Archive for February, 2011


All a bit embarrassing that the Libyan School of Economics took the money….. but hey…. still time to fund other more peaceful organisations?

Bit busy on a project… back later…..

And… just as you thought it was Assange to go back into the water…… Julian Assange is, allegedly, reputedly and, possibly – indubitably…trade marking *Assange*… at least…. according to this report in The Register….

And… David Allen Green has a very good post in the New Statesman on why Assange lost last week… it is worth reading…


We discussed the judgment in our first “Without Prejudice” podcast if you haven’t heard it David Allen Green, Carl Gardner and Joanne Cash discuss the verdict  in robust terms.


And… Twitter does throw up some wonderful nonsense….. this from my fellow tweeter… @Wibblenut… who, like me, keeps unusual hours.



anne_f_ Anne Fay…asks….
@Charonqc Will I be allowed to assange if he gets his trademark? Am making no claims that I *want* to, it’s a theoretical question.
BillfromBendigo Bill from Bendigo
@Charonqc What about the legendary egg and bacon Assange!
@chuzzlit Alison Charlton…responded by saying….
@Charonqc I Assange you in the name of the law.
Meanwhile…as our Tory-led Coalition government wonder if they should hire ships and planes from Weapons R US…… I do think they may need to  re-consider the resources  (Harriers / aircraft carriers etc)  available to this country for his plans to go to war in North Africa….. but..hey… what do we know….?
Watched BBC Newsnight…..
AND… I love the fact that twitter is truly international… this> ……..
And… of course….no sooner do I do this tweet……  the talent on the net has got the picture before me and everyone else   (via @Wibblenut)….. this  from those lovely people at b3ta.com.

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The White rabbit has excelled himself this last week with this….

Sort of Rabbit Review – The Royals

High-flying married lawyer joins sleazy £40-a-head swingers’ party

Scotland’s Daily Record reports: “ONE of Scotland’s top criminal lawyers was caught in a mansion’s sex dungeon during a Sunday Mail probe into sordid swingers’ parties. The married lawman, who often appears in the High Court, took part in a £40-a-head bash where strangers, couples and transvestites had tawdry sex…..”

The report continued to provide sufficient salacious detail, without revealing the identity of the ‘lawman’ – because of privacy laws – to satisfy readers; but what I particularly enjoyed was this piece….“An eyewitness said: “It was depraved – only a handful of women were in the house and it was full of blokes.”

An eye witness…? Good grief…whatever next.  Hat Tip to fellow tweeter @loveandgarbage for drawing my attention to this important legal development in social meedja.

Study to examine oversupply of LPC graduates

The Law Society Gazette has the story: Following on from recent coverage on the over supply of Bar students…. the SRA is coming under pressure from The Legal Services Board to look into the issue.  There may be an issue of Competition Law? I understand that competition law issues have been raised before in aptitude tests and other ideas for restricting entry.

Blawg Review #300

The Battle for Blawg Review of the Year. A very thorough review of all the Blawg Reviews of 201o.

Lex 2011 + The #Lex2011Tweetup

Brian Inkster and others have organised a tweet up for those on twitter and other lawyers who wish to attend…

Where: All Bar One, 58 Kingsway, Holborn, London, WC2 B6DX |When: Wednesday 16 March 2011 from 6.30pm onwards |Who: Legals who tweet (Twegals): Anyone who is interested in or associated with the law and who tweets. You don’t need to be attending Lex 2011 to come to the #Lex2011Tweetup.

I hope to attend. It will be a pleasure to meet fellow bloggers and tweeters.

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Dear Reader,

“The Trial (German: Der Process) is a novel by Franz Kafka, first published in 1925. One of Kafka’s best-known works, it tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime never revealed either to him or the reader.”

Demand open justice for Julian Assange

Mark Stephens, in The Guardian: Our high court should refuse extradition when the trial in prospect is likely to be unfair – as it is in this case

Mark Stephen, Assange’s lawyer in the UK, writes…”Julian Assange will, according to the judge’s finding of fact, be held in prison in solitary confinement when he is returned to Sweden and will then be interrogated, held without bail and later subjected to a secret trial on accusations that have been bruited around the world, not least by this newspaper. He has a complete answer to these charges, which he considers false and baseless. Even if acquitted, however, the mud will stick and, if convicted, the public will never be able to able to assess whether justice has miscarried. This country, which has given to the world the most basic principles of a fair trial – that justice must be seen to be done – denies that basic liberty for those that are extradited to Sweden. How come our courts abandon our cherished principles in deference to European systems and prosecutors?……..

I interviewed Mark Stephens in a podcast before Christmas.  In our first “Without Prejudice” podcast David Allen Green, Carl Gardner and Joanne Cash  reviewed the decision of District Judge Riddle handed down on Thursday.

There is, of course, another side to Mark Stephens which I enjoyed reading about in the Financial Times.  He is allergic to bees – but he has lots of them in his garden.

Meanwhile in modern Britain…..

Phone-hacking libel claim contested by Metropolitan police

The Guardian: Scotland Yard applies to strike out lawsuit by solicitor representing victims of phone hacking

Scotland Yard is to contest a lawsuit that could establish the true number of victims in the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.

Mark Lewis, a solicitor who has acted for people suing the newspaper, contends that a senior figure in the Metropolitan police, Detective Sergeant Mark Maberly, told him in 2008 that as many as 6,000 phones may have been hacked.

We are certainly living in strange times….. and I cannot help but wonder, given that there appears to be an even greater need now for lawyers and judges to keep a close eye on what government does in our name, whether those who complain about The Human Rights Act, complain about the ECHR, the interventions of third parties in Europe, may have a preference for allowing their view of the rule of law to prevail without the inconvenience of independent and objective analysis and critique.  I cannot resist the line from The House of Cards by Michael Dobbs….“You may think that….I could not possibly comment’.

