10 lawyers with weird and wonderful hobbies

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What on earth is mycology?


Horror stories about law firm working hours are all the rage, so it’s easy to assume that once you start your training contract or pupillage you’ll barely have enough time to sleep, let alone keep up your extra-curricula hobbies.

But fear not. Legal Cheek has tracked down 10 lawyers, all of whom have managed to keep on top of their weird and wonderful hobbies while leading successful legal careers.

1. Marcus Rutherford

Partner at Enyo Law
Hobby: mycology


Mycology, unbeknownst to most, is the scientific study of fungi. While Legal Cheek imagines looking at mushrooms for an extended period of time would send most people to sleep, Marcus Rutherford has long been a fan. Though we’re sure he’s spent a lot of time doing important ‘partner stuff’ at three different law firms — including commercial giant Reed Smith — Rutherford still enjoys searching for mushrooms at the weekend. Interestingly, he’s also an illustrator, and enjoys drawing the mushrooms he finds.

2. Olivia Potts

Junior barrister at 5 Paper Buildings
Hobby: baking


Criminal law specialist Olivia Potts rightly describes herself as a “barrister by day, baker by night”. Having studied at both Cambridge and City University, Potts has forged a career in the hard-hitting world of criminal advocacy. In her spare time, however, Potts is crazy about baking, and documents her creations and recipes on her personal blog. In the future, maybe Potts could take a leaf out of freelance solicitor Kay Ma’s book — she juggles a successful cake-making business with her demanding legal career.

3. Bill Braithwaite QC

Barrister at Exchange Chambers
Hobby: motor racing


Brain damage guru Bill Braithwaite QC is a self-confessed “wheel freak”. The Liverpool University graduate, whose specialises in personal injury law, has been big into motor racing since he turned 48. He’s a member of the Historic Sports Car Club and travels the country racing cars. Though he admits he doesn’t have too impressive a track record when it comes to winning races, he thinks there’s “no better feeling than sitting on the grid on the start line, waiting for the lights to go out and signal that the race is on”.

4. Paul Beckett

Senior counsel at MannBenham Advocates
Hobby: tattoo art


Professor Green once asked his devoted Twitter following whether you can be a lawyer if you have tattoos, and Paul Beckett is living proof that you can. The Oxford grad is, according to 2012 Legal Cheek, “the most tattooed lawyer in the British Isles”, and is covered pretty much head to toe in ink. His Japanese style inkings — which include a dragon and a samurai — aren’t the only thing that makes Beckett stand out from the rest of the legal crowd. He’s also a qualified masseur, an art collector, an occasional film extra, and a former boxer.

5. Martin Porter QC

Barrister at 2 Temple Gardens
Hobby: cycling


Though it’s hardly a weird hobby, Legal Cheek thought Martin Porter QC deserved a mention on our list because of how cycling-mad the Cambridge educated silk is. For most, cycling is just a mode of transport, but for the personal injury specialist, it’s a way of life. Not only does he have a blog dedicated to cycling, he also hit the headlines earlier this year when he brought the UK’s first ever private prosecution for dangerous driving after Porter and his trusty bike had a bit of a run-in with a speeding car. Though the defendant was acquitted, you’ve got to admire Porter’s resilience.

6. Alex Marzec

Barrister at 5RB
Hobby: inline skating


Who says you can’t be well-respected libel barrister and a keen inline skater? Alex Marzec is doing just that. Some onlookers think it’s an immature hobby, but Marzec isn’t bothered. The University of Warwick graduate is part of a skating community in London, and though she doesn’t claim to be a pro when it comes to tricky skills and moves, she does say:

When you get it right, the sensation is like flying.

7. Chris Walters

Senior pro bono counsel at Reed Smith
Hobby: bird-watching


It’s a hobby that appeals to more than a few of us — and Chris Walters is absolutely potty about bird-watching. His interest was sparked when a biology teacher took Walters and his classmates on a school trip, though he admits he didn’t meet any like-minded people at university and his hobby took a bit of a dip during that time. Come 1978, Walters — who is firm-wide senior pro bono counsel at Reed Smith — was back bird-watching, and has been devoted to his passion ever since.

