The Things I Know: Gregory Jones, Barrister, Francis Taylor Building

- Where did you study law?

An MA at New College, Oxford, and an LL.M at University College London.

- What skills did you have when you graduated?

An ability to eat with chopsticks and tie a bow tie. The latter has proved useful at the Joint Planning Law Conference, the former less so.

- What attracted you to planning?

It's mainly about looking forward to what might be, not arguing about what might have happened.

- What did you learn in your first job?

How to get up at 5am to sell bananas at New Covent Garden Market - both useful skills for a planning barrister.

- What skills have you had to learn over your career?

The Cambridgeshire guided busway was an outstanding example of teamwork. My time as a stagiaire at the European Commission and Jean Pierre Warner scholar at the European Court of Justice helped me to identify new developments. I have needed to master technical evidence on issues such as waste and noise.

- What or who have been the biggest influences on your career?

Qualifying during the last property recession instilled in me the need to be adaptable. On a personal note, I miss my room neighbour in chambers, Lord Kingsland QC, who died last year.

- What is your career highlight?

While very junior, I persuaded the lord chief justice in R v Sandhu to overturn a conviction for a listed building offence following a two-week jury trial. The result forced criminal prosecutors in other areas to change their prosecution policy.

- What have you learnt outside work that has influenced your career?

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. I follow Tottenham Hotspur.

- What further skills do you aim to obtain or develop?

Scuba diving.

- How important is it to keep abreast of developments in allied professions?

It's critical and the reason why I qualified as a legal associate of the RTPI. I am also a fellow of the Institute of Quarrying and an affiliate of RIBA.


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