Archive for October, 2012

Photograph by Stephen Punter – an enthusiastic supporter of law (and my tour) who has given me permission to publish his remarkable black and white photographs in my tour reports.  Website Stephen Punter Photography – he  is also on twitter @stephenpunter

The regulation of lawyers in this country is vital to the maintenance of honest and best practice.  Solicitors are represented by The Law Society and regulated by The Solicitors Regulation Authority.  Barristers are represented by The Bar Council and regulated by The Bar Standards Board.  I plan to deal with the regulation of barristers in a separate lawcast later in the tour; similarly Charted Legal Executives, the third principal branch of the profession.  The regulators are regulated by The Legal Services Board and dissatisfied clients can take their claims to The Legal Ombudsman.  The profession is heavily – but not  necessarily – well or fairly regulated.

Today I talk with Andrew Hopper QC about the regulatory framework for solicitors, the Code of Practice, the strengths and shortcomings of the Solicitors regulation Authority and the need for legal education to be improved with good training for prospective lawyers in ethics – the morals and not simply the rules.

Listen to the podcast

Loads immediately in Chrome.  Firefox takes a while to load the whole file before streaming.  I will be opening a new iTunes account shortly to enable you to subscribe (free) in iTunes.


Andrew Hopper is a solicitor and Queen’s Counsel; still a rare combination. He was admitted a solicitor in 1972 and from 1988 has practised on his own account in a niche practice concerned with professional regulation and discipline, principally in relation to solicitors. He was appointed Silk in 2001, the fifth solicitor Silk to be appointed and the first outside the City of London. He is regarded by many as the foremost expert of his generation on the law and practice related to the regulation of solicitors.

  • He has written, with Gregory Treverton-Jones QC, the Solicitor’s Handbook 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, an intended annual publication proposed to be the natural successor to the Guide, but containing in one place all the professional rules to which solicitors are subject, as well as guidance about the regulatory system generally, written with the benefit of over thirty years experience of this area of law. With the same co-author he has written a guide to Outcomes-Focused Regulation as adopted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in October 2011. Unlike the Guide however the Handbook is written from the perspective of the practitioner, rather than that of the regulator.
  • He is joint General Editor of Cordery on Legal Services, the principal authority on the law and practice affecting the regulation of the supply of legal services, including all aspects of the professional obligations and liabilities of solicitors and the other legal professions, and he is a consulting editor to the fifth edition of Halsbury’s Laws of England on the subject of solicitors
  • Website


Follow the Charon QC UK Tour on the new blog – register for emails, if you would like to be notified about new reports and you may download the podcasts through iTunes.  I am using the blogroll facility on the left hand side to set all reports out in chronological order.

Charon QC UK Law Tour blog


Need IT support for your business or law film? TSG is one of the top UK IT support companies; providing various services for its clients – including IT support, sage software assistance, CRM software and Sharepoint – to name only a little of what TSG has to offer. Available all over the UK, TSG can boast IT support in the following cities: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham, and Manchester.


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We share our common law heritage with many former colonies, territories, protectorates and dependencies  throughout the world and Commonwealth

Antonin Pribetic,  a Canadian lawyer and enthusiastic blogger (The Trial Warrior blog) considers a rather important difference of opinion from the justices of the UKSC and SCC and has given  permission to me to publish his recent blog post.  (infra)

It is an important decision – one which illustrates the very real importance of the ‘unelected judiciary’ in the development of our law – a topic which I shall be examining in some detail during the tour.

See the full report on the UK Tour blog

Have you been thinking about making your company a little greener? DS Smith Recycling is a fantastic recycling and waste management company that specialises in smart, intelligent solutions to companies wastes and recycling requirements. Take a look on their site for more info, or call them on 0800 7 831 831.

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The UK Tour begins now…. with some background which I hope will be of interest to non-lawyers.  Professor Gary Slapper has kindly provided the first report and Chapter 1 of his book:  How Law Works

Report #1: The Law is all pervasive

Have you need of a forensic accountant company? Frenkels Forensics might be what you’re looking for as they specialise in investigating and presenting various financial data in a way that is easy to understand and useful in any business valuation, commercial dispute, personal injury claim or contractual disputes (to name only a small fraction or Frenkels Forensics’ useful applications).

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Litigation Victory for the Royal Shakespeare Company
By Osborne Clarke

The recent decision of the General Court of Justice of the European Union confirmed victory for the Royal Shakespeare Company after its lengthy battle with Austrian company Jackson International Trading Co. In 2003 Jackson registered a community trade mark which was later subject to examination due to an application for a declaration of invalidity submitted by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Under Art. 8(5) various conditions must be met in order for a trade mark to invalidate a later one. Firstly, the trade mark in question must be registered and both marks must be identical or similar. The mark must have reputation within the EU or member state depending on whether it’s a community or national trade mark. Finally, the court must conclude that if the second mark were to be used without due cause there would be a risk that there would be an unfair advantage or that it may be detrimental to the distinctive nature of the initial trade mark.

There were numerous grounds cited on the application for a declaration of invalidity including the submission that the CTM would deceive the public, the use of the CTM would be damaging to the reputation of the Royal Shakespeare Company and that the law in England and Wales would prohibit use of the second mark under the laws of passing off.

Although the Cancellation Division originally rejected the application, the Royal Shakespeare Company went on to appeal to the Board of Appeal of OHIM who found in their favour and declared in the CTM to be invalid. Jackson based their subsequent appeal on the claims that the Royal Shakespeare Company’s reputation did not extend to the public at large, that the two marks were not similar enough to cause confusion and that there was no ‘reasonable circumstance or evidence’ to suggest that the use of the second mark would take unfair advantage or be damaging to the reputation of the RSC. However, the General Court rejected this argument, confirmed the decision of the Board of Appeal of OHIM and stated that Jackson had not provided evidence of due cause and thus there was no justification for using the CTM. The Royal Shakespeare Company have, therefore, been successful in their attempt to have the CTM declared invalid, protected their existing trademarks and their reputation throughout the European Union.

Osborne Clarke is an international law firm with a team of highly rated litigators with strong sector expertise. For more information please visit Osborne Clarke Litigation

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The ‘Jag Rouge’ or Charonmobile….

