One career is usually enough for the likes of Gary Born, the head of the international arbitration practice at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. But Born—currently the only lawyer rated as a “star individual” in that uber-sophisticated practice by Chambers—is set to release his debut novel later this month, a thriller titled “The File.” The book centers on a grad student heroine who happens upon a trove of Nazi documents in a crashed warplane while on a scientific expedition in Central Africa. She must elude not one, but two teams of bounty hunters giving chase.

Born wrote the book over two years, largely on flights to far-flung work destinations. The Litigation caught up with him by video conference yesterday at his office in London to find out how he found time to write his debut novel and what he gets out of fiction writing. A more fulsome version of the interview will appear in an upcoming version of the “Legal Speak” podcast. For the time being, here’s a sneak peek at that conversation, which picks up right after we had Born read an extremely tense passage at the beginning of the novel, where his protagonist is sewing up a nasty knife wound on her chest.