Work Life Quiz: Duncan Lamont, Charles Russell

Duncan Lamont

Duncan Lamont

What was your first-ever job?
Working on Oxford Street selling sheepskin coats and leather jackets in 1977.

What was your worst ­experience as a trainee?
As a pupil barrister, I turned up to chambers having forgotten to put on a tie. Unforgivable in 1984.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
Hoop & Grapes pub or take a colleague to a football game.

What time do you usually leave the office?
Very flexible, but hopefully around 7.00pm.

What do you do at weekends?
Three children under 10 means a joyous mixture of swimming lessons, ­football, dinosaur stories and cartoons. I am a huge Pixar fan.

What’s your favourite ­restaurant?
Pied à Terre in London, Martin Wishart in ­Edinburgh.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
An actor, but now that I’ve got kids I’ve finally come to realise that being a teacher would have been surprisingly rewarding. Foolishly, I went for the money.

What’s your favourite film?
Anything in 3D served up with popcorn.

What was the first record you ever bought?
The Sound of The Suburbs by The Members, which was pretty dreadful unless you happened to have been brought up in Loughton, in which case it was so right, and years later work took me to Broadmoor.

Who’s your hero and why?
My parents, who made ­sacrifices for me and my brother that we didn’t understand or give them enough credit for (such as living in Loughton).

What’s the best thing about your job?
The clients, who have much more interesting lives, and problems, than I have.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Litigators sometimes have to play at being aggressive.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
To have become a lawyer at 22. I had too much ­growing up to do and it took me rather too long to appreciate that cases were not competitions.

What car do you drive?
I live centrally so it’s a 63 bus or a hire car on holiday.

What book are you reading?
The Empire Stops Here by Philip Parker.

What’s your favourite ­children’s book?
Stig of the Dump by Clive King.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
Not cases or deals but the buzz in the newsroom when a big story breaks on my watch. It’s electric, addictive and, for a few minutes at least, one feels close to the centre of the world.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two ­luxury items would you take?
A clockwork radio that also powers my iPod so I could listen to The Sound of the Suburbs endlessly, making things on a desert island feel a lot better.

What’s the worst partner ­conference location you’ve attended and why?
In the office. People sneaked off to work rather than communicate.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
Media lawyers have it easy. A stale croissant is as bad as it gets for us.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
Ricky Gervais. He ­manages to make wearing a suit look disreputable.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with?
Ricky Gervais. I would worry that he was looking for lawyerly traits to mimic to my humiliation.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order)
I’d have made a more ­successful career selling industrial kitchenware. One day I’ll live in the ­suburbs. If you listen ­carefully I have an ­Edinburgh accent.

: Duncan Lamont
Firm: Charles Russell
Title: Partner and head of media and ­entertainment
Lives: St Pancras, London
1972-78: Forest School, Snaresbrook
1979-82: MA (Hons) Law, St Catharine’s College, Cambridge
1999: Diploma in copyright law, King’s College London
Work history:
1984-87: Practising barrister
1987-89: In-house counsel, Mirror Group ­Newspapers
1989-93: Assistant, Oswald Hickson Collier
1994-2000: Partner, Biddle
2001-present: Partner, Charles Russell