My tour of UK to find out what lawyers and others think about our legal system begins on Thursday 1st November.
The first report will be in the form of a podcast with Andrew Hopper QC on the regulatory framework.  Andrew Hopper QC will share his experience and shine a bright light on the workings of the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

I plan to do five podcasts with lawyers in London to start the tour and then gradually move from the South-East through the country.  A schedule will be published soon for the first section of the tour through to March 2013. The tour will end back in London when I plan to do a detailed survey of legal practice in London and The City.

Together with the many lawyers who have kindly agreed to contribute by acting as ‘roving reporters’ I shall start publishing background text, analysis and comment – an important feature of the entire project.  The tour will take at least a year to complete.

All reports will be published simultaneously on my Charon QC blog  and on the new Charon UK Tour blog (The latter will enable me to archive the reports and order them for easy reading and access.)

AND Thanks.. to all the sponsors who have helped to make this project a reality!

For those interested in kit and gizmos…

The Vehicle: Jaguar 3.2 Sport (1995)  – remarkably cheap  (£1050 including Satnav fitting and the car is in first rate condition.) It would appear that people just don’t want old cars. The dealer told me he was selling Jags of this age and quality for £3k+ a year or so back.  My good fortune!  The car does about 30mpg – roughly the same as a camper van.

Recording equipment for Podcasts:  Zoom H4N Recorder/microphone, Sennheiser wireless clip microphone for use for podcasts and televised sections,  I am purchasing a fourth hypercardidoid microphone next week and will update the post when I have chosen the microphone and rig I purchase.

Televised recordings:  Sony Z1 HD and a Sony Handycam HDR-CX190

Camera: Nikon Digital SLR D3100

Computer:  iMac 24″, Macbook Air and iPad 3
So.. the tour is about to begin.  I am looking forward to it and I very much hope you will take part by commenting – or, meeting me as I travel the length and breadth of our sceptred isle!

Jon Harman – has designed an advert for the tour – please do click – he has done great work!

Van Rouge from Jon Harman on Vimeo.



Viking Direct UK is one of the top UK office supplies companies. You can order everything for your business online – choosing from their selection of ink cartridges, photo paper, USB memory sticks, printers, box files and even office furniture. Their massive selection of products make them perfect for domestic customers looking for some very specific, as well as for offices who need a reliable source for all their stationary and office supplies needs.

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Following the significant press coverage of privacy and data security, international law firm Osborne Clarke commissioned an Ipsos MORI survey of over 5,000 adults across Europe to better understand their views on usage of their personal data.

Key findings have been illustrated in the below infographic. You can also download an executive summary of their market insight report here.

Sue Gold, Privacy and Data Protection Partner at Osborne Clarke says: “There are major discrepancies across Europe as to how consumers’ view the use of their data. Corporates need to consider on a country-by-country basis how their products and services are going to be perceived.”



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A recent YouGov survey conducted on behalf of Duncan Lawrie Private Bank has revealed a groundswell of discontent amongst High Net Worth Individuals with a majority of respondents (70%) confirming that they have less faith in the UK banking industry than they had a year ago.


Duncan Lawrie hopes that its survey will once again highlight the appeal of an independent private bank that still prides itself on traditional values and service with long term client satisfaction taking priority over the sort of sales target culture that appears to have embedded itself in high street banking.

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The Trial of Charon QC ! 21st November

The Trial Of CharonQC from Jon Harman on Vimeo.



Gentoo Group takes a holistic approach to property development – and we do this by taking care of the properties, the planet and the people.  Please take a look at us if you’re trying to find a home, or call us – we’re more than happy to help.

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The last two weeks of planning since my move to Kent have been both enjoyable and productive.

The UK Tour will begin in about ten days time with a series of podcasts with lawyers based in London. As with Phileas Fogg, I plan to start the tour in London and end it in London in 12+ months time. I will slowly work my way from the South-east, across to the West, into Wales and back over towards Oxford and East Anglia by March 2013 – ready for the Spring and Summer journey north.

My first podcast in the UK Tour series will be with Andrew Hopper QC (pictured). Andrew Hopper is a solicitor and Queen’s Counsel; still a rare combination.  He is also an expert in the regulatory and disciplinary field and we will be shining a bright light on The Solicitors Regulation Authority and The Bar Standards Board’s recent activities.  I anticipate that this podcast will be recorded at the end of October.

Collaboration is a useful concept…

And here is a perfect example of collaboration from Jon Harman – who has designed an advert for the tour – please do click – he has done great work!

Van Rouge from Jon Harman on Vimeo.

I am very keen that this analysis of law, practice and profession be thorough, analytical and informative – with the lighter side of law thrown in.

I am delighted to report that a number of fellow academics, practising lawyers, bloggers and tweeters have agreed to act as ‘roving reporters’ and participate by podcasting and contributing analysis and comment. They are all very experienced in their field and I very much hope you will take a look at their blogs (many of them blog)

I would like to thank, specifically:  Jez (@Badearth) for his expertise in advising me on the technical requirements of recording high quality face to face podcasts and Jon Harman (@Colmmu )for his invaluable assistance in sourcing broadcast standard television equipment, providing technical advice and for his excellent ideas.


Claims Compensation Firm in UK


The ‘Roving Reporters’…

In no particular order:

Nicky Richmond:  Joint managing partner, Brecher

Nicky is a property and property finance lawyer with over 25 years experience in the field.  She worked for many years in a prominent City firm, specialising in property finance and development transactions, and now regularly manages the firm’s largest and most active developer clients, whilst retaining and expertise in property finance.

She has a reputation for giving pragmatic, straightforward commercial advice and is particularly noted for her skill in managing large transactions where her organisational skills, breadth of knowledge and attention to detail is much appreciated by her clients. In common with the other partners of the firm, Nicky actively cultivates an extensive range of contracts, particularly in the property finance and development sectors. Nicky is recommended in Legal 500 as someone who “articulates complex legal issues clearly”.

