The Lawyer Inquiry: Dinah Spence

Dinah Spence was born in 1970 in Northallerton, North Yorks. She is a solicitor with Charles Russell.

What subject(s) did you fail at school?


What was your first job?

Sales assistant in children's clothes at Woolies.

What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?


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


What was your most satisfying professional moment?

Leading counsel's description of my letter-writing style as "enjoyable".

What was your most embarrassing professional moment?

As a trainee, telling Master Murray (by rote) what I had been told to tell him by my supervising partner – and having the White Book thrown at me.

What do you least like about being a lawyer?

Other lawyers.

And the best thing about being a lawyer?

The sure knowledge that other people's problems are bigger than mine.

What annoys you most about clients?

Their expectations are inversely proportionate to the difficulty of the problem and the charges incurred.

Who do you most admire, and why?

My husband – because he puts up with me and I'm sure I couldn't.

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

Cleopatra – for her great negotiating style.

What is your most annoying habit?


What's your biggest fear?

Being found out.

How do you relax?


What is your most precious possession?

My cats (Nigel and Benn).

Where would you most like to be right now?

On holiday.

In 10 years' time, where do you see yourself?

On holiday.

To take part in the Inquiry call Jemma Pearson on 0171 970 4614.