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?
- 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.