Nicky regularly writes for the property and legal press and has been published in the Daily Telegraph and the Financial Times as well as blogging regularly for Estates Gazette and The Lawyer. She is also the Lawyer’s regular restaurant reviewer and has her own food blog on http://nicolarichmond.wordpress.com/. Her legal commentaries are found at http://saysitstraight.wordpress.com/ You can follow also her on Twitter @saysitstraight and @thefoodjudge

Firm: Brecher
Blog: The Food Judge
Twitter: @saysitstraight

John Cooper QC: 25 Bedford Row, London
Leading in serious crime including murder, serious violence, drug trafficking, terrorism, fraud, human rights and media. Regulatory work including fraud and sports regulation. Inquest work including Judicial Review. John Cooper QC has been named by The Times as one of the Top 100 Influential Lawyers of 2012 in the UK. He is also visiting Professor of Law at Cardiff University and a Master of the Bench at Middle Temple.

John Cooper was lead counsel in the successful Twitter Joke Trial appeal

Chambers : 25 Bedford Row
Blog: Shadow of the Noose
Twitter: @John_Cooper_QC

John Bolch: Editor of FamilyLore.co.uk
Former practising solicitor and specialist in family law matters, John is now one of the leading bloggers in the field of family law.

Blog: FamilyLore
Twitter: @johnbolch

Carl Gardner: Head of Legal blog
Barrister, former government lawyer and author of the Head of Legal blog, Carl is a well known commentator on constitutional law and human rights issues – and a regular podcastee in my various series of podcasts.

Blog: Head of Legal blog
Twitter: @carlgardner

David Allen Green: Solicitor
Solicitor and legal correspondent of The New Statesman, David is best known for his Jack of Kent blog and as the solicitor leading the Twitter Joke Trial

Firm: Preiskel
Blog: Jack of Kent
Twitter: @davidallengreen

Nichola Higgins: Barrister at Doughty Street Chambers
Former Chair of the YBC.  Ranked as an ‘up and coming’ junior by Chambers and Partners, and chosen by Legal Week as one of the rising stars of the junior Bar, Nichola is a specialist criminal advocate regularly instructed in high profile and complex matters. Nichola has a significant experience of white collar crime with a particular expertise in serious fraud and corruption. She lectures regularly on the Bribery Act 2010 and has co-authored two articles on the subject (Archbold News June 2010 edition and July 2011). She has equally wide experience of cases involving serious violence, organised crime and extradition.

Chambers: Doughty Street Chambers
Twitter: @nichiggins

Jerry Hayes: Barrister, Argent Chambers
A former member of parliament from 1983-1997 who specialises in leading high profile murder, drugs, rape and fraud cases.

Chambers: Argent Chambers
Twitter: @jerryhayes1

Francis FitzGibbon QC: Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers
Francis undertakes all kinds of criminal cases including homicide, fraud, money-laundering, and drug trafficking. He has a particular interest in medical and scientific cases including Otway 2011, Livesey 2010 and White 2009 (complex medical & causation issues). Fraud work includes VAT (eg Hart 2011), and Lynch 2007 (the Kieran Fallon horserace fixing fraud). He contributed to A Practitioner’s Guide to the Law and Regulation of Financial Crime(Sweet & Maxwell 2011). Current work includes a 1980s ‘cold case’ involving serious child sex offences, and a police corruption/drugs wholesaling case. He advises on appeals and miscarriage of justice cases.

He sits as an Immigration Judge and has deepened his knowledge of Human Rights, asylum law, and the position of refugees and deportees in this country and abroad.

Chambers: Doughty Street Chambers
Blog: Nothing Like The Sun
Twitter: @ffgqc

Charles Christian: Editor, Legal Technology Insider
Charles Christian is a former practising barrister turned independent commentator and journalist who has been writing, reporting and advising on developments in law office technology and online legal services for over 30 years. He was described in one national magazine as “one of the top ten key individuals who act as movers and shakers in the legal IT world today… There is no doubt that Legal Technology Insider newsletter was a brainwave and has been a tremendous influence throughout the legal IT world for many years.”

Blog: Legal Technology Insider
Twitter: @ChristianUncut

Tim Kevan: Barrister and author of The Babybarista books.
Tim Kevan is the author of The BabyBarista Files, a series of novels published by Bloomsbury. Law and Disorder (2009).He practised as a barrister in London for ten years during which time he wrote or co-wrote ten law books, appeared regularly on TV and radio and co-founded two legal businesses, one of which has since been sold to Thomson Reuters. He lives by the sea in Braunton in North Devon, is married to Louise and enjoys surfing and walking his dog Jack. See also The Barrister Blog.

Blog: Tim Kevan
Blog: Babybarista
Twitter: @babybarista

Adam Wagner: Barrister, 1 Crown Office Row
Adam is ranked as a ‘leader in his field’ for his civil liberties and human rights work in Chambers and Partners 2013 and as a ‘leading junior’ for healthcare law in The Legal 500  He has been appointed to the Attorney General’s ‘C’ panel of counsel to the Crown and is a founding editor of the UK Human Rights Blog, for which he was longlisted for the 2011 Orwell Prize.

Chambers: 1 Crown Office Row
Blog: UK Human Rights blog
Twitter: @AdamWagner1

Giles Peaker: Solicitor, Anthony Gold

One of the most impressive housing solicitors working today” – The Legal 500

Giles works in residential and commercial property dispute resolution. He specialises in housing and public law, dealing with all kinds of housing disputes. He brings claims against landlords who have not carried out repairs, defends possession claims and challenges decisions in homelessness cases. Giles is particularly interested in claims for disrepair and judicial review in housing matters. He also advises clients on leasehold disputes concerning residential and commercial property.

Firm: Anthony Gold
Blog: Nearly Legal
Twitter: @nearlylegal

Jeremy Hopkins, Riverview Law
Formerly a barristers clerk at 3VB, Jeremy is Riverview Law’s Director of Operations and as such, is involved in just about every aspect of the business. In a nutshell, his overall role is managing the entire customer experience and the process by which it is delivered.

