The Lawyer Inquiry: Sir Philip Rose

Sir Philip Rose is a co- founder of City law firm Norton Rose. This month he features in the newly-published 'A History of Norton Rose' written by Andrew St George. He's no longer with us, but if he was, he'd be 179 years old.

What was your first job?

Medical assistant to my father, 1833.

What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?

Salary? When I first started in 1836 I paid the firm. I also invested in the firm's clients.

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

Politics, like my friend Benjamin Disraeli. Or maybe medicine – I founded the Brompton Hospital.

Which law could you live without?

It used to be the law that limited partnership numbers, and in the last 100 years corporation tax has got rather steep.

What car do you drive?

A cabriolet – pulled by two sturdy steeds.

Who inspires you?

My old partner, Robert Baxter. We built the Great Northern Railway together.

What's the best thing on TV?

I love the OJ trial – not unlike the Tichbourne case of the 1870s.

Which movie do you wish you'd appeared in?

I fancy myself in 'Presumed Innocent', but I'd settle for 'Bleak House'. Anything but 'The Firm'.

What makes you seethe?


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

Ask my valet.

What is the worst piece of architecture?

When we built the railways, I had no idea St Pancras would follow.

What books are you reading at the moment?

'Marked Man', a Mark Rosetti football thriller by Mel Stein and Jackie Collins' summer-sizzler 'Hollywood Kids'.

What is your all-time favourite record?

Any with a copyright dispute.

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

Get in early and stay put for at least 200 years.

Where would you most like to be right now?

Lying on a beach in Tenerife with my Jackie Collins novel.