To: The Partners
From: Matt Muttley, Managing Partner
Going to trial with a lawyer who considers your whole life-style a Crime in Progress is not a happy prospect.
Hunter S. Thompson
It seemed appropriate, given the extraordinary events of last week and the events to come this week in terms of Osbore’s Spending Review, to quote the great Hunter S Thompson.
1. George Osborne takes spending axe to prisons and legal aid
The Guardian reports: Leaked documents show Ministry of Justice will lose 30% of budget in comprehensive spending review.
There are two issues here of relevance to The Partners: The first is the possibility that we could buy a prison and turn it into bijou studio flats for young professionals who can’t get onto the housing ladder. There is a suggestion that some prisons will be sold off. I have asked Dr Strangelove, our Director of Education and Strategy and a fellow Partner, to review this matter most carefully. Secondly, given that the government can’t actually seriously reduce the legal aid budget in terms of crime, but can in terms of family law, there is every prospect that our Megaladon LLP division could get in on the act and offer No Divorce No Fee offers. As the prospect of the courts actually declining to divorce people is very remote, we will get our fee and there may well be some mileage in the ‘financial arrangements’ inter partes? We need to review this.
2. I thought The Partners might enjoy a laugh this week – so you might find this nonsense amusing
Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly on pro bono and the Big Society
The Law Society Gazette: “While prime minister David Cameron’s idea of the ‘Big Society’ has left many people unclear as to what their own role or contribution to it could be, for lawyers the answer looks fairly simple: pro bono work can use lawyers’ skills, knowledge and professional standing to meet unmet need. The legal profession has much of the infrastructure in place to help lawyers play that role.”
Please note that I am all in favour of lawyers in other firms doing pro bono work. I am also happy to applaud the work done by lawyers who do pro bono for altruistic reasons. The government is not going to plug the legal aid *HOLE* through the kindness of lawyers.
I do find it amusing, however, gentlemen, that a government minister thinks he can fool our profession with this nonsense…
The coalition government is keen to show its support for pro bono work, and Jonathan Djanogly, parliamentary under secretary of state at the Ministry of Justice, will speak at the launch event on 19 October. He will not be a lone representative of government there, with the attorney general Dominic Grieve QC and solicitor general Edward Garnier QC likely to attend to hear speeches from Djanogly and the lord chief justice.Djanogly takes the view that pro bono work is not just good for the public interest, but good for the legal profession itself. ‘Pro bono work provides lawyers with a sense of community,’ he argues. ‘Lawyers get quite easily “silo-ed” – whether that’s as a high street conveyancer, or a commercial lawyer sitting on the eighteenth floor drafting euro bonds. Pro bono can take them out of their specialism and into other areas – some of those areas they may want to return to later in their career.’
I leave to you to make of this what you will. Interesting to note that The Gazette describes Djanogly as …“…every inch the City lawyer – neat, smooth, friendly and to the point.”
Silo-ed? I do wonder, sometimes, about the education system in our country. I suppose that if Djanogly had been at the Department of the Environment’ he would be banging on about people being *windfarmed* or*Severnbarraged*?
I seem to recall a Telegraph story on the matter of MP expenses. I supply the link for your delectation and delight…
MPs’ expenses: Tory MP Jonathan Djanogly claimed almost £5,000 for automatic gates
The Telegraph: “Jonathan Djanogly, the multi-millionaire shadow business minister, claimed almost £5,000 to have automatic gates installed at his large home in his Huntingdon constituency.”
Automatic gates at his house…? Gentleman..I ask you…. . why would a smooth, friendly, to the point, multi-millionaire, successful EX-City lawyer needs such a device? I can well understand why we do, but we are not friendly.
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