Firm: Riverview Law
Blog: Clerkingwell
Twitter: @jezhop

Professor Richard Moorhead:  Professor, University College London 
Richard Moorhead took up the first Chair in Law and Professional Ethics at University College London, Faculty of Laws, in 2012. He is also the Director of the Centre for Ethics and Law. He work focuses on lawyers’ ethics, professional competence, the regulation of legal services and access to justice. Often employing empirical methods, he has conducted a wide range of studies, including for the Ministry of Justice, Legal Services Board, Civil Justice Council, and the Law Society.

He has been a member of the Civil Justice Council and the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Legal Ethics, the Legal Services Consultative Panel. He has also served as Specialist Adviser to what is now the Justice Select Committee. He sits on the editorial board of the International Journal of the Legal profession and the advisory board of the Journal and Law and Society.

He is also a keen blogger (http://lawyerwatch.wordpress.com) and writes an occasional column for the Guardian newspaper’s law website as well as featuring regularly in the legal press and mainstream media. You can follow him on twitter @richardmoorhead

Professor Gary Slapper: Director NYU
Gary Slapper is Global Professor at New York University, and Director of NYU in London. He is a door tenant at the London barrister chambers 36 Bedford Row, a Law columnist for The Times, and a legal consultant to BBC television documentary and drama. He read Law as an undergraduate and postgraduate at University College London, and gained his doctorate from the LSE. His recent books include The English Legal System (13th edition, 2012), English Law, (3rd edition, 2009), How the Law Works (2010), Weird Cases (2010), and More Weird Cases (2011). He is an Opinion writer for The Journal of Criminal Law, and a co-founder and editor of The Journal of Commonwealth Law and Legal Education.

Twitter: @garyslapper

Brian Inkster: Solicitor, Inksters
Brian is the founder of Inksters.  He is a Solicitor and Notary Public.

Brian obtained the distinction of being named Solicitor of the Year at the Law Awards of Scotland in 2006. His long running, ground breaking, legal case involving the question of a servitude right to park, Moncrieff -v- Jamieson, came to a successful conclusion for our clients in the House of Lords in 2007.  Brian has lectured on the case for the Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Strathclyde and is a visiting lecturer on the Law of Servitudes at the University of Strathclyde.

Firm: Inksters
Blog: The Time Blawg
Twitter: @BrianInkster

James Vine: Barrister, 5SAH
James Vine is a specialist in The Bribery Act with a broad based criminal practice. Involving  the preparation of many  Seminars to Solicitors and Corporate clients of Chambers in their own specialist areas, including the RICS, SME’s and Forensic Accountants, as well as advising on the design and implementation of bespoke in house procedures to prevent Bribery in anticipation of the  introduction of the offence of Failing to Prevent Bribery.

Chambers: 5SAH
Blog: The Bung Blog
Twitter: @JamesPSVine

Paul Gilbert: Chief Executive Officer, Wise Counsel
Paul leads many of LBC’s significant projects and lectures widely at events and conferences in the UK, Europe, the U.S. and South Africa. Themes include legal services strategy, skills development and the changing face of the legal profession.

Paul qualified as a UK solicitor in 1987 and for much of his career he was an in-house lawyer. Paul was the General Counsel in two major UK financial services companies and held positions as chairman and chief executive of the national in-house lawyers Commerce & Industry Group. For six years Paul was a Council Member of the England & Wales Law Society and was elected to the Society’s Main Management Board. He is currently Vice-Chairman and a Trustee of LawWorks, the UK’s national pro bono charity. Paul is a successful author with four books and over ninety published articles in the UK, Europe, the U.S. and South Africa.

Firm: Wise Counsel
Twitter: @LBCWiseCounsel

Clare Rodway: Chief Executive, Kysen PR
Clare explains her work and role here.  Clare is also author of the excellent The Conversation blog.

Firm: Kysen PR
Blog: The Conversation
Twitter: @ClareRodway

Jon Harman: Director of The College of Law Multi-media Unit
Adventurer in media, law, technology & education.

Firm: The College of Law
Blog: Digital Adventures
Twitter: @colmmu


Kim Evans: The Justice Gap
I joined the Metropolitan Police in 1979 working firstly as a beat officer and then becoming a Detective. As a Detective I was attached on secondment to the Flying Squad for the Brinks Mat bullion enquiry, and posted to the Technical Support Unit – a unit supporting squads such as the Flying Squad and Regional Crime Squads with highly specialised technical surveillance

I was attached to many murder enquiries, receiving a Commisioner’s Commendation for my part in a complex murder enquiry leading to the conviction of a man who murdered the woman he was accused of raping, to prevent her from giving evidence.
On leaving the Police I qualified as a police station representative, and worked for 10 years representing clients ranging from youths, the vulnerable and mentally unwell, through to those accused of murder, rape and robbery. I was involved in the high profile assisted suicide case of Kay Gilderdale, who was acquitted of attempting to murder her desperately ill daughter Lynette, a case which I saw through from the police station to the Crown Court.
My current role as commissioning editor of the Justice Gap requires me to keep a close eye on the legal zeitgeist. The Justice Gap is aimed at the general public, the law as it affects them, and how they access it. We have a particular interest in miscarriages of justice.

Overseas correspondents….

And to provide a comparative insight and add to the depth of the project – three good friends of mine  and lawyers from across the pond

USA – Dan Hull, Senior partner Hull McGuire PC Attorneys and author of the What about Clients? blog He is also an enthusiastic tweeter.

Blog: Whataboutclients? 
Twitter: @whataboutparis

USA – Colin Samuels: Author of the Infamy or Praise blog – a fine law blogger.  We have collaborated on a few writing projects including the social satire West London Man and a more serious analysis Unsilent Partners. 

Blog: Infamy or Praise
Twitter: @colinsamuels

Canada:  Antonin Pribetic – Litigation Counsel, Steinberg Morton Hope & Israel LLP and author of  The Trial Warrior Blog.  Twitter: @APribetic

AND Finally…

A man who likes to chuck metaphorical bog rolls onto the legal pitch… me… or rather my creation…Charon QC – a fiction, a construct of my fevered imagination.

I’m not terribly interested in me – I am far more interested in the people I will talk to, lawyers and non lawyers, on this year (+) long tour of the UK to discover what our legal system is and how people view it.

