer when the law is not clear.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?

Going to a firm where I felt totally miserable. Lesson learned: you work best and are happiest where you feel most comfortable – so don’t settle for less.

What car do you drive?

A Maserati.

What book are you currently reading?

Small Island by Andrea Levy

What’s on your CD player at the moment?

Devils and Dust, the new Bruce Springsteen – some things never change.

What’s your favourite children’s book?

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.