Paul was educated at Rugby and began his career at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. He then worked for the National Trust at Waddesdon Manor, the former Rothschild home near Aylesbury. In 1971 he joined Phillips Auctioneers where he was Vice-President in New York for three years and European Director from 1986-92 which included conducting trillingual auctions in Geneva. He joined Woolley and Wallis as Managing Director in 1995 and became Chairman in 2000. In 2019 he stood down and became a Non-Executive Director. He continues to carry out probate and insurance valuations on a regular basis and to take auctions as and when needed. In the course of his career he has conducted over 2000 auctions.
Every November for 26 years (1984-2010) Paul conducted the annual Children-in-Need auctions live on Radio 2 with Terry Wogan and others. He raised over £5 million for the charity and in 2001 was awarded an 'Outstanding Contribution to the BBC' award from the then Chairman Sir Christopher Bland. He was Chairman of the Society of Fine Art Auctioneers (SOFAA) from 2009-2013 and for 20 years he regularly appeared as a specialist on The Antiques Roadshow.
Paul is a Freeman of the City of London and was Master of The Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars in 2018/19. As well as his family his interests include sport (especially golf) the First World Poets, classical music and the songs of Tom Lehrer.