Work Life Quiz: Mirza Ahmad, Birmingham City Council

What was your first-ever job?
A summer vacation job as a remittance clerk in a commercial bank in London.

What time do you usually leave the office?
If I’m lucky I’m usually home by around 7.45pm.

What do you do at weekends?
Recover and catch up on the previous week’s work and prepare for the week ahead.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Sanam Sweet House & Restaurant in Manchester – the curry centre of the world.

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

Who’s your hero and why?
All the prophets of Islam, in particular Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Total freedom and autonomy to lead on excellence, improve services, serve the public, advance local governance at the
national level and work with leading councillors.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Finding the time.

What car do you drive?
BMW 745i.

What book are you currently reading?
The Heart of Success – Making it Happen in Business without Losing in Life by Rob Parsons.

What’s on your iPod at the moment?
I prefer my ears to listen to natural world sounds instead of metallic earphones.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
Birmingham’s Electoral Court trial in 2005, when the judge was most complimentary of my performance in the matter.

If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take?
A solar-powered laptop and satellite mobile phone.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
36 hours during 2004’s European and local elections.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
A prominent Birmingham journalist has already likened me to Hercule Poirot, played by David Suchet.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
A man-eating lion.


Name: Mirza Ahmad
Organisation: Birmingham City Council
Title: Chief legal and monitoring officer
Lives: Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
Education: BSocSc (Hons), University of Keele; MBA, LLM, Manchester Metropolitan University
Work history: 1984-85: Banking clerk, BCCI, London
1985: Voluntary worker, North Manchester Law Centre
1985-88: Assistant solicitor, Ipswich Borough Council 1988-89: Senior solicitor, Ipswich
1989-93: Principal solicitor, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council
1993-2000: Assistant director of central services (legal), Bolton
2000-present: Chief legal and monitoring officer, Birmingham