1. What was your biggest career break?
Securing an outdoor clerk job at the London showbusiness practice Wright & Webb at 15. My role involved doing the photocopying, delivering letters and making tea for clients.
2. Have you had a notable mentor – and if so what was it about them that was so inspiring?
Oscar Beuselinck – the greatest media lawyer of all time and a great mentor. He showed me that there is no substitute for determination and hard work.
3. What one piece of advice would you give to the 20-year-old you?
Take a holiday, because it’s 24/7 from here on in.
4. What qualities to do you look for in new recruits?
Curiosity, technical skills and a go-get attitude.
5. Who do you admire in business and why?
J.K.Rowling. An inspiring success story, a brilliant author across several genres and a highly principled philanthropist.
6. What does the future of your industry look like?
If the rate of change I’ve witnessed over the last 30 years continues, the change is going to be revolutionary. The market is going to expand exponentially for integrated consulting services that are able to provide multi-disciplinary solutions in reputation and privacy. Standalone law firms will struggle.
7. If you hadn’t chosen your current career, what would you have done instead?
I would have been a soldier. An injury put paid to a full-time career in the army.
8. What is your biggest extravagance?
I maintain a RIB in Cornwall which I only get to use, at most, a few days each year.
9. Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and why? (you can invite three people – they must be alive)
I am very private – maybe that explains my interest in privacy law – so I would invite my family and friends.
10. What do you do to relax away from work?
I read, I write and I try to surf.
11. If you could change one thing about Britain today, what would it be?
We need to place a greater emphasis on access to education. Too many youngsters don’t get the opportunity to succeed, often because of their social environment, which is hugely frustrating considering we’re inherently a nation of innovators with the capability to make a real and positive difference in the world.
12. What would your last meal be? (please choose a starter, a main course and a pudding)
Starter – Tuna crudo, Soho House , London. Main – Fillet of sea bass, The Ivy Club, London. Dessert – Forced rhubarb crumb, Morston Hall, Norfolk