I shall leave it there for today…and return to happier things later in the day

Best, as always


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We covered a great deal of ground in this first episode of this round the table podcast: Assange verdict on extradition, European Arrest Warrants – The British Bill of Rights and the ECHR – The oversupply of lawyers …and we even had time to consider Garrow’s Law and Silk the BBC tv dramas on law and lawyers.

We can tweak the sound next time…..

Listen to the podcast (Running time 1 hour)

NOW AVAILABLE on iTunes (Free)


I’d like to thank Lawtel, WestlawCassons For Counsel, City University Law School David Phillips & Partners Solicitors, Inksters SolicitorsIken, LBC Wise Counsel, Carrs Solicitors,  JMW Solicitors – Manchester, Pannone and Cellmark for sponsoring the podcast  – and the free student materials on Insite Law – appreciated.

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Can you imagine a situation where there are so many lawyers qualifying  each year through the law schools that we have an endless supply of ‘enthusiastic and able’ young freelance lawyers clamouring not to get into the profession – there is is no room at the Inn or in the big City firms – but to join  our new paralegal division, branded under a quite different and non-attributable name.

Can you imagine a situation where the rates we charge are so low, through volume and efficiency, that we can drive down costs in the profession and then disseminate information through the trade and related press and subtle advertising on the GoCompare model that prices in the traditional profession are, shall we say, ‘pacy’?.  And, what if we were to set up our specialist division of solicitor-advocates; perhaps even luring a few renegade silks to front it?  It would not be that difficult to build a ‘Stable’ (they call barristers chambers ‘stables’ in Scotland, I understand) of say 1000 solicitor-advocates, specialist in a very wide range of legal disciplines, and undercut the market.  We could take on The Bar, and we could take on some of these enthusiastic and able young people who can’t get work in the traditional profession and we could grow to perhaps 10,000 solicitor-advocates in a few years and take over the entire legal profession’s representation in the courts of this country.  In time, some of our Partners will be judges…who knows…perhaps, one day, even Supreme Court justices……”

Dr Erasmus Strangelove, Partner and Director of Education, Strategy and Psyops, Muttley Dastardly LLP,  speaking at a recent meeting of The Partners.

Truth is often stranger than fiction… because, curiously enough…… the rise in power of the paralegals was being discussed by former Bar chair, Nicholas Green QC,  and the idea of solicitors taking on the Bar by setting up solicitor-advocates on the chambers model was being mooted by Guy Berenger QC, a solicitor and a former senior partner at Allen & Overy,  only last Saturday…as reported in an excellent article in the Law Society Gazette.


With thanks to the following for sponsoring the free materials for students on Insite Law magazine: Inksters Solicitors, Cellmark, OnlineWill.co.uk, BPP University College, David Phillips & Partners Solicitors, Wildy & Sons, Camps Solicitors accident claims

Just Go Direct

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for free expert compensation advice.

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Justgodirect are doing a series of interviews with lawyers and bloggers on their The Legal Brick Road section of the website. First up is Tim Kevan, barrister and author of Babybarista.  I am pleased to report that Dr Erasmus Strangelove of Muttley Dastardly LLP has been invited to respond and do an interview.

Read Tim’s interview

An excellent article by Professor Richard Moorhead of Cardiff Law School:

Nice Pictures, Horrible Odds

It is interesting for a number of reasons including the much talked about gap between pupillages and BPTC graduates. The slides show that gap has been creeping slowly up, with the gap widening dramatically about three years ago, before closing somewhat. This makes me wonder why the controversy is particularly acute now, but that’s not to deny it’s not a significant problem. It clearly is and the overall trend seems to be continuing upwards.

A useful read for anyone contemplating a career at the Bar.

And, while we are talking about The Bar…. The Pupillage Blog has an interesting story about The Bar’s latest initiative on access to a career in the legal profession.

The age of ‘No Bar to the Bar’ has arrived!

The Bar Council has launched a new website today called ‘No bar to the Bar‘, which is designed to provide career information for all those who aspire to became practicing barristers.  The website also seeks to actively promote social mobility within the profession, which is supported with online videos that provide students from both school and university a greater intuitive understanding of the workings of the Bar.

The website has been made with the co-operation of Gray’s Inn, Lincoln’s Inn, Inner Temple and Middle Temple and is driven by the proposals of Lord Neuberger, who produced 57 recommendations for the promotion of social mobility at the Bar…..

Bahrain Grand Prix to go ahead….

Pic from twitter!

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Welcome to the first in a series of 20 podcasts on the legal profession in 2011. I’m going to look at the changing legal landscape in the light of the impact of The Legal Services Act and current trading conditions through the eyes of practitioners at the bar and from law firms large and small , commentators and regulators.

Today I am talking to The Naked Lawyer or, to be more accurate, Chrissie Lightfoot, a non-practising solicitor and  author of The Naked Lawyer…… a great woman to do business with” –  according to Jules Wyman., recently voted Britain’s top woman coach and  owner of Positive Belief.

To give you a flavour of The Naked Lawyer… a few quotes from the many reviews Chrissie has received….

“…the Karma Sutra of client care.”
Paul Brennan. Commercial Lawyer. Australia.
“…it’s practical, funny, inspirational and down-to-earth…”
Steve Kuncewicz. Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Lawyer. UK.
“…simply a MUST read for the student who is considering a career in the law… to the senior partner who is trying to run a business in 2010 and beyond.”
Jim Diamond. Costs Lawyer. UK.

Chrissie Lightfoot’s  Entrepreneur Lawyer website



My thanks to BPP Law School / BPP University College for sponsoring this series of podcasts

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