Archive for October, 2011

This… from The White Rabbit.. I like!

The rabbit was hopping down High Holborn this lunchtime after returning from a visit to the Big House aka Her Majesty’s Prison Feltham when he spotted the above young lady with her billboard. Just in case it’s not clear to all from the pic it reads:
It struck me that for a qualified lawyer (her name is Annie and she is an Australian qualified lawyer who spent a number of years in the New South Wales Attorney-General’s Office) to be standing in the street with a billboard looking for work is (a) a sign of the times (b) a sign of optimism and (c) shows guts.

Soooooo …. A rabbit appeal is in order. Any lawyer reading this and needing a  paralegal should get in touch with Annie at e-mail annie_sobby@live.com.au – she said it was okay for me to put her e-mail addy up here. Or contact the rabbit via e-mail addy on my profile page. I have a cv for her that can be scanned and e-mailed. Like all sensible people she is presently based in Croydon. And no, I have never met her before and do not expect to meet her again.

Read more…. at The White Rabbit…. in fact…. always a good idea to read The White Rabbit!

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Dear Reader

The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in and we head towards the season I enjoy most – Winter.

RollonFriday.com runs with the story this week: Exclusive: bids thought to be in for College of Law, and MBO on the cards
28 October 2011: Rumours are circulating that the College of Law is about to be flogged off to its own management.

While RollonFriday runs amok with a mocked up pic of CEO, Nigel Savage – no doubt to the amusement of BPP law School et al – I am not sure that RoF is right on this one.  A management buyout of a law school said to have an annual turnover of £75 million will command a fairly hefty acquisition price.  I covered this story some time ago.  The College of Law, as RollonFriday reported, continues to assert ““the situation has not changed since our statement was issued and the College’s strategic review is still ongoing

We shall see, but I suspect that it will be private equity or one of the big publishers in the frame to acquire if The College of Law decides on a sale – Pearson?  Thomson Reuters ?  Lexis-Nexis?.  It will be interesting to see what happens.

In the meantime – someone is keeping themselves amused with a spoof @ProfNigelSavage on twitter.  Now… I wonder who that could be?  I have my suspicions.

Before I head off into other realms- I thought it worth referring to two interesting posts from the UK Human Rights blog:  Is the Attorney General right on prisoner votes and subsidiarity? – Dr Ed Bates  | A grown-up speech on human rights reform

And.. it being a Sunday, that is probably enough hard law for today.

And, talking of ‘other realms’ – this wonderful nonsense from The Guardian caught my eye…

MI5 inquiry into Russian ‘spy’ was ‘Inspector Clouseau not George Smiley’

The Guardian: Lawyer for Katia Zatuliveter, the former lover of MP Mike Hancock, tells Siac hearing Home Office case was ‘amateurish’

As I head, inexorably…ineluctably even, towards 60 – I was amused by a story in The Observer this morning that Britons regard old age as starting at 59.  I have worked on the principle that while we may well grow older, we don’t necessarily grow wiser.  The Greeks take the view that old age starts at 68.  I shall continue with the delusion that I shall  only be old when I am dead – it seems to work for me and, I suspect, for many.

I used the word Vapid on twitter last night and a fellow tweeter responded…

I have another three words beginning with *V* which may usefully be employed to those who have watched the film Wall Street too many times…. Venal, Vacuous and Vulpine.

While I have found it difficult to grasp a coherent theme among the protesters at St Paul’s (at times) in the #OccupyLsx protest – I did enjoy Andrew Rawnsley’s piece in The Observer today and agree that they are certainly drawing attention to a widely held feeling of anger and irritation directed at the irresponsibility of bankers – and government to regulate bankers – and the insensitivity of some companies in declaring substantial pay rises for CEOs of companies which aren’t actually performing that well.

The protesters seem more adult than politicians and plutocrats

Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer: With a few nylon tents and some amateurish banners, the Occupy movement has rattled the establishment

Matthew 21:12

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves…

And… I leave you this week with this from The Daily Mail

BBC staff are trained on correct way to announce death of Queen in bid to avoid another embarrassing gaffe

Best, as always

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Life can get in the way of amusement and blogging on occasion – but, fortunately, I now have time to have a look about and see what is happening in the legal world.

I am not a fan of mavenry, “Top this and that lists” and awards on social media – A ‘painting’ I did some time back in my F*ckart series sums up my attitude to awards dispensed for legal blogging et al.   I’m all for promoting law blogging – and both Legal Week and The Lawyer are doing this well –  but I see no need to have prizes.  I had a minor  rant on twitter this morning about the  “Blog Post of the Week” feature in the weekly round up of blogs done by David Allen Green in The Lawyer.  David’s review this week draws attention to some interesting blogs.  Legal Cheek puts iron into irony  – rightly taking the mickey about my rant   – with this post.  15-Love to Mr Aldridge!

Dr Erasmus Strangelove, senior partner of Muttley Dastardly LLP emailed me this morning….


I am pleased to announce that Muttley Dastardly LLP will be launching a new award – Maven of The Week.  As I am too busy billing (indeed we are all too busy at MD LLP) would you be kind enough to keep an eye on things…. for a fee, naturally, which we will be more than happy to satisfy after a suitable 75% ‘haircut’ and re-schedule to 2017 for settlement.


