Work Life Quiz: Christopher Gibson QC, Outer Temple Chambers

What was your first-ever job?

Digging solidified chocolate out of a tanker – the driver hadn’t heated the tank before filling it. I doubt I could get in the hatch now – and I certainly wouldn’t get out.

What was your worst day as a pupil?

In a County Court, the judge made a possession order against my client when he hadn’t been served with the proceedings because he was in hospital. The judge said it was okay because his wife had been served. We had to go to the Court of Appeal.

What time do you usually leave the office?

If I have to work late, I do it at home.

What do you do at weekends?

Tinker with my motorcycle or work in the garden.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

The Sportsman at Seasalter.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?

An engineer of some sort, wishing I could find elegant solutions.

What’s your favourite film?

I know it’s cheating, but The Wire.

What was the first record you ever bought?

The House of the Rising Sun by The Animals.

Who’s your hero and why?

Barack Obama. He’ll force those Republicans to have a health service whether they like it or not.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn?

I let too many things happen to me for too long. I’ve learnt to take control.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

Reconciling clients to the limitations of what can be achieved by the legal process.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?

Writer Martin Jacques’ claim against the hospital authority in Hong Kong. For a long time the winning line was elusive, but when we found the right expert we knew how it would work. Thereafter, it was a case of breaking down their unrealistic denial of liability.

What’s your favourite book?

The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?

Tony Blair. He’d probably deny the lift was stuck and expect you to believe him.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order)

Tony Benn is my godfather; I used to play rugby with the Irish ambassador in Beijing; I was once a month late for a plane.


Name: Christopher Gibson
Chambers: Outer Temple Chambers
Title: Queen’s Counsel
Lives: Islington, North London

1972-75: Brasenose College, Oxford

Work history:
1977-2003: 4 New Square
2003-12: Doughty Street Chambers
2012: Outer Temple