Archive for August, 2012

The end of august, I discovered as I slowly lost the will to live watching BBC Borefastnews this morning, marks the ‘official’ end of summer.  This news was quickly followed by a short piece on the new squatting law which comes into force tomorrow – squatting becomes a criminal offence.  The Police will now be able to assist landlords to evict squatters. Twitter received this news with the usual subtle polarisation of ‘analysis’.  Right wingers were delighted.  Lefties were not.  David Allen Green wheeled out his trademark catchphrase to describe this development in our jurisprudence….

Mr Green opined on twitter: “Bit by bit, the British state is shifting property rights from a civil law to a criminal law basis. Both misconceived and highly illiberal.”

The Law Society Gazette was on the case quickly: Lawyers berate new law criminalising squatters

Chair of the Housing Law Practitioners Association, Giles Peaker, who was one of the organisers of the letter, said the change amounted to a ‘tax subsidy’ for landlords who leave their properties unoccupied.

‘They will no longer have to pay to get people evicted; it will be the police’s job to do it, paid for out of the public purse,’ he said.

Peaker said the move was simply ‘headline-grabbing’, as section 7 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 already protects homeowners and makes it a criminal offence for a squatter to remain in a property once asked to leave by the owner.

He said the new law is badly drafted and, unlike the 1977 act, does not cover gardens. ‘People squatting in someone’s garden shed will not be covered,’ he said.

So.. if you want a bit of shed action before tomorrow…. you don’t have long to get some before the Rozzers get involved.

And so.. life continues and the ‘Silly Season’ ends.  Rigour, analysis, rectitude, curiosity returns to our lives and to blogging – even mine…but not just yet….

RollonFriday reports: Legal education judged not fit for purpose by review committee
“The Legal Education and Training Review (LETR) has published a pre-report discussion paper claiming that English legal education is “not fit for purpose“. The LETR is a monstrous hydra combining the SRA, Bar Standards Board and ILEX. It’s been running since June 2011 but is rapidly approaching its climax, with the final report due to be delivered in December. This week’s discussion paper fired a warning that its recomendations for legal educators may not make for pretty reading….”

I shall take a look at the LETR pre-report, over the weekend.  The current thinking, available on all good guru blogs near you, is that skills and business awareness is the new ‘paradigmatic paradigm’ and that  knowledge of ‘law’ is not actually necessary to practise law or is, at best, an inconvenience – as my brother Professor RD Charon observed earlier in the summer: Guest post: Professor R.D. Charon on the vicissitudes of a career in Law

The gurus may well be right.  Certainly, I have come across lawyers who appear to know very little law – and that has not hindered their progress through the ranks. Commercial providers are rushing out new practice focused law degrees as you read this Postcard.

Some time ago, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, jazz loving Kenneth Clarke came up with the idea – a possible bit of appeasement and red-meat for the shield munchers on the Tory back benches – that courts would sit at weekends to speed up criminal justice.   I am delighted to be able to report reports in the press that criminal defence lawyers – who are not to be paid any extra for weekend duty – are wrecking these half thought out plans.  Again, RollonFriday has their version of the story.. and you may as well have a laugh with the ROF version than read the worthy stuff in the mainstream press.

And it would be remiss for me not to highlight some good stories from legal ‘tabloid’ Legal Cheek – which I  enjoy reading when they pick up on the bizarre stuff:

3% of my twitter followers are fake.  About 25% appear to be inactive – and the rest are defined as ‘good’ by a twitter analytics service I tried.

It appears that some tweeters have been buying twitter followers (a story well covered by Legal Cheek) and now this remarkable scoop…

EXCLUSIVE: 4 Breams Buildings Deletes Twitter Account After It Emerges That Most Of Its 15,000 Followers Were Fake

Back in March 2009 I interviewed a director of a company offering ‘bespoke essays’ for law students.  I am not impressed by companies offering essay writing services to law students.  I regard it as cheating.  Most academics do. There are two sides to every story.  Sometimes one side is not that attractive. Here is the podcast I did:  Charon Reports: Cheating or taking professional advice?

Legal Cheek reports: Meet The Solicitors With Second Jobs As Writers For Essay Companies That Target Students

The judges have been banned from blogging.  The #twitterjoketrial judgment established a marker for common sense.  I did a podcast with John Cooper QC who led the team before the court in the final appeal: Lawcast 218: John Cooper QC on the #Twitterjoketrial judgment

But… it seems that the days of menacing and daft tweets are not over..by any means.  Legal Cheek reports: ‘If @TheDappy Gets Sent Down Today Then We’re All Gonna Go To Guildford Crown Court & Kill The Judge’

One cannot but marvel….?

