The Lawyer Inquiry: Philip Canter

Philip Canter was born in Liverpool on 15 March 1937. He is now head of the criminal department at Liverpool firm Gregory Abrams.

What was your first job?

When I qualified I set up in partnership with Howard Jackson as Jackson & Canter.

What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?

£5 per week in the second year of articles.

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

Been an architect, historian, or golf professional.

Which law could you live without?

Child Support Act.

What was your most embarrassing professional moment?

In my very first trial, the chairman of the Bench was my criminal professor. He advised me not to address him on the law as he "seemed to remember my criminal law papers".

What car do you drive?


Which famous person would you like to go out with?

Juliet Stevenson.

Where would you go to eat?

Indian restaurant.

What's the best thing on TV?

Programmes such as Prime Suspect and Yes Prime Minister – but I don't suppose they're on any more. I don't really like TV.

Which movie do you wish you'd appeared in?

Some Like It Hot.

What's your most often worn piece of clothing?

My new hat.

What book(s) are you reading at the moment?

Blake by Peter Ackroyd, and I'm re-reading William Faulkner's Light in August.

What is your all-time favourite record?

Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.

What piece of advice would you give to anyone entering the profession now?

Find something obscure but needed and become an expert in it.

What do you like about yourself?

My social conscience.

What do you hate about yourself?

My indecision.

Where would you most like to be right now?