1. When you were at Brighton College, what did you want to be when you ‘grew-up’?
I was interested in becoming a lawyer and a summer holiday job at a local solicitors’ firm in Brighton convinced me I was more suited to a career as a barrister. I was mesmerised from my first visit to a courtroom.
2. What are you now you've grown up?
Barrister and Queen’s Counsel at 9-12 Bell Yard Chambers specialising in white-collar fraud and business crime.
3. What is your best memory of school?
I enjoyed setting up a new law society for the college and inviting leading judges and barristers to the school. Lord Alexander, an Old Brightonian, was one such guest in 1986 when he was Chairman of the bar at the time. He became re-associated with Brighton College and had a major influence on the school when I left. I was hugely supported in my initiatives by the wonderfully encouraging Head Master, Bill Blackshaw. If it was not for Brighton College I would never have made it to the Bar. They encouraged you to reach your potential and never give up and accept second best.
Singing the musical Grease’s “Summer Loving” with the entire sixth form before the entire school in a grass Hawaiian hula-hula skirt for the annual House Music Competition. We won! It was clearly not for our musical ability more the sheer hilarity of the situation.
4. What was the best piece of advice you were given?
Tenacity. Never ever give up on your ambition and that your failures always teach you more than your successes. It has certainly been true in my case. This advice was given to me by Dame Margot Fonteyn when I was awarded my degree at Durham University. If it had not been for Brighton College I would never have made it to Durham because the teaching was so fantastic. Those who most stood out were Danny Hanson (Geography), Martin Jones (History) and Simon Smith (English).
5. What do you do/did you do as a career?
I became a barrister specialising in white-collar fraud and business crime. I have also prosecuted and defended cases concerning murder, drugs, tax fraud and child abuse.
My other interest is politics. I also stood for parliament as a conservative parliamentary candidate twice in Dudley South (2001) and Lewes (2010). Both seats fought back pretty vigorously and I was not elected! Both campaigns taught me a lot about organising a large number of volunteers over a large area. I may have another go one day…….
6. What does/did your job involve?
Representing misunderstood businessmen and sometimes prosecuting cases involving murder, drugs, and cases involving children.
The work is varied but sometimes when you act in cases concerning child abuse or human interest you do feel that you are making a significant difference to people’s lives.
7. What are the most challenging parts of your job?
As a self-employed Barrister you are always either ferociously busy or worrying about where the next case is coming from. I have just finished a six month tax fraud case and am about to embark on another fraud case.
8. What have you done that you are most proud of?
I was appointed QC (Queen’s Counsel) in February which is called ‘taking silk’ and that was a great honour.
On a personal note I am extremely proud of my parents, wife and two daughters and how supportive they have been throughout the inevitable ups and downs of a barrister’s life.
9. What is the single thing that would most improve the quality of your life?
More time! I always wish there was another 2-3 hours in every day.
10. What are the three objects you would take with you to a desert island?
My watch, my classic car and my Dutch spaniel dog, Bella. (she may not like to be thought of as an object)
11. How would you like to be remembered?
As a father who did his best for his family and helped others achieve their potential.