The Lawyer Inquiry: Chris Parnell

Chris Parnell is a barrister and legal editor of Lawtel, the on-line legal database. Born in London in 1956, he still lives in the city.

What was your first job?


What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?

£20 a week as a gofer to Martin Lampard at Ashursts.

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

Run a ski resort.

Which law could you live without?

Complex post-war legislation which a cynic might say has been drafted with a view to keeping the true legislative intent from Parliament and public alike.

What car do you drive?

BMW 325i convertible.

Who inspires you?

Judges who have to interpret the aforementioned legislation.

What's the best thing on TV?

The off button.

Which movie do you wish you'd appeared in?

'The Winslow Boy'.

What makes you seethe?

Bickering between the two branches of the profession, underhand behaviour, petty bureaucracy and institutionalised injustice.

What's your most often-worn piece of clothing?

My collar studs.

What is the worst piece of architecture?

La Defense in Paris, most of Corbusier's work.

What book are you reading at the moment?

Churchill's 'Second World War'.

What is your all-time favourite record?

Handel's Coronation Anthems.

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

Take soundings of many but advice from few. Knock on as many doors as you can. Never take no for an answer.

Where would you most like to be right now?

On the ski slopes.

Where do you see yourself in five years' time?

Judging by past experience somewhere I least expect to be.