The Lawyer Inquiry: Michael Spencer

Michael Spencer QC was born in Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1947. Based at 1 Paper Buildings in London, he is the founder of Compas, a clearing house scheme for pupils which is due to start this autumn. He lives in Amersham in Buckinghamshire.

What was your first job?

Labourer on a building site.

What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?

u3 for a brief in Marylebone County Court defending Stewart's Taxis

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

Been a doctor.

Which law could you happily live without?

The present Criminal Injuries (non) Compensation Scheme – a scandal compared to the old scheme.

What car do you drive?

Citroen XM 2.0 Turbo.

Who inspires you?

Cardinal Basil Hume.

What's the best thing on TV?

'The Barchester Chronicles' and 'One Foot in the Grave'.

Which movie do you wish you'd appeared in?

'Jurassic Park' – but not as the lawyer.

What makes you seethe?

Lying politicians, ie most of them.

What's your most-worn piece of clothing?

My Barbour mac.

What in your opinion is the worst piece of architecture?

Any modern supermarket with a clocktower.

What book(s) are you reading at the moment?

'Spy's Honour' by Gavin Lyall and 'The Body Farm' by

Patricia Cornwell.

What is your all-time favourite record?

'Mr Tambourine Man' by Bob Dylan.

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

Avoid conveyancing or family law.

Where would you most like to be right now?

In my chalet in the Haute Savoie.

Where do you see yourself in five years' time?

In chambers, preparing tomorrow's (ie 14.2.2000) case.