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.
What was your first-ever job? Selling old books to customers who looked even older in an antiquarian bookshop in Bournemouth.
What was your worst experience as a pupil? I was asked to give a time estimate for my first case. I hadn't got a clue and predicted a couple of hours. The case took three days and I had to return the brief for my next case.
Where's the best place to go if you want to find out what's really going on in the office? The clerks' room in rival chambers. Clerks are always much less discreet about their competitors than about their own barristers.
What time do you usually leave the office? 8.30pm.
What do you do at weekends? When I'm in London I'll play golf. Otherwise, I go to Rome with my Italian wife. Best of all, I'll play golf in Rome.
What's your favourite restaurant? Locanda Locatelli, behind Selfridges in London. It offers homely Italian cooking with a bit of flair.
If you weren't a lawyer, what would you have been? A professional golfer. Otherwise a history teacher.
Who was your mentor or role model? My pupil master David Pannick QC.
What's the best thing about your job? Not having a boss.
What's the toughest thing about your job? Having a clerk.
What's you biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it? In my first month of tenancy my clerk decided that I should get some advocacy experience in the criminal courts. The opening brief was a bail application for a transsexual prostitute at Bow Street Magistrates' Court. She/he knew far more about the procedure than I did and got her/his own bail from the dock despite my mistakes. The lesson I learnt was the importance of specialising.
What car(s) do you drive? In London, a BMW 320D. In Rome, a 1960s Fiat Cinquecento with sunroof.
What book are you currently reading? Atonement by Ian McEwan.
What's on your CD player at the moment? Mind, Body & Soul by Joss Stone.