Archive for May 24th, 2007

From: Matt Muttley
To: All Partners
cc: Dr Strangelove

Date: 24th May 2007


Eva Braun has just put the Evening Standard in front of me. A woman has won a £48 million divorce battle. Do we have anyone who knows any Family Law? If not, can we do a lateral hire? Approach a Silk who is into Family Law and bring him/her into the partnership?

If we only handle high value cases, what would the downside be? Cross-fertilisation into asset management, trusts, tax, off-shore, private equity, hedge fund?

Eva sent me this from a blog: Family Lore“Needless to say, Mr Charman does not accept the words of the President of the Family Division, and has indicated that he intends to appeal again to the House of Lords. Oh well, more money for the lawyers and legal analysts, and more copy for the media…

By the way… one of our associates is sitting at his desk with a Bluetooth earpiece in his ear. I’m looking at him on CCTV now. Looks ridiculous. Think he is in Trusts…. can someone tell him that if he wants to look as if he works in a call centre, we have vacancies in our Mumbai office.

Get back to me if you have any thoughts / ideas




Head of Legal has a view on the Charman divorce

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Motorbike parking bays and men shopping…

This is a parking sign. It shows that the space is reserved for motorcycles. The markings on the road also say ‘Motorcycles only’…. so why, three times this week, have I arrived at 7.00 am to have breakfast at a cafe to find a bloody car parked in the parking bay I use ?

I had to go and park my motorbike in a Pay & Display zone and pay £1.50 for the privilege. Twice this week! (I am turning into a grumpy old git by the day)

So, yesterday…. I parked my bike on a yellow line, just behind the car, and waited. Having seen the offending car drive off the previous day at about 7.15, I had a hunch that I might meet the driver. I did – a young woman. She approached and had the grace to look a bit sheepish. Politely, I asked her if she would mind not parking in the bike bay, explaining that there are few free bike bays in West London. She apologised with a smile. Great!… everyone calm, no-one teed off. By way of contrast – I saw a courier asking a bloke to move his car from a bay some time ago. The bloke in the car told him to ‘F’ off and went into the Bank. The courier dismounted, walked off up the road, returned with a traffic warden and the driver was ticketed. It was quite amusing and, given that there were, by this time, quite a few couriers and other bikers pulled up near the bay, the driver was in no mood for bravado or practising his command of English.

And now, inspired by Belle de Juremen shopping… or, to be more precise, my attitude to shopping. Curiously, with the exception of gadgets, cars (about ten years ago), bikes and other gizmos, I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in shopping. It would not occur to me to go off on a shopping spree to buy clothes. When I wore suits and ties everyday – I’d go to the appropriate shops, at best twice a year, and buy ten shirts – almost certainly blue, quite a few identical, and select a few ties. When I bought suits, I’d buy two and get a spare set of trousers for each. Same principle with shoes. Casual clothes are even easier – five pairs of exactly the same jeans, trousers, shirts, polo shirts… two pairs of deck shoes. Done and cleared in about thirty minutes.

It is quite a different matter when it comes to buying a motorbike…. I pore over the magazines, read reports… look for pictures on the internet and go for complex test rides. Mind you… I have had nine Fireblades, five Blackbirds… so maybe I am a bit rigid in my choice of bikes!

Right… late lunch done – back to the real world.

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When you get a BBC producer asking Joshua Rozenberg, a respected legal journalist, “Can you explain, in very simple terms, what this row is all about?” – the story is worth reading.

Joshua Rozenburg reports: “The BBC producer who asked me that question on Tuesday evening was understandably bemused. We had just watched a senior cabinet minister and a senior judge giving entirely contradictory evidence to a Commons committee about the new Ministry of Justice.”

The Lord Chief Justice has stated clearly that “judicial independence cannot exist on its own”, Lord Phillips said. “Judges must have the loyal staff, buildings and equipment to support the exercise of the independent judicial function.

The LCJ has made the point that H M Courts service is under the control of Lord Falconer at The Ministry of Justice and argues that the duty of the Courts Service to provide enough courts and resources should be owed, now, to the Lord Chief Justice, given that The Lord Chancellor is no longer head of the judiciary. The LCJ complains that Falconer has continued to act as if he has primary responsibility for the allocation of resources, about a lack of consultation with the judiciary and a lack of transparency over the £34 million surplus generated from civil justice court fees in 2005-2006.

Rozenberg argues: “Rather than ‘daring’ the Lord Chief Justice and his colleagues to put the matter before Parliament, the so-called ‘nuclear option’, the Lord Chancellor and his officials should be locked in a room with the senior judiciary until they mutually agree appropriate safeguards.”

Independence of the judiciary is a basic and well understood concept! This potential ‘constitutional’ crisis (or ‘problem’ as the LCJ puts it) has to be dealt with and swiftly.

Lord Chief Justice XI: 100 – 0 at lunch ?

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Justin Patten, Solicitor
ADR / Mediation Course
Justin Patten of Human Law Mediation has produced an interesting course on Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation for LegalPractitioner.co.uk

Trailer : Quicktime | Trailer: WindowsMedia

You may find that The Legal Practitioner Online Magazine (Based on the model of Consilio) is useful… and free.

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