The Lawyer Inquiry: Tom Kerthorpe MEP was born in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in 1945. He is a solicitor and politician.

What was your first job?

As a child, a paperboy – I lasted one day. As a student, an assistant to Sunday market crockery seller – I learned to shuffle and throw plates around without too many breakages.

What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?

£2500 per annum.

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

I would have gone into advertising as a copywriter. I have always been good at producing slogans and rhymes. In fact I even supplied the slogan for one well-known soap commercial.

What was your most satisfying professional moment?

Obtaining substantial damages for a coal miner injured while working in an 18 inch seam down a Northumberland pit.

What was your most embarrassing professional moment?

Delivering a plea in court that was actually meant for another client. Luckily it worked – my client was acquitted.

What do you least like about being a lawyer?

The inability to accept the word of another lawyer any more without written undertakings.

And the best thing about being a lawyer?

Benefiting from a training which gave me a logical mind, lateral thinking and a photographic memory – I think.

What annoys you most about clients?

Their refusal to take good advice and avoid litigation.

Who do you most admire, and why?

The clients who pay for such litigation.

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

Henry VIII – regular divorce business with little trouble from the wife or solicitor.

What is your most annoying habit?

My wife should answer this.

What's your biggest fear?

You asking her.

How do you relax?

By watching TV, swimming, playing golf and flying aeroplanes.

What is your most precious possession?

My practising certificate.

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

After 35 years in both, probably still deciding whether my future lies in politics or law.

To take part in the Inquiry call Jemma Pearson on 0171 970 467