'An engaging character, warm, human and well drawn'
'A heroine for the new millennium – competent, tenacious and adamant in her pursuit of the justice that sometimes eludes the law'
'Not unlike many women who excel as barristers.... tough, opinionated, redbrick-educated and proud of it'
Trish was was born in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire (in the south east of England) to Meg and Paddy Maguire. Paddy absconded when Trish was seven, reappearing only when Trish had become successful enough to figure in the media. Her heroic mother did everything she could to protect Trish from the effects of his desertion, working as a doctor's receptionist to pay the bills and encouraging her to study hard, pass every possible exam, so that she could do anything she wanted in life. Meg's second husband, a solicitor, once patronisingly told Trish she would never make it as a barrister but could probably become a useful solicitor in a smallish firm. This made her even more determined to succeed.
She struggled through the early years of small, ill-paid briefs in the family courts, then started to do well. But total immersion in the miserable stories of her clients and their relatives ground her down, and she succumbed to a short terrifying bout of clinical depression. Taking a sabbatical, she accepted a commission to write a book about crimes against children, which is when we first meet her – in Creeping Ivy. After that she returned to chambers to work up a new practice in commercial law. She is now doing extremely well and earning lots. Which is one reason why she keeps getting involved in sorting out other people's problems: she doesn't think she deserves to be as happy and successful as she is and wants to give something back.
Tall – about 5'11" – she is also thin and these days quite well dressed. Her dark hair was gelled and spiky when we first met her but is now smooth and neatly cut in an elegant bob, which looks good under her wig. She hasn't much natural colour in her face, her eyes are very dark, and she has an eagle-like nose. Beaten adversaries have been known to be rude about her physical appearance, but, although no one would call her beautiful, a great many people think she looks impressive.
She lives in a big, airy flat in Southwark, between Tate Modern and the London Eye, and shares her life (but not the flat) with George Henton, a leading London solicitor. She has also adopted her much younger half-brother, David. They don't have any pets. With all of them working such long hours it wouldn't be fair to any animal.
Trish in wig and gown with brief in hand
© Natasha Cooper 2007