Michael Madden, managing partner, litigation dept Ashurst

What was your first-ever job?

Teaching French students English – mainly through the use of Human League and Michael Jackson songs.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Losing a bankers draft for £25m 10 minutes after completing a transaction. Fortunately, it had only slipped into the lining in my jacket.

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

Anywhere but my room.

What time do you usually leave the office?

Between 7pm and 8pm, depending on whether I can be bothered to go to the gym.

What do you do at weekends?

Sleep, fly, play tennis and anything else I can cram into two days.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Moonrakers Restaurant in Alfriston, Sussex.

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

Airline pilot.

Who was your mentor or role model?

Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Working with colleagues and watching them succeed.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

Balancing time efficiently.

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

Agreeing to undertake some personal litigation for a former senior partner. Think carefully before acting for colleagues, relatives or friends.

What car(s) do you drive?

BMW Series 3 convertible.

What book are you currently reading?

Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty.

What’s on your CD player at the moment?

A cup of tea.

What’s your favourite children’s book?

Stig of the Dump by Clive King.