8. Alex Wade

Freelance media lawyer
Hobby: surfing


Alex Wade is a former Carter-Ruck lawyer, who spends most of his time writing for and lawyering for national newspapers. But that’s not all he’s been up to in his lively career. Wade travels extensively, is a keen poker player, and absolutely loves to skateboard and surf. He’s written two whole books about what the Hawaiians call “the sport of Kings”, and blogs regularly about surfing — and other things — on his blog Surf Nation.

9. Simon Allen

Head of personal injury at Russell Jones & Walker
Hobby: photography


Lawyers, stereotypically, are rubbish at two things: maths, and art. But not Simon Allen, who has been head of personal injury at Russell Jones & Walker for 27 years. At work, he specialises in mesothelioma claims, accidents at work, post-traumatic stress cases and amputation claims, but in his spare time he’s a skilled photographer. He particularly enjoys photographing New York, though as you’ll see from his website, he’s also been snapping away in Berlin, Rome and Tokyo, to name a few.

10. James Greig

Partner at Blake Morgan
Hobby: Bible tours


James Greig: University of Cambridge educated, partner at Blake Morgan, and keen conductor of Bible-themed tours. The deeply religious property lawyer has been running tours for about 20 years, in famous locations across the capital like the British Museum and the British Library, but also in Oxford. And they’ve proved very popular: Greig explained:

There’s a great deal of interest in the connections between archaeology and manuscripts and what the Bible says.



What on earth constitutes bird-watching, photography or cycling as weird or wonderful? Stop. Just stop.



And baking?!?



This really is scraping the bottom of the barrel..

You can’t just write articles on the fact that people do things. Like, this stuff is not newsworthy.

God damn it Katie, as someone with two media degrees currently working in a law firm – I’m coming for your job.



You sound like you’d be fun at parties. Lighten up, not everything has to be super serious. I actually enjoyed reading this article in a break from my current, incredibly boring, document review exercise.



It’s frustrating because I know I could do a better job of reporting on all this stuff.

I’m fun at parties, because I’m not a wanky cityboy lawyer – and I actually party.




Yet more nastiness towards Ms King.

This is just a little feature on a web site that covers law and lawyers. It’s as ephemeral and lightweight as about half the articles published in the national press and about 90% of the articles published in local papers.

I realise Legal Cheek’s aimed largely at students so they have to expect some childish nonsense in the comments. But give the woman a break. Being snide or abusive is not a good look.



The thing is KK can produce some decent articles when she sets her mind to it – the frustration is that she then spoils it when she comes out with some utter garbage with quotes pinched off The Tab or Twitter. Just because it is light hearted need not mean it has to be nonsense.


Bashing the bishop

Heh, nice try Alex, but Katie still won’t have ya!



It’s ironic you use the phrase ‘scraping the bottom of the barrel’, when that’s exactly what you did by studying media. Media degrees are the academic equivalent of Injury Lawyers 4 U.



Lol at how narrowminded lawyers are.

Wank on, buddy. Wank on.



You sound like someone whose parents didn’t let him/her follow their dreams.


London QC

I like to wrap my legs in wall paper. I record the sound they make when I rub them together like a cricket.



It’s “Russell Jones & Walker” no “s”.



Who the hell hired this Katy kid?


Not Amused

Lots of barristers are just ordinary human beings.




Not you NA. You are some sort of Matrix-style being that exists only as code within Legal Cheek, having emerged when a computer server became sentient and imitated the musings of a curmudgeonly barrister who posted here once.


Agent Smith

We meet again, Mr Anderson.



My name is Neo!


Lord Harley KGCSt.J. DPhil

I enjoy riding miniature trains, and tossing my lunch about. It makes for a welcome break from dealing with my 10,000 clients, and takes my mind off what the SRA/SDT have in store for me next month:



I’m tired of exaggeration and misinformation. What is Lord Harley’s position on Brexit?


G Michael QC

I frequent men’s lavatories at Hampstead Heath.


Bun's Wife

Oh lighten up you miserable f—ers! It’s just a bit of fun!


Just Anonymous

Oh God. I just realised that posting on Legal Cheek is my hobby!

*runs away screaming*



I know a barrister in Berkshire who practises canal-diving in his spare time!



This is such facile shite. It causes me physical pain.


Tim the Topper

You’re a masochist too then?

I know a solicitor with an East Midlands practice who practices paraphilic infantilism in his spare time!


Richie from Bottom

I’ve had five this afternoon already!


Comments are closed.