The Lawyer Inquiry: Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor is senior partner at leading insurance litigation practice Berrymans. Born in Hackney, East London, in 1946, he now

lives in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

What was your first job?

Student postman in Featherbed Lane, Croydon.

What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?

u12 per week plus 15 shillings per week luncheon vouchers.

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


Which law could you happily live without?

Murphy's (and several sections of the Civil Code).

What car do you drive?

Whichever of three ageing two-seaters proves to be simultaneously taxed, insured, MOT'd and working.

Who inspires you?

Great teams, eg: Crystal Palace Football Club on form or my partners behaving intelligently.

What's the best thing on TV?

Ceefax (and some of the old films).

Which movie do you wish you'd appeared in?

The Woody Allen remake of 'Bullitt'.

What makes you seethe?

Traffic jams, arrogant self-important lawyers who believe the simple act of being a lawyer justifies their existence.

What's your most-worn piece of clothing?


What is the worst piece of architecture?

Ceaucescu's People's Palace, Bucharest; anything designed and built by British Rail since the war.

What is your favourite record?

Everything from Aaron Copeland to ZZ Top (bar Rolf Harris).

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

Berrymans' 'Building Claims and Cases'; Bingham and Berrymans' 'Motor Claims Cases'; 'On the Psychology of Military Competence' by Norman Dixon and 'The Beast in Me and Other Animals' by James Thurber.

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

You are entering a service industry.

Where would you most like to be right now?

In the financial position to tell my more difficult clients exactly what I think of them.

Where do you see yourself in five years' time?

Same as above, but old enough to know better.