Work Life Quiz: Peter Talibart, Norton Rose

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been? 
A professor of history or a rugby player.

Peter Talibart

Peter Talibart

What was your first-ever job? 
Loading aeroplanes at Montreal airport.

What was your worst experience as a trainee? 
Getting told off by a judge for using the words “screw up” in court.  He only heard the first word.  

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office? 
It is much, much better for an employment partner to not be aware of goings on at the office. 

What time do you usually leave the office? 
Between 7 and 8. Hopefully the right 7 and 8. 

What do you do at weekends? 
Get terrorised by my ­children, spend time with my amazing wife and ­occasionally pick up a rugby ball in anger. 

What’s your favourite restaurant? 
Anywhere up a mountain with a view. The Cedar House in North Vancouver sets a pretty high bar (no pun intended).  

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been? 
A professor of history or a rugby player.

What’s your favourite film? 
To Kill a Mockingbird.

What was the first record you ever bought?  
Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds.

Who’s your hero and why? 
The one-legged guy who went hooning past me in the marathon. Whoever you are, you humble me. 

What’s the best thing about your job? 
I have partners who are wonderful on every level. Great lawyers, generous and kind people with a ­terrific sense of humour. I would say the same about the associates on my team. I’m very fortunate to be at Norton Rose.

What’s the toughest thing about your job? 
Seeing people suddenly unable to take the future for granted, in the way they have previously. 

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?  
Losing my sense of ­perspective. We as lawyers have interesting, well-paid jobs with a lot of control over our careers, compared with most. We should remember that more often.

What car do you drive? 
2000 Lotus Elise sport 160. Some things just get meaner as they get older.

What book are you currently reading? 
The Uses and Abuses of History by Margaret Macmillan.

What’s your favourite ­children’s book? 
The Forgotten Door by Alexander Key.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why? 
Sadly, the nature of my work means that the most exciting matters aren’t in the public domain. I enjoy those matters where I get to focus on fixing the ­problem, not just advising on the law. 

If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take? 
My iPod and a bottle of good champagne (for ­message purposes).

What’s the worst partner ­conference location you’ve attended and why? 
Honestly, every partner conference venue has been incredible.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep? 
Sunday to Thursday ­morning, with very little sleep indeed.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why? 
I would say Tom Cruise but my partners would (no doubt)  say Bob Hoskins.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why? 
Any non-resident tax ­partner because they always want a business transfer for tax purposes when I don’t, or they don’t when I do. They always get their way in the end. 

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order)
I love to cook. I love to read. I really love being the under-gardener when it’s time to smarten up the backyard.

 Peter Talibart 
Firm: Norton Rose
Title: Partner 
Lives: Surrey 
1979-83: BA (Hons), Trent University (Canada) 
1983-86: LLB, Université D’Ottawa
1988-89: LLM, Kings College, London
Work history:
1990-95: Associate, Linklaters and Paines
1995-96: Associate, Herbert Smith
1996-2000: Partner and head of employment, ­Barnett Alexander Chart
2000-04: Employment partner, Norton Rose
2004-present: Employment team leader, Norton Rose