Work Life Quiz: Paul Herbert, Goodman Derrick

What was your first ever job? 

Washing cars in neighbourhood streets – an early induction to the life of an SME.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Being asked at a couple of hours notice to prosecute a “routine” debt collection claim on behalf of a media entity at the local county court against a litigant in person who decided to defend on the basis of his article 10 rights. Five years later the matter was finally determined by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

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

A 1-2-1 lunch with an ITK colleague usually does the trick.

What’s your favourite restaurant? 

One that serves decent food at a realistic price, is not conceited or over solicitous, provides prompt service, with an atmosphere conducive to discreet conversation without the need for megaphones. As none exist, I’ll nominate my local Indian.

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

A performer – though friends and family swear I am both.

Who’s your hero and why? 

A hardy perennial: Nelson Mandela for his courage and persistence, his gentle dignity
and lack of bitterness at his sufferings and those of his people – such a rare and humbling combination.

What’s the toughest thing about you job? 

Remaining indispensable.

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

Being too keen to please and tying myself in knots as a consequence. I learned to strike a balance between being frank and realistic on the one hand and a back-covering harbinger of gloom on
the other.

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

I own a onesie; I have been a TV presenter; I once gave my cousin Johnny Herbert a driving lesson.

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

I’m still traumatised whenever I re-live the experience of missing a Friday afternoon nap due to a protracted carriage contract negotiation.


Name:Paul Herbert 

Title: Head of media, technology and communications

Firm:Goodman Derrick



1971-1978 Salvatorian college grammar school

1979-1982 Southampton University

1982-1983 College of Law, Lancaster Gate

2012-2015 Queen Mary University of London,
Master of Law

Work history: 

November 1985-present: Goodman Derrick