Archive for August 12th, 2008


For one hour and a half I watched, transfixed, as eight celebrities learned the basics of conducting the BBC orchestra for Maestro, produced by BBC 2. I enjoy classical music  – but tonight’s programmme had everything… music, drama, humour and competition.  Peter Snow, Alex James, Sue Perkin, Jane Asher and the truly astonishing ‘natural conductor’ Goldie,  Katie Derham, David Soul and Bradley Walsh, together with the judges and Clive Anderson provided superb enterainment. I rarely enthuse about television reality shows – but this programme was excellent fun to watch and brought home just how difficult conducting is. Thankfully, I was alone – so I could conduct along with the participants! Most enjoyable way to spend an hour and a half – and I wasn’t even mildly over refreshed.  I shall watch all the episodes – and I am sure I won’t be the only conductor manque by the end of the series!

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Plus ca change!…

Found this on Guido Fawkes…

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The Lawyer joins the turning nouns into verbs craze with the headline: ” Clifford Chance ramps up savings by offshoring paralegals to India” and at the same time supports the Indian economy.  The Lawyer reports: “Clifford Chance and Eversheds are considering reducing low-end work ­normally undertaken by trainees and paralegals and farming it out to India. Clifford Chance has embarked on a plan to ramp up its offshore paralegal capacity. This will see its Indian staff handle much of the work that is currently undertaken by London trainees and paralegals – including form 395 ­submissions to register company charges, due ­diligence ­document review for ­litigation, preparing shell company conversions, cloning documents and ­certain low-level drafting.”

This is not, of course, great news for paralegals in London – although Clifford Chance global managing partner David Childs denied that the move would affect trainee numbers in London, calling it the firm’s “principal recruitment source”.  The logical next step would be to ‘offshore’ even more work, get rid of newly qualified lawyers and associates and just leave partners to meet clients in London.  Of course, that would just be ludicrous and far fetched. I mean… why not train Indian lawyers in English law in India and if there are difficulties with practice certificates get the work overseen in London by someone with a practising certificate. But that too, is far-fetched and preposterous.

Eye Spy…. in the papers…  that BPP plc is making a bid for Wilmington Group PLC – they who own Central Law Training, Solicitors Journal and sundry other legal publishing and training projects.  Telegraph

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Passing an amusing fifteen minutes at lunch on Fritter, which is probably a better name than Twitter, given the amount of time I seem to spend on Twitter late at night, I came across the ‘Tweet’ to the left – an utterly unfascinating piece of information in terms of my needs – but, I presume, endlessly fascinating to those who read these stories.

Inspired by Denton’s desires in Dubai, I decided to nip over to Legal Week and The Lawyer to see what other fascinating headlines I could find. On offer to the legal profession today:

Ward Hadaway continues to build up in… Dutch independent set for London launch Norton Rose boosts IP team with partner… Mishcons seals real estate boost with… | Simpson Thacher gets tough on associates | Zurich institutes crackdown on exaggerated PI claims |  | Eversheds name switch hints at full integration | BAE on cusp of appointing legal counsel for India | Forsters snares four Withers partners

I lost the will to live momentarily. It’s just not my thing…. but I don’t need to know any of this.  I can understand that rainmakers, managing partners and the ‘psyop black art’ departments of leading law firms will read these stories with much interest – on a ‘need to know what the competition is up to’ basis – but who else reads these stories, I wondered to myself?

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Judge calls prosecutor illiterate idiot.

The BBC, with one of the few reporters not in Beijing, reports that “An angry judge has branded a prosecution worker an “illiterate idiot” after spotting several spelling mistakes in an indictment. Judge David Paget was reading a list of charges drawn up by Crown Prosecution Service staff at Wood Green Crown Court in north London when he spotted errors. The indictment, which accused a man of assault, included attempted “greivous” bodily harm”

The judge was even less impressed when another charge accused the defendant of using an offensive weapon, “namely axe”, instead of “an axe”.

The BBC notes that the judge finally lost it and “Throwing the paper down on his bench, Judge Paget added: “It’s quite disgraceful. This is supposed to be a centre of excellence. To have an indictment drawn up by some illiterate idiot is just not good enough.”

Good stuff… our profession prides itself on spelling and the debate on the correct spelling of judgement / judgment, as in delivering a ‘judgment’, continues.

The judge is right, of course.  Before you know it we’ll all be speaking French again if we allow grammarlouts to ruin our language. Some say… that English is just French spoken and written badly…..

My thanks to Infobunny on Twitter for alerting me to this story.

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12th August: Daily legal news up on Insitelaw: Plenty of news today, including a bizarre story from the Sun about a man who bit off his girlfriend’s nose and carried on drinking.

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