But… there is some serious legal news about… and I shall return over the weekend to have a crack at looking at some of it… possibly.

Until then – have a good weekend

Best, as always,



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Lawcast 221:  Simon Harper on the innovative firm  “Lawyers on Demand” and the changing face of legal services

Today I am talking to Simon Harper (pictured right) who co-founded Lawyers on Demand with Jonathan Brenner

Simon spent 8 years as an equity partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner where he spent time leading the TMT group and advising clients on the disruptive impact of the internet. In 2012 he stepped down from the BLP partnership to focus on developing and leading LOD. Always a fan of creative legal solutions, he founded LOD after thinking of the idea whilst lying on a beach.

An extract from the LOD website explains the concept:

Lawyers On Demand (LOD) is a new and innovative legal resourcing solution. It unites the possibilities offered by new ways of working to adapt the traditional legal model for the future.

Perhaps the most succinct description of LOD came from The Lawyer’s write-up of their 2010 Awards: “Lawyers On Demand is the way things are going”.

LOD was born out of changes in the way people worked. Users of legal services were keen to find a way to make their budgets stretch further, to get ‘more for less’. Many lawyers were looking for greater flexibility and autonomy without sacrificing quality of work and technology was making it easier to connect without always physically being in the same place.

From this, LOD emerged. The idea was to pair talented, freelance lawyers with clients looking for an alternative resource, all with the know-how support of a leading international law firm. It began as a pilot in 2007 with eight great lawyers. Since then it has increased ten-fold in size, won multiple awards and gained a fantastic list of clients.

In 2008 LOD won the Client Service Award at the FT Innovative Lawyer Awards. Further, in 2010 Berwin Leighton Paisner won the awards for Law Firm of the Year from both The Lawyer and the British Legal Awards, each of which prominently cited LOD as a key factor in the win.

LOD website

Listen to the podcast (40 mins)

In Firefox the mp3 file takes time to load, depending on your settings.  In Chrome – the load is quick.


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

With thanks to the Law Society for sponsoring the  Law Review Weekly  and my Lawcasts

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The August silly season ends soon… thankfully..back with podcasts and Law Weekly Reviews soon.

Enjoy the Paralympics – that IS a testament to courage and human endeavour.

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Lawcast 220

Today I am talking with Professor Gary Slapper, Director of NYU.  We have a fairly broad discussion on the ‘Right to die’, Assange, the Simon Walsh pornography trial, Pussy Riot and the publication of the Prince Harry photos

Listen to the podcast (48 mins)


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

Update: Looking for the right awards company for your upcoming company awards ceremony? EC Awards are the specialists responsible for some very grand and tasteful  awards, such as crystal, acrylic and glass awards – all ideal for a more high-brow awards ceremony.

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Bonfire of The Vanities II (2012)
A Cecil B De Charon film

Cecil B de Charon’s Battersea-on-Thames ‘homage’  to Tom Wolfe’s original satire stars Julian Assange as  the “master of the universe,” a fearless exposer of secrets and truthtalkstopowerista, who leaks millions of documents while enjoying the good life in the Ecuador Embassy in Knightsbridge, London. Glenn Greenwald, Guardianistacomlately, and Assange are living the dream on twitter when they take a wrong turn and find themselves facing the omnipotence of ……the David Allen Green, Mythbuster.

What could possibly go wrong?…

And.. on that note… have a most excellent bank holiday weekend…I’ll be back with a Postcard over the weekend… if I am not rendited or denounced.  Adios, for now..as we say in Quito…¡Ay, caramba!



The New Statesman must correct its error over Assange and extradition
Mr Greenwald has written – in The Guardian: “The claim that Swedish courts, not government, have final say on extradition is a crucial mistake that distorts the Assange case”

David Allen Green will respond, he tweeted, after the Bank holiday.  David Allen Green’s analysis in The NS.

The story continues…..as I observed above.. what could possibly go wrong?