All you need to know about Mike SP is in the Charon QC ‘About’ section.  I shall continue to be writing my Charon QC blog, of course.  In fact, all tour posts will be posted on the Charon QC blog and on Charon’s Van Rouge UK Tour blog.  The pic shows me wearing an absurd tache.  I am without tache for the moment… but who knows.. the tache may have to make a ‘guest appearance’ at some point during the year.

Twitter: @charonqc


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Back later or on the morrow with a very detailed Report on The Jag Rouge UK Tour…. and news of a Mk7 kevlar rouge painted helmet and flak jacket so I am fully protected when I meet the great British public for voxpops on what they think of our legal system!

The Spectator has a version of the story – it would appear that Virgin (who one is sure were not in any way influenced by future Government decisions on the West Coast Railway line) have another version

Spectator:  Class War: George Osborne caught in first class with the wrong train ticket

BBC: George Osborne in ‘first class ticket row’

#GreatTrainsnobbery anyone? 


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What’s the law when it comes to having an Asset Protection Trust?
Ross Stevens

Asset protection trusts enable people to protect specific assets and ensure they are used or maintained according to their wishes. Although the person creating the trust gives up legal ownership of the asset(s) once the trust is created, they are able to set out guidelines for trustees to manage the trust on its creation, thus ensuring that their intentions are carried out and the trust is managed as they would like.

Trusts can be created for any number of reasons; many people create a trust because they want to protect the asset(s), either for themselves in future years or for other beneficiaries. In addition to protecting the asset from unwanted or unexpected claims, trusts help ensure that the asset is managed appropriately on behalf of beneficiaries who are unable to manage the asset independently, such as children and minors. As they are unable to control the asset without assistance, a trust ensures they benefit from the asset in accordance with the donorís wishes and that it is managed effectively. In many instances, the trust will be dissolved once the individual reaches an age specified by the original donor, at which point the beneficiary becomes the legal owner of the asset.

Asset protection trusts can also be created when the donor wishes to ensure it is managed on their behalf should they become unable to manage the asset effectively themselves. People often use this form of trust to safeguard their future and ensure funds will be available to them in upcoming years. Of course, many simply require a trust to protect the asset from claims or creditors. This is not always successful though as courts will often ignore a trust if it has been created with the sole intention of avoiding a creditor.

When creating a trust, the donor will appoint a trustee or team of trustees ñ family, friends, professionals or even specialist corporations – who will be responsible for maintaining it.   The complexity of creating a trust means it is advisable for anyone considering one to seek financial and legal advice. Donors often have very specific wishes and instructions that trustees must follow,  which therefore need to be thoroughly documented and understood by the trustees in order to avoid future uncertainty and potential mismanagement.

Asset protection trusts can be split into two broad categories; those that are subject to reversal or change and those that are irrevocable. If the trust is revocable the donor could regain legal ownership of the asset at some point. However, if the trust is irrevocable they are severing their legal ownership of the asset permanently.

Due to the potential impact on the donor, trustee(s), beneficiaries and the asset itself, it is generally recommended that advice is sought before creating an asset protection trust. Trust creation and maintenance experts can ensure the donor’s wishes are documented appropriately and that the trust is created and maintained in a tax efficient manner whilst providing advice regarding tax and/or accounting liabilities for those involved. Although they may appear complex, when created and maintained effectively, trusts do provide a viable option for people wishing to protect and control their assets, and allow people to leave a lasting legacy that benefits future generations.


Solicitors in Kent

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Professor David Rosen write: 2020: Law and Order: A hypothetical dystopia

Some of what I am about to write, is fiction, some is theory, and some may become a reality. Can you pick out what is fact, and what is fiction for the future?

Son, let me tell you about the dearth of one of the last great British institutions: the British Police Force.

The Police Service we have today is not how it was, with H5, and Tescburys Police Steward service, and Martial Law imposed by the United States Army European Sector in England.

Many years ago, a man called Sir Robert Peel established the Metropolitan Police Force in London. Those men of honesty and integrity, became known in London as Bobbies.

They were members of the public, for the public, to give weight and to uphold those duties to be followed by all citizens, in the interests of community, welfare and existence.

10 Peelian principles were established, but over time, and a desire by a variety of Governments to treat the Police without humanity as cannon fodder, and cut costs, treating them as a luxury service, rather than as a necessity, their role changed to tourist attractions most prevalent ceremonially during the Olympic Games 2012 and the Queen’s Jubilee. They became fewer in number, as the Multi-National food chains saw a gap in the market to supply stewarding services in place of the Police.

At first, there was much sympathy with the public. Then it began…the changes were subtle at first. Crimes that were crimes, became non-crimes.

Those crimes had to be ignored by the Police because they were no longer relevant to job-security, prospects of promotion, or Government statistics to illustrate to the ignorant public that crime went down. Son, crime levels never went down. Definitions of statistics changed and figures were manipulated to show a decrease, when the very opposite was true.

Government statistics forced Police forces to fit in with statistics required by the Home Office. It started with parking offences, powers of which were handed over to traffic wardens. Local Councils saw a way of making fast money, by imposing fines on offenders who could not park elsewhere but in restricted areas designed to do nothing other than to catch those wishing to park. Speed cameras generated major revenue for Councils.

Then, burglary became a civil offence in line with trespass and nuisance, and it became a non-offence, as did shop-lifting, and mugging. With the imposition of National Identity Cards, and ubiquitous CCTV, offenders could be located and tracked without the need for Police. That was the theory, anyway.

Drugs categories became degraded to non-offences, whilst smoking was banned entirely.

Alcohol age-limits were lowered on the basis that drink and drugs mellowed Society. Systems were put in place to inject bromide and female hormones into the water supply. People became less-aggressive.

The duty of a Bobby became more defined into specific roles for certain Police Officers. As the World evolved and became more dependant upon Internet buying and selling, the high streets died, and in their place lay a wasteland of empty shops with broken glass. Civil Disorder broke out. Unemployment levels rapidly increased; The Government could no longer afford to pay for benefits, but freely sprayed anti-aggressive air pollutants to provide a haze of happiness to the millions.

