The work-life quiz: Bankim Thanki QC

What was your first-ever job?

What was your first-ever job?
An outdoor clerk in my next-door neighbour’s firm of solicitors.

What was your worst experience as a pupil?
Being required to work on New Year’s Day to assist my pupil master in preparing for an arbitration.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in chambers?
You have to buy the head of chambers a drink.

What time do you usually leave chambers?

What do you do at weekends?
One day working, the other day is usually spent doing family things. I have four children. The other Saturday, for example, was spent at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
The Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford, of course.

Who’s your hero and why?
Eric Cantona, because he helped to make the 1990s so enjoyable – for me at least.

What’s the best thing about your job?
The chance to take very long holidays.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Not being paid to take them.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Agreeing to do a case about a defective yoghurt factory. I don’t like yoghurt.

What car do you drive?
BMW convertible.
What are you currently reading?
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky.

What’s on your CD player?
Thunder, Lightning, Strike by The Go! Team.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
Asterix the Legionary by René Goscinny.

What’s the most exciting case you have worked on and why?
A case involving a painting stolen from Germany at the end of the Second World War. The trial itself turned out to be rather dramatic, involving allegations of suitcases full of cash being offered to witnesses. If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you take?
My iPod and a case of 16-year-old Bushmills Malt.

What’s the worst location you’ve done a case in and why?
An arbitration in Bombay, now Mumbai. A wonderful place, but we were there during monsoon season.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
Vinnie Jones. It would test his acting ability to its limit.

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


Chambers: Fountain Court Chambers

Position: Barrister

Lives: Hampstead

Education: Balliol College, Oxford; Inns of Court School of Law

Work history:

1988: Called to the bar

2003: Appointed silk