Her drinking doesn't affect her career, which is rising fast. All the other members of her chambers are hard-drinkers and we first meet Alison in a pub after work where she and her colleagues are drinking heavily. Alison is married with a small daughter, but that doesn't stop her sordid dalliance with Patrick, a deeply-unpleasant legal colleague with whom she has a relationship. Alison can be vulnerable and she's lost in a masculine world of grey morality. She knows she is behaving badly, but she seems to be unable to stop herself.