Dr Erasmus Strangelove LLB, BCL, Ph.D, DAGCMG (and Bar)

Senior Partner, Muttley Dastardly LLP
Quondam legal meedja correspondent for The Loftlagger’s Weekly

I was reminded by a fellow tweeter about a post I did some time ago in relation to ‘reviews’….I shall quote the relevant section:

I happened to be on Twitter exchanging tweets with @ntheowl who was complaining about having to do a book review.  I suggested that he use Sir Maurice Bowra’s famous aphorism which I paraphrase…“Be sure… I shall lose no time at all in doing so” when asked to review a colleague’s latest work.  @ntheowl responded with… “‘I cannot begin to say how useful this book is …’ This prompted me to look up Sir  Maurice Bowra in Wikipedia.  He was known for his wit…. I particularly like this aphorism which resonates with “Englishness”… “Buggery was invented to fill that awkward hour between evensong and cocktails.”

Anyway… all done in the best possible taste and not to be taken seriously…. so to more sensible matters – albeit briefly.. and as I was unable to Eyes Only yesterday – put a few blog posts and newspaper articles  I have enjoyed reading this week before you:

Legal Week:  ‘He’s a human rights lawyer, you know’ – barrister Adam Wagner on what drew him to a career in human rights law

Anna Raccoon casts a caustic eye over the OccupyLsx occupation at St Pauls:

The Occupy UK shower have done their best, there was always a delicious irony in their making their bed in the guest accommodation of the wealthiest ‘corporation’ in Britain and certainly the one that pays the lowest rate of taxation, whilst protesting against ‘capitalism’; but all credit to them for forcing the caring sharing happy clappy Church of England to reveal that their concern for equality and the poor ‘they are very welcome to stay’ only lasted until the moment that worship at the altar of Mammon, in the form of the temple traders, shop and restaurant, was suffering a downturn in projected profits. ‘It is with great regret’ etc…

Read: Lord of the Flies Beds Down in Animal Farm.

And I did enjoy Lucy Reid’s review of The UK Supreme Court : Super Supreme – and The Guardian’s short film interview with five of the Supreme Court Justices.

Apart from Legal Week, The Lawyer and The Law Society Gazette, Neil Rose’s Legal Futures is another good source for keeping up to date with developments in the legal profession: Clients “will head to brands” but independent lawyers can still forge a future

Dominic Grieve takes on the European court of human rights

The Guardian: Under government plans, countries would not only implement human rights law but interpret it – and decide if they complied

I’m doing a Without Prejudice ‘Special’ with Carl Gardner of Head of Legal blog over the weekend to cover some fascinating developments in the law – including the proposals for mandatory sentences.  I’ll pop back later this evening, hopefully, with some more Rive Gauche….

AND Finally.. this is extraordinary…

Barrister ‘sent sexy texts to client’s girlfriend during case’

The Telegraph: A criminal appealed his conviction after he discovered that the barrister defending him was sending “sexual” text messages to his girlfriend during the case.

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The rains came to London today.  I enjoy rainy grey days.   I also enjoy wasting time by watching Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday and the analysis on Daily Politics.

I sometimes wonder why I enjoy it.  Simple pleasures? Today’s PMQs was particularly simple – and Mr Miliband was invisible – as he often is.

But… I am not a political pundit… for that you need to do a search on Google under *Beserkers* or *Shield Munchers*… that should sort a few links for you to follow.

Back later with some law….

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Two local Law Society bulletins which may be of interest…

Derby & District Law Society Journal

Herts Law Society Journal

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“The number of students who want to become barristers shows little sign of diminishing with 3,100 applicants to the Bar Professional Training Course (BTPC) in 2010/2011 and 3,016 in 2011/2012. In 2010/2011 1,618 students successfully enrolled on the BTPC”

With a steady downward trend in the number of pupillages over the past ten year – 456 first six pupillages recorded for October 2010-September 2011 – it is surprising that the number of BPTC enrolments remains so high. Interestingly, The Guardian reports that UK university applicants drop by 12% before tuition fee rise. Will this trend feed through to law?  I suspect not.

As Zoe Saunders, a family barrister at St John’s Chambers, notes in a most interesting article in The Lawyer today…

I presume that any student who signs up to the swingeing BTPC course fees really does want to become barrister rather than using the BPTC as a bizarrely expensive way of moving on to do something else.

The article is a good read if you are considering a career at the Bar.

Paul Gilbert has a subtle article in The Lawyer today – a very interesting perspective on What makes a great lawyer?

This is hard…after all, after the law degree, law school, training, qualifying, trying to make your way, putting up with partners behaving like four-year-olds and working your socks off…of course it should be about you!

…But it isn’t.

It’s not really even about what you know. Obviously you have to know a great deal about the law; your technical skill set is precious and important and is your ticket to play; but it doesn’t make you a great lawyer.

It’s not about who you work for either…having a successful letterhead to write on is an advantage, might open doors, might do some of the early hard yards in helping you build your personal credentials – but at the end of the day it is just a letterhead and does not make you a great lawyer.

So what does?…

Read more to find out…


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I know you are busy planning your absurd Van Rouge tour – but… please… take a minute or two out of your busy schedule to watch this marvellous satire film from Australia about fellow peer Lord Monckton, a UKIP chap (apparently head of research – whatever that means in UKIP terms) …..most amusing.

Aussie film clip where Lord Monckton is mistaken for Sacha Baron Cohen !  CLASS!  A must watch.. if you have the time

And, it would appear that  The House of Lords is none too keen on him saying he is a member of the House of Lords…. he is not, they say.  Mind you… nor am I.  I got my peerage for services… well… too modest to say… ACTUALLY!



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