Paul Cook – Class of 1989

In 1989 Paul Cook graduated from Duncraig Senior High School with the intention of becoming either a Pilot or Barrister. Fast forward to 2023 and Paul successfully runs his own legal firm, Sherlock Legal, which predominantly practices in Family Law, Commercial Law and Succession Law.

Paul didn’t go straight from school into law and his journey is a very interesting one. Like many young people, Paul had aspirations and commenced a variety of qualifications to achieve those aspirations.

After serving in the RAAF in 1987 as an Apprentice Instrument Fitter, Paul seriously considered returning to become a Pilot. Instead, he went on to study Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Curtin University in 1990 before switching to Medical Science in 1992. Before completing the qualifications, he joined the WA Police in 1996 and undertook internal training in various areas including Forensic Investigation. Still trying to find his calling in life, Paul went on to commence his Masters Degree in Digital Forensics however life took a turn and he didn’t finish the degree.

After having spinal surgery and then suffering a heart attack, Paul followed his true passion of Law commencing at ECU in 2007. Completing his law degree took longer than originally planned as life took another

turn, and Paul was in a serious motorbike crash which resulted in him having 8 major operations. Finally graduating in 2011, Paul was admitted to the Supreme Court of Western Australia and High Court of Australia as a Barrister and Solicitor in 2012. He has operated his law firm since 2016 and in 2018 he became a Registered Family Law Arbitrator.

Paul has always had an interest in law which he acknowledges is quite different to the science fields he enjoyed learning. Unlike science, law is not black and white and it also requires attention to detail, critical thinking and analysis. Paul enjoys helping people and solving problems and considers justice to be very important to a functional society.

Although only ever living in Australia – WA and NSW (solely while a serving member of the RAAF), Paul has spent a lot of time travelling. He has travelled throughout USA, Asia and visited London. Paul has enjoyed cruising which has taken him to some incredible places like Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Isle of Pines.

“There are some truly amazing places and I hope to visit as many of them as possible.”

Although a Science and Law enthusiast, Paul’s other passion is acting. He has been an actor for about 8 years and most of his time is spent rehearsing and performing with community theatre as well as paid film works, advertising and voiceovers. Paul’s most recent performance was in QUIZ at Melville Theatre which finished in May this year. He is a committee member of the Graduate Dramatic Society at UWA (GRADS) and was formerly an adjudicator for 5 years at Harbour Theatre.

Paul’s love of acting has led to one of his greatest achievements so far, when in 2022, he was awarded Best Supporting Actor at Garrick Theatre for “When Dad Married Fury”. His other greatest achievement is of course, his children.

“Seeing them grow up and become caring, honest, compassionate adults who care about others and the world in which we live, is a wonderful experience.”

Paul has also supported many charities over the years. He continues to support Cat Haven with regular donations. Of his four pets (two cats and two dogs), three are rescued animals. He has also assisted Red Cross with their Will Days and has undertaken some Pro Bono legal matters for Law Access.

Having enjoyed his time at Duncraig Senior High School, Paul believes the quality of education he received was excellent and evidence that private school education is not necessary to achieve and succeed in life.

“In my life, I have undertaken various things and I have not been successful in many of them – the important thing to remember is to learn from those experiences and use them to find your own path. It is not the destination that matters, it is the journey and the experiences.”