The Lawyer Inquiry: Deryck Houghton

Deryck Houghton was born in Liverpool in 1957. He is a partner in the IT practice of Rotherham firm Oxley & Coward.

What was your first job?

Shelf stacker/trolley collector at Asda.

What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?

#1,750.

What would you have done if you hadn't been a lawyer?

Palaeontologist.

What was your most satisfying professional moment?

Tuning in to an episode of Taggart and finding one of my own cases being used for the plot line.

What was your most embarrassing professional moment?

Slumping theatrically into my seat in court after a lengthy cross-examination, missing my seat and disappearing under the table.

What do you least like about being a lawyer?

Despite what estate agents say, not actually earning a bundle for doing nothing.

And the best thing about being a lawyer?

Never having to live up to anyone's high expectations.

Who do you admire most and why?

Joe Montana, the all-time-great American football quarterback – no one was better when the chips were down.

Which famous person or historical figure would be your ideal client and why?

US General Robert E Lee – he always had impeccable manners even when under great strain and was always forgiving of genuine mistakes made by others.

Which Web site do you visit the most?

American football team the San Francisco 49ers at http://

www.sf49ers.com.

What is your all-time favourite record?

Get a Haircut by George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

What is your all-time favourite book?

Any of the Jack Aubery novels by Patrick O'Brien.

What food or drink can't you live without?

Supermarket wine.

What's your favourite restaurant?

None really. I'm easily pleased.

And your favourite watering hole?

Whichever is nearest.

How do you relax?

Complete inactivity.

What is your most precious possession?

According to those who know me, my wallet.

In 10 years' time, where do you see yourself?

Delegating (I hope!).