Work Life Quiz: Grahame Aldous, 9 Gough Square

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Being sent to a VAT tribunal to do what my clerk described as “a sort of plea in mitigation”. It was nothing of the sort.

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


What time do you usually leave the office?

There is no ’usually’.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Auberge de l’Isle, Alsace.

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

A yacht skipper.

What’s your favourite film?

Captain Horatio Hornblower RN.

What was the first record you ever bought?

Harvest by Neil Young.

Who’s your hero and why?

Tom Bingham. Read The Rule of Law and find out why.

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

I took two months off in 1990 to race around Cape Horn in the Whitbread round-the-world yacht race. I should’ve taken a year and done the whole race.

What book are you reading?

The Glorious First of June by Sam Willis.

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

Taking a case through the courts of Gibraltar up to the Privy Council was pretty exciting, but making ’good’ law on UK jurisdiction and getting a remedy for the widow of
a chief engineer killed abroad in Booth v Phillips was very special.

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

A Swan 65 and a swimming pool.

What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why?

Members of chambers are not partners, but we have conferred in some pretty rough pubs around Temple over the years.

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

I went 36 hours without sleeping at sea, but could not do that now.

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

It would have to be Gregory Peck or Johnny Depp – to convey the necessary deep and burning sense of justice.

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

My financial adviser.


Name: Grahame Aldous QC
Firm: 9 Gough Square
Title: Head of chambers
Lives: Wimbledon

1975-78: LLB, University of Exeter
1978-79: Inns of Court School of Law

Work history:

1979-80: Pupil, 1 Crown Office Row (now Falcon Court)
1980-88: Tenant, 4 KBW
1988-94: Tenant, 2 Dr Johnson’s Buildings, chambers of Michael Brent QC (1994 chambers relocated to 9 Gough Square)
2008-present: QC and head of chambers, 9 Gough Square