Chambermaid at Swiss Cottage Holiday Inn in the morning, shovelling and bagging coal in the afternoon.
What was your worst experience as a pupil?
Overhearing a member of chambers say he thought I lacked judgment. I could neither challenge nor directly address his comment. With the tenancy vote imminent, this was frustrating.
What do you do at weekends?
Eat, rest, watch sport and worry about what I have forgotten to worry about.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
Andrew Edmunds in Soho.
If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
A journalist, eventually with my own column in the centre pages where I could opine on a subject of my choice.
What’s your favourite film?
The Big Lebowski
What was the first record you ever bought?
Either The Love You Save by the Jackson 5 or Black Skinned Blue Eyed Boys by The Equals.
Who’s your hero and why?
Colonel Ken Barnes (deceased). At a time when I lacked a male figure to look up and emulate, he arrived in London from Jamaica. I’m not sure he ever knew how much I looked up to him. Despite appearing to be a strict disciplinarian he was a man of great humanity and extremely funny.
What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Having to sit and listen to one’s opponent’s arguments, particularly when they are persuasive, well-structured and well-delivered.
What’s your biggest career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Taking on the EL Trigger litigation, but it was also my best decision. I fought the case largely on a conditional-fee basis and it went on for six years until the Supreme Court ruled in our favour. The final year was very tough financially, but the outcome ensured the families of work-related, asbestos-caused cancers will receive compensation.
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order):
I once delivered a package to Ronald Reagan; until the Shard is inhabited only about a dozen people in London live higher up than me; I just love beetroot.