Archive for February, 2007

From the Desk of Matt Muttley, Managing Partner

It has been drawn to my attention that Nabarro Nathanson, formerly known as ‘Nabarros’, has done a re-branding; shortening their name to ‘Nabarro’ with a strapline ‘Clarity Matters’.

Their new logo was a bit difficult to decipher at first…. looked like tree rings to me, or one of those optical illusions…but Eva Braun, my PA, was able to decipher it as a letter ‘N’ by squinting at it for a while and using what appeared to be a Vicks inhaler to clear her sinuses. Good stuff…. and, inspired by this, let us remember that clarity (and speed) of billing is the watchword… well, perhaps not too much clarity of billing unless the client asks.

When our revered senior partner finally resigns…(Eva…sorry…can you type ‘retires’ instead) the firm will re-brand as Muttley….

Dictated in his absence on business in Davos.



Good to see that RollonFriday covers the story.  They have a poll allowing you to vote on the new logo.

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Blown it….

Thick and brick, paired, is most appropriate in the case of a new motorist, a brickie, who got a drink driving ban 38 HOURS after passing his test. Apparently the born-again pedestrian, as he know is, went out to celebrate passing his test, got pissed on six pints, went to bed, got up a few hours later and drove. The Sun reports “The cops stopped him for driving without lights.” Yes… not really surprising at night.

Police Inspector Eric Robinson expressed the view “It’s possibly the shortest time anyone has held a licence.”

I am gladdened by the news, again reported in The Sun, that thousands of children think that cows lay eggs. Apparently, many of these children also believe that bacon comes from sheep. The children were eight years of age. At that age I was about to qualify as a Master of Wine…. OK… I may be exaggerating…

Prince Charles, on a visit to the United Arab Emirates, has managed to irritate a lot of people by calling for a ban on McDonalds. Excellent. Glad to see he is keeping busy.

Jesus’ bones found: The news that Titanic film director, James Cameron, and his co-director on the Lost Tomb of Jesus (Discovery Channel) have found the lost tomb of Jesus has irritated priests, god-botherers and archaeologists who did not make the discovery themselves. He appears to have also found the tombs of the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene and Joseph – so a full house then. An american news reporter (Video) tells us that this story comes from the Da Vinci Code meets Indiana Jones school of archaeology. Not good news for the Resurrection theme in christianity? A bit irritating for agnostics as well.

POSTSCRIPT: Thursday 1 March – just after midnight on the 28th February…

Chris Rosebrough who took the time to comment on my short note on the Tomb of Jesus story has a fascinating rebuttal here – well worth a read.  I have just re-read Chris Rosebrough’s analysis – it is excellent – but do remember, please,  that I am not qualified to judge, being a believer in the old Roman Gods.

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Barrister ‘A’: Ego nolo caesar esse…

The Diary of Barrister A: Tuesday 27th February 07

I have set my life upon a cast,
And I will stand the hazard of the die.
Richard III, 5. 4

I have made my position clear. I do not want to be Caesar and – in so asserting; at once, I relieve the minds and emotions of others who might seek to thwart my ambition.

I read in The Sun today a comment by Jon Gaunt ” PERMA-TANNED Peter Hain accused Rory Bremner of “breeding cyncicism” in politics and of politicians and says he has kept to his principles and is proud of what he has done.” This quotation allowed Gaunt to dig deep into his political knowledge… I quote: “Oh yeah, Peter you and your miserable shower are really principled aren’t you? There’s Prescott humping anything with a pulse. Michael Meacher the real socialist with EIGHT houses. The dodgy dossier, need I say more?”

I ring Danielle to ask if we have EIGHT houses. We don’t.

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Sari… so is Jade…

I groaned when I saw The Sun this morning. I have no need to cover the story of Jade’s journey of apology to India when Geeklawyer handles it so eloquently. Geeklawyer is on the slopes skiing – but still manages to blog. I expressed the view in his comments section that I was pleased to note he had found the keys to the drinks cabinet.

I am, however, not at all ‘sari’ about the increase in penalties for drivers who use mobile phones while driving – having had a near death experience with one such driver ‘who didn’t see me” – despite the fact that I was wearing a bright yellow jacket and a yellow helmet and my motorbike is a big one. The BBC has the story: “The maximum fixed penalty fine has doubled to £60, and three points can be added to offenders’ licences.” From today!

And… the government is looking into the possibility of checking mobile phone records after routine accidents. At present mobile records may only be checked in ‘Fatals’ or on the orders of a senior officer: The Telegraph

The BBC website has some interesting pictures of The Old Bailey to celebrate the centenary. Pics

Is a glass or two of wine a day good for you?
I started to read this – and lost the will to live.

David Pannick QC covers the reform of the Office of The Attorney-General. Pretty straightforward issue really? Independence is a many splendoured thing.

Stress in The City: Edward Fennel has a most interesting article on stress in The Times. Worth a read if you are contemplating a career in a City law firm – or are stressed.

Enjoyed Dan Hull’s description of my Podcast interview with Justin Patten: “a sane, to-the-point and articulate discussion” In the time honoured tradition of theatre reviews I’ll extract the bit I like and put it ‘up in lights’! [Is Dan suggesting that my blog may not be entirely sane?]

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Forgive the “Here’s Johnny’ intro – but today I interviewed Justin Patten of Human Law on his thoughts about blogging, where he thinks blogging by lawyers might go and other matters. I also shoehorn a bit of law into the podcast; discussing a return to the bad old days of recruitment to the Bar and end with a reminder about the caption competition.

We did lunch at The Bollo – a glass of Rioja, of course, was offered and accepted. I had to join him for a glass – to do otherwise would have been unthinkable.

So… here is Podcast No 2

“a sane, to-the-point and articulate discussion”
Dan Hull. What About Clients?

I just could not resist this review.

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Secrets of law and practice…

Secrets to law 101: This YouTube video repays watching. It is short and to the point.

This short extract from Jonathan Goldberg QC’s excellent 2 CD training film on Advocacy in Modern legal Practice will, however, teach you a great deal more. The CD is available from The Legal Practitioner for £29.95 – it carries 3 CPD hours – but is most useful for student and practitioner alike. The CD is full TV quality – the extract is compressed for slow web connections.

PS.  Don’t forget to have a go at the Caption Competition – a bottle of decent Vino to the winner… courtesy of Corney & Barrow who sponsor the caption competition! Click here (or scroll down)

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Growing old disgracefully?…

Sir John Mortimer QC, lawyer, author, creator of ‘Rumpole’ and raconteur – may well be 83, but as far as I could see yesterday afternoon at The King’s Head in Islington he still has an eye for the ladies, and put on a great Show. He was assisted in his task yesterday by two good actors – Geraldine James and Celia Imrie.

I quote from The Telegraph review – which goes straight to the point: “His common sense, liberal values and delight in mischief are a lesson to us all in a drab, increasingly conformist Britain in which our freedoms seem to be constantly eroded”

John Mortimer was kind enough, some years ago, to visit my law school each year for about five years to talk to the students – he asked for nothing but a bottle of champagne to drink while he spoke. It was good to listen to him again – if anything, he was sharper and funnier. It was a pleasure to spend an afternoon watching this show, a glass of Rioja to hand (my hand), and just enjoy laughing and being entertained. Geraldine James and Celia Imrie were both excellent and seemed to enjoy doing their bit!

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