Work Life Quiz: Paul Darling QC, head of Keating Chambers

Paul Darling

What was your first-ever job?

Manager of a skateboard park.

What was your worst experience as a pupil?

Going to court on my first appearance to get an unless order on behalf of clients and coming back with one against them.

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

Vincent Moran QC’s room.

What do you do at weekends?

Watch football and horse racing, drink and eat.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

The Brasserie in South

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

A nightclub owner.

Who’s your hero and why?

Alan Shearer, Newcastle United’s second best-ever number 9 after my late grandfather, the best-ever Newcastle United number 9.

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

Saying to my opponent in an appeal, “Do you think I’ll be called upon?” The court then called upon me immediately, without troubling him. I learnt that in the Court of Appeal you never know what’s going to happen next.

What car do you drive?

Range Rover with parking wounds.

What’s your favourite
children’s book?

Matilda, by Roald Dahl.

What’s the most exciting case you’ve worked on and why?

The litigation arising out of the collapse of Holbeck Hall at Scarborough into the sea. Challenging, interesting and a great victory.

What is the worst chambers conference location you’ve attended and why?

The only member of chambers offsite conference we ever had
was at a hotel in Docklands. Ghastly.

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

Thirty-six hours.

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

Harrison Ford. We have a lot in common.

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

My consultant senior clerk, Barry Bridgman. I wouldn’t get a word in edgeways.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order):

I’m charming; I’m interested in horse racing; I can dance.


Name: Paul Darling

Title: QC, head of Keating Chambers 

Lives: South Kensington


1978-81: Jurisprudence University of Oxford

1981-82: BCL, University of Oxford

1982-83: Bar Vocational Course

Work history:

1983-84: Pupil, 20 Essex Street

1985: Pupil, Atkin Chambers

1985-99: Junior, Keating Chambers

1999-present: QC, head of Keating Chambers