Work Life Quiz: David Robinson, Forsters

What was your first-ever job? 

Delivering election ­propaganda for the ­Dulwich Labour Party.

What was your worst ­experience as a trainee? 

Forgetting to ask a Chancery master to make the order I had come for, although the other side hadn’t even turned up.

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

The post room.

What time do you usually leave the office? 

About 7.30pm.

What do you do at weekends? 

Drive my children to and from parties, read, listen to music and doze.

What’s your favourite ­restaurant? 

The Princess Victoria in Shepherd’s Bush.

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

An unproductive ­academic.

What’s your favourite film? 

Now, Voyager.

What was the first record you ever bought? 

I Want to Hold your Hand by The Beatles.

Who is your hero and why? 

I have three: Alban Berg, John Coltrane and ­Thelonious Monk – I’ll never tire of their music.

What’s the best thing about your job? 

Clients who have the good sense to regard their wealth as a mixed blessing.

What’s the toughest thing about your job? 

Clients who don’t.

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

I started out as a commercial conveyancer, but falling into private client work by accident taught me that luck can be better than judgment.

What car do you drive? 

Reva G-Wiz Electric. Looks ridiculous but I love it.

What book are you reading? 

Villages by John Updike

What’s your favourite ­children’s book? 

Stig of the Dump by Clive King, with Edward ­Ardizzone’s haunting ­illustrations.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?

Winding up an estate in London and the Caribbean against a background of murder, fraud and political intrigue.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two ­luxury items would you take? 

Cotton sheets and Havana cigars.

What’s the worst partner ­conference location you’ve attended and why? 

A soundproof hotel ­overlooking the runway at Heathrow, because I wished I was on every plane that took off.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep? 

Several weeks, thanks to a restless baby daughter – far more demanding than any client.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why? 

Hugh Laurie, because he’s younger, better-­looking and my wife adores him.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with? 

Dawn Primarolo MP. For the reasons, ask any trust lawyer.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order)

I’m sometimes mistaken for Cliff Michelmore; a karaoke duet in a Soho basement with the senior partner (These Boots are Made For Walkin’) was a career highlight for us both; I have a tolerant and sunny disposition.



Name: David Robinson

Title: Partner, head of private client

Firm: Forsters

Lives: London W3


1968-73: Westminster School

1973-76: BA English, Pembroke College, ­Cambridge

1977-78: College Of Law, Lancaster Gate

Work history:

1979-81: Articled clerk, Bennett Welch & Co

1982-85: Assistant solicitor, Glover & Co

1985-98: Assistant solicitor, Frere Cholmeley

1989-98: Partner, Frere Cholmeley (later ­Eversheds)

1998-present: Partner, Forsters