Work Life Quiz: Robin Moira White, Old Square Chambers

Robin Moira White

Who’s your hero and why?

Dr Bart van de Ven, who performed the facial surgery that has allowed me to live my life properly since. [This summer White transitioned from male to female].

What was your first-ever job? Night porter.

What was your worst experience as a pupil?

Paginating six copies of a 1,000-plus page bundle which the solicitor had ­forgotten to do before ­photocopying it.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in chambers?

Caffé Nero across the road from the Central London Employment Tribunal.

What time do you usually leave chambers?

In these days of ­BlackBerrys and iPads we never really leave.

What do you do at weekends?

Work signal boxes on the West Somerset Railway.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

‘Six’ at the Baltic Art Gallery in Newcastle.

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

Chairman of the Great Western Railway.

What’s your favourite film?

The Italian Job.

What was the first record you ever bought?

A recording of Churchill’s speeches.

Who’s your hero and why?

Dr Bart van de Ven, who performed the facial ­surgery that has allowed me to live my life properly since. [This summer White ­transitioned from male to female].

What’s the best thing about your job?

The variety of workplaces I get to learn about.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

Working until 2am when court papers are delivered late, and then being bright, cheerful and entertaining in court the next day.

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

Taking on a last-minute instruction to deal with a property repossession.

I knew nothing about the relevant law but I read up on it in very, very quickly.

What car do you drive?

Oh, you’ve found out ­my passion. A Saab convertible for everyday, a 1945 Willys Jeep and a 1960 MGA for pleasure.

What book are you reading?

How to be a Woman by Catlin Moran.

What’s your favourite children’s book?

Thomas the Tank Engine by Reverend Wilbert Awdry, ­obviously.

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

Post Office v Foley, which sorted out the law on unfair dismissal. I was involved from the start to delivering the appellant’s reply in the Court of Appeal when my leader (David Bean QC, now Judge Bean) could not be there. It was wonderful to watch a master tactician (Bean) and a group of judges led by Lord Justice Mummery trying to get the law on work right.

If you were stranded on a desert island what two ­luxury items would you take?

A power shower and my make-up bag.

What’s the worst conference location you’ve attended?

In a building they started demolishing 30 minutes into the meeting.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?

Two days and nights.

If a movie was being made about your life which actor would play you and why?

Sam Worthington [Avatar] until last July and Zoe Soldana thereafter. The reasons are obvious, given recent changes.

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

Bruce Willis – you’d just know the building was about to explode.

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

I love wearing four-inch heels; my top unfulfilled ambition is to go free-fall sky diving; I’m a wonderful cook.



Name: Robin Moira White

Set: Old Square Chambers

Title: Barrister

Lives: Sherborne, Dorset



1983-86: BSc Chemistry, Imperial College London

1991-94: LLB, University of Exeter

1994-95: BVC, Inns of Court School of Law

Work history:

1986-90: Operations manager, British Rail

1995-96: Pupil, Devereux Chambers

1996-2003: Field Court Chambers, Gray’s Inn

2003-08: Farrar’s Building, Temple

2008-present: Old Square Chambers