The Lawyer Inquiry: Diana Parker

Diana Parker was born in Newcastle in 1957. She is senior partner elect at Withers.

What was your first job?

Aged 14, teaching German at a Saturday school to children of English/German parents – I have always been presumptuous.

What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?

I don't think it reached five figures.

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

In a fantasy world – a cartoonist, saxophonist or craftsman.

What was your most satisfying professional moment?

Being elected senior partner at Withers.

What was your most embarrassing professional moment?

Not recognising a district judge from the Principal Registry who greeted me when in mufti in Oxford many years ago and then spluttering: "But I am not properly dressed"

What do you least like about being a lawyer?

The lack of scope for creativity and entrepreneurial activity.

And the best thing about being a lawyer?

Cutting deals and creating consensus.

Who do you admire most, and why?

My husband, for not having told the same joke twice in over 20 years of blissful (good) humour.

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

Richard Branson – acting for rich, successful and rather brash entrepreneurs is good fun, and as a divorce lawyer one does a lot of living vicariously.

Which web site do you visit the most?


What is your all-time favourite record?

The Koln Concert by Keith Jarrett.

What is your all-time favourite book?

A wonderfully illustrated children's book called The Big River by Gerard and Angela Rose that begins: "Up in the mountains, it was raining" and is about the birth and life of a river until it reaches the sea – when, "up in the mountains, it was raining"

What food or drink can't you live without?


What's your favourite restaurant?

Le Soleil d'Or – at a secret location in France.

And your favourite watering hole?

Our local in Oxford – The Eagle and Child.

How do you relax?

In one or other of my allotments.

What is your most precious possession?

My contact lenses.

Where would you most like to be right now?

Sitting down to lunch at the Le Soleil d'Or with my husband.

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

Sitting down to another lunch at Le Soleil d'Or with my husband.