The work-life quiz with Declan Redmond


Declan Redmond
Title: Chief executive/senior clerk
Chambers: Wilberforce Chambers
Lives: Chelmsford, Essex
Education: St Ignatius College, Enfield
Work history: 1982: Junior clerk, Wilberforce Chambers
1992: First junior clerk, Wilberforce
1996: Deputy senior clerk, Wilberforce
1998: Senior clerk, Wilberforce
2002: Chief executive/senior clerk, Wilberforce

What was your first-ever job?
I had an actual McJob – to fund my studies.

What was your worst experience as a clerk?
Spilling a whole cup of boiling hot Bovril over my head of chambers and his court papers in the lunch adjournment.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
The receptionist’s area. It’s the calls you take, not the calls you make.

What time do you usually leave the office?
Just in time to see my kids.

What do you do at weekends?
I run a very efficient, flexible, cheap and reliable taxi service for the aforesaid kids and help coach the Under-12’s Chelmsford Rugby team.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Quaglinos in St James’s.

If you weren’t a Clerk what would you have been?
A physiotherapist. It’s the only way I’d get to run out on the pitch at Twickenham.

Who’s your hero and why?
Lord Martin Chivers of the Lane – the perfect combination of strength, skill and subtlety.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Providing a service to solicitors who are consistently of the highest quality.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
The long hours.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Falling asleep in the clerks room after I’d come into chambers straight from an 18-30 holiday in Ibiza – I’m sorry to say I didn’t learn from it, as I’m sure it happened the following year.

What book are you currently reading?
Emperor: The Gods of War by Colin Iggulden.

What’s on your iPod at the moment?
Anything from Vivaldi to Eminem, with a little bit of Led Zeppelin thrown in for good measure.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
Spike Milligan’s Silly Verses for Kids.

What’s the most exciting deal you’ve worked on and why?
The move of our chambers’ premises, which I realised was the first step for a traditional chancery set to become a serious player in the business and commercial world.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you take?
If there was no signal for my BlackBerry, I wouldn’t need any other luxuries.

What’s the worst conference location you’ve attended and why?
The Emirates Stadium – it had a nasty smell.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
Three nights on the trot – Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
A straw poll in the clerks room ranged from Martin Shaw, George Clooney and Richard Gere to Benny Hill. I can only assume that the likeness to the first three is in the colour of the hair, but I can’t work out the likeness to Benny Hill.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
The Grim Reaper – I think he was the headmaster at my school.