And then… there was this tweet from a Swedish academic:

Mark Klamberg@Klamberg

@ggreenwald is only qouting half of my statement and distorts my conclusion http://gu.com/p/3ax4a/tw  @davidallengreen



@Klamberg @DavidAllenGreen You wrote the ***opposite of what he wrote ON THAT TOPIC – you need to admit that, or retract it


Followed by…


And @ggreenwald is now ordering the actual source on which he relied to retract his dissent. Priceless.


@sunny_hundal yes, in parts both DAG and GG are right, but also that both are wrong, at least in some parts of their texts

Greenwald paints himself into a corner (?)


I marvel….

And.. a useful piece: How do you write about foreign legal systems – The Guardian style guide

And… truly.. my final tweet to all of the above on this:


. @ggreenwald @DavidAllenGreen @Klamberg You all have useful things to say… keep it friendly ? Won’t hurt 😀

I hesitate, in the present climate on twitter,  to mention this – but Carl Gardner did a podcast with me some days before David Allen Green did his New Statesman piece and we drew on a number of sources in the discussion. We even talked about ‘myth busting’.  I also thought an article by Owen Jones in The Independent  was rather good – and referred to it in the podcast.

Carl Gardner  has written extensively about the Assange issue for some time – which is why I wanted to do a podcast with him.



Mr Greenwald did suggest on twitter that I was being homophobic.  That is not the case, nor was it my intention  – I merely took the original film poster as a base – intending that a mild ‘parody’ might lighten the dark mood on twitter which the Assange issue has aroused.  The arguments are important – the unpleasantness between ‘factions’ is unfortunate.


Update: LAN2LAN is a British company that comprehensively specialises a plethora of useful and necessary services, including: wireless network solutions, data recovery, wireless security systems and a whole host of IT support services. We can help anyone in need.

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Good with Chambers

Good with Chambers

Bar Marketing announced today that it has played an important part in 14 Gray’s Inn Square successful bid to provide family services for a well-known high street banking / retailer ABS.  Specialising in PowerPoint presentations and ABS specific content, Bar Marketing provided vendor specific pitches and literature creation.

Geoff Carr of 14 Gray’s Inn Square commented “Bar Marketing assisted Chambers with our pitch for Family Advocacy work, helping to produce the PowerPoint presentations and follow-up documentation which they found to be incredibly cogent, clear and relevant. Personally speaking I found Bar Marketing an excellent company and will have no hesitation in using them again and would wholeheartedly recommend them to all Chambers”

Catherine Bailey, Bar Marketing comments “Chambers need to consider all options open to them in this evolving market.  They need to be mindful of their approach to corporates, in particular the language used and the way in which values are presented.  We were delighted to be invited to help 14 Gray’s Inn Square with their bid, we enjoyed working with them to produce the literature and presentations and we are thrilled with their success”.

For further information on the newsletter service visit www.barmarketing.co.uk, call 0771 434 5072 or email info@barmarketing.co.uk


[PS… always happy to help those who help me provide free materials to students!
Charon ]


Update: There are many reasons why payrolling outsourcing to Moorepay is a great move for any business –  not least of which is the manpower and expenditure saved by putting your  payroll issues (as well as HR software) in the hands of true experts.

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The Assanganistas head orf to their rapture….. as I like to imagine them so doing… above.

On a day when Wikileaks denounced lawyer and journalist David Allen Green (A lawyer I have podcasted with many times)  – for his correct analysis on the #Assange issue… I marvel.  Beyond parody…beyond satire.

I do enjoy the darker side of life and value humour, above all,  as a means of getting a point across.  Private Eye, Peter Cook and Python were formative influences in my young life.  I do not, however, blame them for my many shortcomings in life. But I do thank them for the many laughs they have provided – and continue to provide.

Assange, for me, has turned out to be a rather disappointing icon for free speech.  The Assanganistas will not listen to reason.  They are encouraged to read a bit of UK law  on twitter by law bloggers and many others  and respond by doing a Denial of Service attack on the UK Supreme Court website. Right on dudes! Way to go!

I am always prepared to tease my fellow bloggers ( I plan to continue doing so) – but I am pleased they do what they do. Unlike the Assanganistas – they don’t mind being teased – even if they have been denounced by Wikileaks.

In the meantime… for lawyers…at least those who did manage to shoehorn in a bit of Jurisprudence into their busy social lives while studying law at university..  my final thoughts on the day…

Modern hip lawyer: I’ll have a Bingham Machiato, Fuller than usual..easy on the Mill..was on the Raz last night… but Dworkin today..OK Yah?!

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