Drugs Lords who developed aggression pills to combat passivity and empathy, became powerful, as corruption took over, and our great police forces could only weep in the depths of their subjugation, too weak in numbers and morale to do anything, the system hoist by its own petard, not to criticise itself internally or externally pursuant to Section 41 of the Police Act, or face charges of mutiny.

The Health and Safety Executive became so powerful that competition in schools and elsewhere was banned for fear of injury. Schools became powerless to punish children as did parents, embracing the decades of policy introducing ‘touchy-feely cotton-wool’ initiatives, that we were all winners…The children did not see this as a step forward, but rather a step towards further rebellion and disorder.

Without competition, sports, a sense of pride and belonging, there was empathy, non-competition, emptiness, loneliness.

Teenagers and young adults studied the 8 hour shift-patterns, and waged War on Police Officers’ family and friends with a view to breaking them down morally and mentally.

Morale was low, as Police began to appreciate that after the culling and dearth of their healthy numbers, they were powerless to prevent National disorder. The Army were called in; What was left of them, following cuts, because they too were considered unnecessary, as Great Britain faced its financial realities and Capitalism broke down.

People’s homes became fortresses. Few people walked the streets during the days. Nights were no-go zones anywhere. Without the real Police Force, communities who were not close-knit, broke down. No one cared. Everyone was for themselves. Survival modes took over. No care; No mercy; No manners; No loyalties; No respect for anyone or anything. We just lost our way. We lost sight of social responsibility. There was no one there to uphold the Law…

Is any part of this partial window of dystopia a possibility? I sincerely hope not.

Who are we? Who are our British Police force? What do they stand for? Is it worth protecting? Don’t let the best Police force in the World become a powerless stewarding tourist attraction.

Professor Rosen is a Solicitor-Advocate, Partner and head of Litigation at Darlingtons Solicitors. He is an associate Professor of Law at Brunel University, specialising in Civil,Criminal Fraud and Legal Theory, and a member of the Society of Legal Scholars.


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I’ve been busy for the last week since my move planning the UK Tour.  I’m delighted to say that the planning is going rather better than expected and I have been fortunate in the support of some great sponsors and participants who will contribute their skill and knowledge to make the tour a ‘collaborative experience’.

I’ll be back to law and ‘normal’  blogging this week – and the Tour starts very soon with reports on the new Charon QC’s UK Law Tour blog – which will allow me to collect everything one place – including embedded podcasts (with an iTunes upload) and Video for the vox pops.

Do please, if you have time, have a look at the new Charon QC’s UK Law Tour blog Please get in touch if you would like to collaborate by being a contributor to the blog reports or do a podcast with me as I reach your area.


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Lawcast 222: John Cooper QC on the DPP round table social media prosecutions discussions

Today I am talking to John Cooper QC.  The DPP is holding a series of round table meetings to consider where the law should be in relation to online social media, spoken and written.  Rather strangely – while the DPP invited lawyers who have been involved in recent high profile cases and some lawyers who weren’t even peripherally involved – Keir Starmer QC did not extend an invitation to leading criminal silk John Cooper QC who actually led the team in the celebrated Paul Chambers Twitterjoketrial case – which the team won.

I invited John Cooper QC to give the views he would have given to Mr Starmer had Starmer been wise enough to invite John.

We consider the issues in relation to prosecutions under s 127 Communications Act 2003 mindful of the requirements of Article 10 – the law must be formulated with sufficient precision to enable the citizen to foresee the circumstances in which the law would or might be applied.

Listen to the podcast

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


Travelex UAE is part of the international company Travelex. It is an essential base for anyone traveling to anywhere in and around the United Arab Emirates and is looking for Foreign Currency Services.

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Latest issues of local Law Society magazines

The latest issues of local Law Society  magazines are available below:

Derby & District Law Society Journal
Norfolk Law Society Journal
Herts Law Society Journal
Worcestershire Law Society The Pears

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Eating out isn’t always the experience we hoped it would be. Whilst problems with service can be rectified with a complaint and lack of tip, if you start to feel ill after a dinner out; things can be a little more complicated.

Whilst personal injury compensation is actually available if you have suffered food poisoning after eating out, it can often be quite difficult to prove. If you’ve been suffering from the food you ate last night, a compensation claim is possible; just make sure you do the following.
Personal injury claims for food poisoning

If you believe you have suffered food poisoning from food you have been served in a restaurant, you should contact personal injury solicitors with experience in this area of the law. In most instances they will represent you on a no win no fee basis, so if you think you may have a claim it’s always worthwhile to ask the question.

In a lot of instances of food poisoning claims, in order for it to be successful, a number of customers in the same establishment will have to have suffered the same or similar symptoms. An investigation into the restaurant may need to be carried out by environmental health who will determine the existence of bacteria in the food or in the kitchens. Report the matter to the establishment where you have eaten and ask if they have had any other complaints.

In relation to your individual claim, your personal injury solicitors will arrange for you to see a gastric expert who will be able to understand the exact nature of the food poisoning and illness you have suffered. They can make an analysis of the bacteria involved, the treatment that may be required and the potential long term effects.

Different types of food poisoning
The most common types of food poisoning include the following bacteria:
E coli bacteria – in most instances this is a harmless bacteria, but certain types can develop a poison which causes stomach pains and illness if ingested

Campylobacter – the most common type of bacteria which can cause food poisoning; it’s often found in poultry (especially chicken), red meat, untreated water and unpasteurised milk
Salmonella – this is also a very common bacteria causing food poisoning; it’s found in meat, poultry, eggs and unpasteurised milk
Other common bacteria in food poisoning claims include those found in uncooked rice (Bacillus cereus), unwashed food (Clostridium perfringens) and certain cheese (Listeria monocytogenes bacteria).

What symptoms should I look out for?

Common symptoms of food poisoning include:
Abdominal pain

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Guest Post: Motorcycle accident claims – who are we dealing with?

Motorcyclists are more at risk of accidents on the road than any other vehicle, but what sort of person is most often at the centre of these incidents?

