The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
Hotel driver (evenings) and breakfast waiter (mornings).
What was your worst experience as a pupil?
I don’t remember having bad experiences. I learned a lot from some very clever people.
Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in chambers?
Subject to confidentiality questions, ask me. I know where the bodies are buried.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
I’m fond of Gandhi’s, my local Indian restaurant on Gray’s Inn Road (and its staff).
What’s your favourite film?
Amadeus. I saw it on a wet afternoon in Henley in 1985 and it started an interest in opera which has stayed with me.
Who’s your hero and why?
I don’t do heroes, but I admire Sir Sydney Kentridge QC. Even in his 90s he was a compelling advocate.
What’s your biggest work/career mistake?
I’ve often thought I would have been an excellent Parliamentary draftsman, which would have played to my interest in technical law and highly accurate use of language. I should have looked more closely at that, but I’ve loved the career I have had, so calling it a ‘mistake’ would not be accurate; you can’t do everything.
What’s the most exciting case you’ve worked on and why?
Perhaps Pepper v Hart, when the House of Lords decided to admit Hansard as an aid to statutory construction; it turned an unloseable case into an unwinnable one.
If you were stranded on a desert island which two luxury items would you take?
I don’t have luxury items even when I’m not on a desert island.
If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
Anthony Hopkins. There’s a physical resemblance, he can do my accent and we share a liking for fava beans and nice Chianti.
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order)…
I’ve swum the Hellespont; I have a keen interest in locks; I am an Ironman distance triathlete.