The leading planning, local government and environmental barrister, and head of chambers at Kings Chambers, Paul Tucker QC, shares his passions and interests.
How do you like to start the day?
Until lockdown I would have answered that I like to start the day with enough time to be able get to my first meeting of the day in whatever part of the UK I had the misfortune to have to drive to. Now I love the fact that I can drop my youngest son off at school and take my two idiot dogs for a walk on the fields at Stonyhurst. Despite it lying in Lancashire, and not my home county of Yorkshire, I still feel very blessed.
What’s your favourite object in your office/home office?
That is exceptionally easy to answer. Hanging on the wall to my right is the acoustic guitar that my late father bought me for my 16th birthday. I am still a terrible musician but my middle son has taken up the implied challenge and is now the lead singer of the rock group The Ruby Tuesdays.
Who is your closest colleague?
Wilson Horne, who is a senior member of the Business and Property Team at Kings. Our families have been close for virtually the whole of our professional careers. He is a fiery Scotsman and probably the most honourable person I know.
Do you have a favourite family heirloom?
I am blessed to have two, both from WWI. My paternal grandfather’s father was gassed in France, demobbed and died back at his home in Scarborough a few weeks later. I have his leather “dog tag”. And secondly my maternal grandmother’s father died in the Battle of the Somme. His WWI victory medal was left to me with a note from her which just said, “For our Paul -- Look after this for me, Nan x”. The note is the precious heirloom.
What’s your favourite song of all time?
“Heaven and Hell”, the title track from the album by Black Sabbath from the time when Ronnie Dio was the lead singer whilst Ozzy was having time away.
What’s your favourite play?
The Crucible by Arthur Miller. John Proctor’s final speech when he chooses to recant his earlier confession is a powerful argument as to how to live life honourably.
Who’s your favourite movie star?
What’s your favourite book?
JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
What book are you reading right now?
A Most Peculiar Book by Kristin Swenson – which is superb and which I became aware of as a result of listening to Bart Ehrman’s podcast (which I also strongly endorse).
What book do you wish you had written?
JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
What’s the greatest invention of all time?
The Scientific Method which was at the heart of the Enlightenment.
Is there a sport you wish you could play?
Professional Rugby Union
Who inspires you in business?
No-one. My inspirational figures are not business men or women.
In the office do you dress up, dress down or somewhere in between?
Until last March – dress up. From now on it will be somewhere in between – with formal wear held just for court work.
Where do you go to relax?
A walk with the dogs – my current favourite being walking by the River Ribble to the east of Ribchester.
What country have you always wanted to visit?
Besides your phone, what do you always have with you?
A necklace (Mjölnir).
What’s the best part of your job?
Every case is different – but the consistent factor is the integrity of my professional colleagues.
How do you unwind after work?
I’m not sure that I really ever do.
Finally, what’s your guilty pleasure?
I wish I could say something interesting like Nineteenth Century lithographs. But I think that I would have to concede that my guilty pleasure is, pathetically, an addiction to Extra Strong Mints!
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