Phone hacking lawyer Charlotte Harris applauds ‘magic’ Hampstead

Lawyer Charlotte Harris. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Lawyer Charlotte Harris. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Charlotte Harris, 37, is a media law expert who represented numerous victims of the News International phone hacking scandal. She recently joined law firm Kingsley Napley as a partner from Mischon de Reya. Ms Harris lives in Downshire Hill, Hampstead, with her husband James Burr, a private equity financier, and their three daughters.

What brought you to Hampstead?

I’ve always wanted to live in Hampstead. I grew up in Mill Hill and as a teenager Hampstead was my stomping ground. Now I’ve finally been living here a few years, it’s really magic. The children walk out the door sometimes and see a circus at the end of the road or a funfair. C.S. Lewis based Narnia on part of Hampstead Heath so it rather plays into my children’s imagination.

You have a day off to spend as you wish in the area, what would you get up to?

If I actually ever had a proper day off then I would wander very slowly up Downshire Hill and visit the delicious food stores to buy something for dinner. I’d continue walking further up the hill and do a little bit of window shopping and then I’d stop and have a coffee somewhere before visiting Daunt Books or Waterstones. I’d then walk very slowly back home. The reason I’m so slow is because I normally have my 20-month-old daughter attached to me via a monkey backpack which has a long tail, used as a rein.

Is there anything about Hampstead which you would like to see changed or improved?

There are lots of schools on Fitzjohn’s Avenue and the surrounding area so when I’m doing the school run, which is on foot, I find those roads very dangerous. I would like to see some more crossings.

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A film is set to be made about your life. Which actor would you choose to play you and why?

Julie Andrews – it would have to be a musical. Or Danny La Rue in full drag – that would be funny.

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

Tom Watson. He comes from a long line of very eminent Labour MPs who have genuine principals, from Keir Hardie through Tony Benn to Frank Field.

If you had to write your own epitaph, what would it say?

Fine while it lasted.

Charlotte Harris was in conversation with Tim Lamden.