Work Life Quiz: Bertie Hoskyns-Abrahall, Withers

Bertie Hoskyns-Abrahall

Bertie Hoskyns-Abrahall

What was your first-ever job?

Harvesting Christmas trees in East Lothian.

What was your worst ­experience as a trainee?
Realising on day one that I’d never have another four-month summer ­holiday.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
The trainees’ table at lunch in the café.

What time do you usually leave the office?
Around 7.30pm.

What do you do at weekends?
I normally work on expanding my rural expertise and head for the country.

What’s your favourite ­restaurant?
I’m mourning the closure of The Swag and Tail in Knightsbridge, which I loved.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
I’ve always secretly wanted to be a gamekeeper.

What’s your favourite film?
I can quote most of the lines from any Bond film.

What was the first record you ever bought?
Geno by Dexys Midnight Runners.

Who’s your hero and why?
Archie Coates, a legendary rural figure who inspired my brothers and me to learn about wildlife and fieldcraft.

What’s the best thing about your job?
The fact that I work in London but have daily ­contact with people who live and work in the ­countryside.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
I can’t have a dog in the office.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
I introduced a client to a contact who let me down and I learnt not to oversell people and let them demonstrate their worth.

What car do you drive?
A BMW estate – good for motorways and babies, but sadly not cool.

What book are you currently reading?
Tragically I Was An Only Twin – a compilation of Peter Cook’s writings.

What’s your favourite ­children’s book?
The Old Man of Lochnagar by Prince Charles and Sir Hugh Casson.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
Representing a household name at a five-day public inquiry into the appeal of a right-to-roam designation. It was a challenge and we won.

If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take?
A fishing rod and a jar of Hellman’s mayonnaise.

What’s the worst partner ­conference location you’ve attended and why?
I’ve only been to one and that was in the office. I’m going to vote for a visit to our new British Virgin Islands office next year.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
Nothing too macho, although I do dream about clients occasionally – does that count?

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
Probably someone lanky like Richard E Grant.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Kerry Katona. I just don’t think we’d get on.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order)
At 16 I was the Berkshire under-21 high-jump champion; I have a pet raven called Baldrick; and I can reverse a tractor and trailer.

: Bertie Hoskyns-Abrahall
Firm: Withers
Title: Partner
Lives: London SW11
1996-99: BSc in countryside management, Newcastle University
1999-01: GDL and LPC, Northumbria ­University, Newcastle
Work history:
2001-03: Trainee, Withers
2003-08: Assistant solicitor, Withers
2008-Present: Partner and joint head of the landed estates group, Withers