Orbis Solicitors are based in Lancashire and offer a tailor-made motorcycle accident claim service created by bikers, for bikers. The team are motorcyclists themselves and the company is a prominent supporter of biking events in the local area.

Motorcyclists often crop up in road accident cases, with injuries proven to be much more likely and serious for riders than car drivers, cyclists or pedestrians.

Last year, incidents of death or serious injury rose for the first time in four years, with nearly 400 more cases than in 2010. These accidents can affect everybody, but 2011 stats from the Department of Transport allowed us to paint a profile of the average motorcycle accident victim.

Those aged 20-29 were most likely to be involved, with 1,285 deaths or serious injuries and 3,870 slight injuries among that group. Indeed, slight injuries were most common among the younger age groups, which you can perhaps put down to inexperience.

However, the second-highest number of deaths and serious injuries (1,271) was found in the 40-49 age bracket, with 914 of those occurring on bikes with engines above 500cc. Men were much more accident prone than women, with 5,076 male casualties compared to just 313 among females.

Whose fault is it?

The temptation may be to label these two groups stereotypically as ‘boy racers’ or men going through a mid-life crisis, but the truth is somewhat different. In almost half of these cases, there was no fault attached to the rider at all, but rather other drivers or unfortunate environmental factors such as road defects.

In fact, car drivers not looking properly is often cited as the most common reason for motorcycling accidents, far ahead of other causes such as loss of vehicle control.

Establishing where this blame lies is to key to any motorcycle accident claim, and in many cases getting this information early on will help immensely, particularly if you have been knocked off your bike by an uninsured driver or fallen victim to a hit and run situation.

What happens next?

Whatever the cause of your injury, you will certainly need to get medical attention very early on, and often specialist rehabilitative care will be required. Your solicitor should ensure this happens straight away rather than waiting for the conclusion of the claim, as this may often take a while to achieve and it is vital to begin your recovery straight away. If this doesn’t happen, you’ve suddenly got a lot more to worry about. Receiving early specialist treatment helps considerably in a lot of cases in getting back to your pre-accident life and back on the road as quickly as possible.

Lots of solicitors will tell you they are specialists in motorcycle accident claims, but it’s easy to spot those who are perhaps stretching the truth a bit. With a bit of digging, it’s possible to find those who really do have a passion for motorcycling, like Orbis Solicitors and let them chase compensation from the offenders.

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A new series of events aimed at lawyers, providing inspiration and ideas on life and work will kick off on 10 October 2012.

Who: Guest speakers for the first event include Nick Southgate, a member of the School of Life faculty, on ‘The surprising science of better decision making’ and John Purkiss, consultant in personal branding and author of Brand You , on ‘Discovering the life that you want’.

What: Life With Law is a series of free talks offering inspiration and ideas for living a good, happy and satisfying life while practising law. The first event, Finding Your Path & Making Things Happen includes guest talks on ‘The surprising science of better decision making’ and ‘Discovering the life that you want’.

When: Wednesday 10 October 2012 6.30 pm (- according to the website)

Where: BLP, The Auditorium, Adelaide House, London Bridge, London, EC4R 9HA

Why: Though good at helping their clients, lawyers aren’t always so good at managing their own lives – or at helping their team to manage theirs. Life With Law provides a forum for lawyers to find inspiration, featuring some of the best speakers to help lawyers reflect and then make their ideas happen.

Whilst the Life With Law events are the brainchild of alternative legal services business Lawyers On Demand, they are not intended to persuade lawyers down any particular path.

Simon Harper, Co-Founder of Lawyers On Demand, points out that:

“As the legal profession experiences accelerating change, we all need some space to think about our working lives. Life With Law is a place for lawyers to take a bit of time to reflect on how to meet their changing personal development needs.”

Clients and lawyers alike are placing increasing importance on alternative legal services models as a result of the growing commercialisation of the legal sector. Now one of the first of the new legal service providers is mirroring another trend that is beginning to shape the business world and giving lawyers access to tools for personal development, self-help and ‘mindfulness’.

“Lawyers On Demand’s free Life With Law events are open to any lawyers who are curious about ideas for better managing their own lives – and to help their teams to manage theirs.”

Future events in the Life With Law series will explore other issues in the intersection between living well and working wisely.

In a world where work-life balance has become meaningless, Life With Law is about lawyers finding time to reflect and making mindful choices in their daily working lives. For more information go to www.lifewithlaw.com or follow on Twitter here

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“A man can die but once”. – (King Henry IV, Part II – Act III, Scene II).

With that Shakespeare aphorism in mind, I decided to leave Battersea-on-Thames last Saturday to set up a new ‘Forward Operating Base’ (FOB) for my Van Rouge Tour which will be starting in a couple of weeks: Details.

I have moved to an island (Google pics) on The Medway near Chatham – near the old naval docks.  HMS Victory was built but a few hundred yards away. Rochester and Upnor are close at hand, as is Chatham itself. It is a marvellous place to set up a FOB – steeped in history and Dickens of Bleak House et al fame lived in Rochester just across the river.

Serendipitously, I now live in a place called Mallard House – a modest dwelling, small but perfect for my needs.

The actual move to Chatham Maritime was surreal – worthy of Brian Rix farce status.  I shall give you a taste of the nonsense I endured below.

An elite squadron (SDS) of particularly subversive ducks accompanied me to Chatham to train Medway ducks in the subtle arts of subversion.  I felt, the last time I lived on the island, that the ducks were far too flabby, ate far too many burgers and had a far too compliant attitude to life and our  government.  The Medway ducks have been through a five day ‘Bootcamp’.  The elite squadron have  extradited themselves without the aid of lawyers milking the system  back to Battersea-on-Thames (No Falcon 900 jet a la Abu Hamza for them, of course) – MISSION COMPLETED.  So it is Time To Say Goodbye to them.

And so to the….


Dr Watson was kind enough to keep a note of the bizarre proceedings which surrounded me during this past week as I attempted to move from Battersea to Medway.

