The Lawyer Inquiry: Philip Alberstat

Philip Alberstat was born in Calgary, Canada, on 19 April 1964. He is a senior associate at Baker & McKenzie, London, specialising in media law. He was winner of the 1997 The Lawyer/Hifal Assistant Solicitor of the Year award.

What was your first job?

Selling hot dogs from an outdoor stand on the waterfront in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?


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

Film director.

Which law could you live without?

Diseases of Fish Act 1937, Church Dignitaries (Retirement) Measure 1949 and the Horses (Protective Headgear) Act 1990.

What was your most embarrassing professional moment?

Asking Czech president Vaclav Havel what he did for a living.

What car do you drive?

I don't – I prefer my 1968 Norton.

Which famous person would you like to go out with?

Pablo Picasso.

Where would you go to eat?

The bar/restaurant in the Costes Hotel in Paris on the Rue Saint Honore.

What's the best thing on TV?

Yellow Pages advert.

Which movie do you wish you'd appeared in?

The Godfather.

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

Pair of shorts.

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

Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart and Love thy Neighbour: A Story of War by Peter Maass.

What is your all-time favourite record?

Tom Jones' Greatest Hits.

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

Never tell anyone outside the family what you're thinking.

What do you like about yourself?

I laugh a lot.

What do you hate about yourself?

Stating the obvious.

Where would you most like to be right now?

Corleone, Italy.