Work Life Quiz: Lesley Browning, Norton Rose

Lesley Browning

Lesley Browning

What was your first-ever job?
Barmaid at the Edgcumbe Arms on the River Tamar in Cornwall.

What was your worst ­experience as a trainee?
Being called in by a ­corporate partner and asked (in all seriousness) if he was the most intelligent person I had ever met. It was difficult to know what the right answer was. My favourite was being asked by a different, but clearly out-of-touch partner whether “this Bart ­Simpson” she had heard so much about was one of the trainees.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
Certain associates in my team always know what’s going on.

What time do you usually leave the office?
I try to leave by 7pm.

What do you do at weekends?
Spend time with my family. However, my four-year-old daughter has a better social life than me.

What’s your favourite ­restaurant?
Morgan M in Islington.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
Archaeologist or novelist.

What’s your favourite film?
A Room with a View.

What was the first record you ever bought?
Yes Sir, I Can Boogie by Baccara. I looked this up on Wikipedia and it was covered recently by ­Goldfrapp, so it has more credibility than I imagined.

Who’s your hero and why?
Nancy Mitford, who had little formal education but wrote fabulously witty ­novels.

What’s the best thing about your job?
My clients, some of whom I have represented for years, and my colleagues.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
The hours, although ­pensions lawyers’ hours are a lot more constant than transactional lawyers’.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
I made a mistake in a due diligence report as a trainee. The partner made me call the client to ­apologise. It taught me that clients accept that mistakes happen ­sometimes – the important thing is to be open and honest about them.

What car do you drive?
As it took me seven times to pass my test, my family rarely let me drive. I think we have an Audi A3.

What book are you currently reading?
The Enchantress of ­Florence by Salman Rushdie.

What’s your favourite ­children’s book?
The Gruffalo (I love all of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s books) and the Olivia books by Ian ­Falconer.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
I really enjoyed working on the Airways Pension Scheme litigation for the Association of British ­Airways Pensioners.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two ­luxury items would you take?
My iPod and digital photo frame.

What’s the worst partner ­conference location you’ve attended and why?
I’m still waiting for that partner conference at the Paris Ritz…

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
Two days.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
Melanie Griffith. I might get the chance to meet her husband Tony Flags (that’s Antonio Banderas to all you Spanish speakers).

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Emmanuel Adebayor. No loyalty, no class.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order)
I am related to Robert Browning; I have touched Morrissey’s hand; I live in the same road as Charlie George.

Lesley Browning
Title: Pensions partner
Firm: Norton Rose
Lives: Islington, London
1985-88: LLB, Keble College, Oxford University
1988-89: Law, College Of Law, Lancaster Gate
Work history:
1989-91: Trainee, Nabarro Nathanson
1991-98: Pensions associate, Nabarro Nathanson
1998-2001: Pensions partner, Nabarro Nathanson
2001-present: Pensions partner, Norton Rose