Legal Business

Perspectives: Sir Bernard Eder

I’ve had a happy time. My wife said at school I spent most of my time in the library. I came to 4 Essex Court in 1975. This is my home. In those days, 4 Essex Court was the number one set of chambers for commercial work and I met the head Bob MacCrindle. He was Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Obama, Putin… a mixture… it was like getting a part in a Hollywood film because no one got into 4 Essex Court in those days.

I remember Bob saying: ‘I’ll tell you three things. One, I’m leaving’. He went to Shearman & Sterling in Paris around the time tax rates were 98% or something like that. Second, he said, ‘you’re going to buy my chair and table’. I was 22, didn’t have any money and he said ‘that will be £100’. I said ‘okay’. I still have that furniture. Thirdly, he gave me some advice and said: ‘If you don’t have to say anything, don’t.’ That stayed with me. I’ve been incredibly short in my judgments.