Work Life Quiz: Paul Shrubsall, One Essex Court

What was your first-ever job?
I worked in an antique shop.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Having to do ‘noting up’ – an arcane system of cross-referencing law reports. It’s so old I doubt anyone would remember it.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
The housekeepers or tea ladies.

What time do you usually leave the office?
We have such a good clerking team here, and with one of them on duty until 9pm, I’m often away by 6pm or 6.15pm.

What do you do at weekends?
Relax, play golf, spend time with my family and grandson.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
J Sheekey in London.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
Being a complete petrol head, I would have liked to work in the motor industry. Jeremy Clarkson’s job would be nice.

Who’s your hero and why?
There are two: Alan Shaw and Denny Crane of Boston Legal. It’s my favourite TV show and they’d be great guys to have in chambers.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Making decisions and seeing them through to completion.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Having to make decisions all the time.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Missing a case in the list and having to tell a barrister that the case had started 10 minutes ago without him. I learnt not to assume anything and to check, check and check again.

What car do you drive?

What book are you currently reading?
The Tyrannicide Brief by Geoffrey Robertson. It’s the story of the lawyer who sent Charles I to the scaffold.

What’s on your iPod at the moment?
I don’t own an iPod. I do have El Divo, Robbie Williams and Shania Twain in my car.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
The prosecution in the Guinness trial, because it was the only criminal case I’ve experienced and everyone involved was such fun to work with.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you take?
I’d need to buy an iPod and a fridge full of cold beer.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
Not long, I need sleep. But I’ve gone 18 hours without.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
A taxi driver once mistook me for Bob Hoskins, so he might be a good first choice.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Anyone who believes in the nanny state, too much political correctness and the need for rules and regulations on how to change a light bulb.


Name: Paul Shrubsall
Chambers: One Essex Court
Title: Senior Clerk
Lives: Shipbourne, near Tonbridge, Kent
Education: Kilmorie Road County Secondary School, South London.

Work history:
Junior Clerk, The Chambers of GA Rink QC, 17 Old Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn
1975-77: Senior Clerk, 17 Old Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn
1977-91: Senior Clerk in the QEB chambers of Peter Whiteman QC
1991-2005: Joint Senior Clerk, One Essex Court
2005-present: Senior Clerk, One Essex Court