So far I have been able to quote from the reports which I have forwarded during these early days to Charon. Now, however, I have arrived at a point in my narrative where I am compelled to abandon this method and to trust once more to my recollections, aided by the diary which I kept at the time. A few extracts from the latter will carry me on to those scenes which are indelibly fixed in every detail upon my memory. I proceed, then, from the morning which followed our abortive chase of the elusive estate agents and our other strange experiences upon the island……

Rather than allow Dr Watson to run riot on my blog, I have binned his compendious, prolix, verbose and ultimately sleep inducing account  and shall use his recollection as a structure.  I describe the events in a form more recognisable to lawyers.  I shall use numbered paragraphs:

1.  On or about Saturday 29th September I left Battersea Square in a mini-cab driven by a remarkably knowledgeable Pakistan born driver – who entertained me through the one hour drive to The Ship & Trades pub where I would stay over the weekend prior to moving into my new Staterooms on the Monday morning.  My furniture was in the very capable hands – or storage to be more accurate – of the truly excellent Gentleman &  Van

2.  Saturday and Sunday were spent re-exploring St Mary’s Island and taking the air in the marina and dockyards. It was at the Ship & Trades that I re-discovered my passion for gammon and pineapple with chips – a dish I have now eaten for lunch six days in a row.

3.  D-DAY:  The plan agreed with the Clowns of The B*stardvilles,  masquerading as estate agents, was to move into my new rooms on Monday morning.  The Gentleman & a Van were ready to roll. I was informed at 10.00 by one of the leading clowns that I would not be able to move because their ‘computer systems’ were down and they could not process the six month short term tenancy agreement nor, more importantly for them, I suspect, process the rent and deposit.  (I agreed to pay the full six months in advance to speed things up a bit).

4. Incredulous, I offered to draft a tenancy agreement myself or, better, see if @NearlyLegal would kindly offer assistance to an irritated law blogger by providing same pro bono or otherwise. I also offered to nip down to the bank, draw out the loot, and give it to them, cash, in a sack.  This offer of resolution was rejected on two grounds: (a) They had their own ‘special real legal ones’ and (b) They could not take cash. Payment had to be done on their office ‘machine’. I was told that I could move on Wednesday, possibly. I booked another two days at the pub hotel and re-scheduled the move.  I incurred an inevitable and perfectly fair and reasonable penalty – in fact, Gentleman & a Van reduced the penalty from 2 hours time to one hour.

5. D-Day II: On the morning of Wednesday 3rd October, confident that the clowns would have sorted out their ‘farkin systems’, I telephoned only to be told that I could not move in because I had not signed the pre-contract forms to allow them to do a credit check.  They still needed a credit check, even though I would pay the whole six month rent in advance, and needed to check that I was on the voters roll in London –  which would prove beyond peradventure that I was not an axe murderer in training. The solution, which appeared not to have occurred to the clowns, was for me to travel about a mile and a half up the road in a motorised conveyance, sign the bleedin’ form and then that would clear all impediments to my moving in.  They appeared to be reluctant to accept this simple idea – but relented.  I duly travelled to their offices and signed the document. The clown who I had been negotiating with was not in the office.  His female boss seemed altogether more sensible and at least gave the loose impression of competency.  She informed me that it was ‘illegal’ for them to do a credit check without my real signature on a piece of paper – despite the fact I had authorised same several times on the pre-contract document emailed back and by separate email to leading negotiating clown on the Friday before – which he accepted as sufficient for his needs.

6. I returned to The Ship & Trades and waited to see  what stunt the clowns would  pull next. Astonishingly, I received a telephone call at 11.00 that all was in order – the landlord had left work to return to his home so he could authorise the clowns  in writing by email  to allow me into the flat as my payment had been successful.  They are sticklers for paperwork, the clowns.

7.  Payment was another stress inducing activity.  I am not given to spending £5000+  on a single purchase by debit card.  Banks have taken up a practice of security reviewing any strange activity.  I telephoned my bank, warned them that I would be paying rental and deposit of £5000+ to a group of clowns managing the property and asked specifically that they did not block that payment.  I was assured that they would not do so.  I authorised the clowns to take payment.  Payment was declined. I telephoned the bank again and, less than enthusiastic about their service, explained that I had telephoned earlier so this problem would not arise.  A charming young lady told me that the Fraud Squad don’t seem to read notes on file.  She had placed a file note about the large outgoing payment. The block was lifted quickly and the second payment went though.  There was now no impediment to my gaining quiet possession of the dwelling.
… or…so I thought.

8.  The clown I dealt with from the beginning told me proudly that ‘it was a go’ and I could move in at 2.30.  I informed Gentleman & a Van accordingly. My good friend John Bolch (he of FamilyLore),  who lives nearby, came down to the pub and we went to the new apartment half a mile away together.

9.  Gentleman & a Van – ever efficient – were at the property at 2.15 when we arrived. At 2.30 no sign of the clowns.  Telephoning their offices, I was informed that the ‘paperwork was not ready’ and they would be along at 3.00.  This incurred me a further half hour removal time charge.

10.  Mr Clown arrived – hair gelled into curious and very pointed spikes, as if twiddled,  and wearing a slightly shiny suit with a purple tinge to it –  in a ‘clownmobile’ complete with their logo plastered all over the back and sides. The farce continued.  He had over 100 keys. The key to the main entrance did not work.  He looked flustered as I laughed maniacally – incredulous.  Mr Clown saved the day by ringing the ‘Trades’ button which he informed me would stop working at 3.30.  I pointed out that this would be very handy for me – confined to my flat like Julian Assange in the Ecuador Embassy.  “You what?” Clown asked.  I had lost the will to explain who Assange is – but pointed out that I would not be able to get back into the building without a main entrance front door key that worked.  He hadn’t considered the possibility that I might actually want to leave the flat at some point and, more importantly, get back in.  He promised to look into the matter.

11.  More astonishing command performances as we went up to the top floor.  Mr Clown tried over thirty keys as John Bolch and I watched, desperately trying not to laugh – but, in my case, failing.

12.  The last key Mr Clown tried opened door.  I resisted the impulse to say ‘Open Sesame”.

13.  In the premises, the premises were in a filthy state.  The end of tenancy clean when the client vacated two months before had not been done.  The kitchen sink was disgusting.  There was a smell of rotting vegetation.  John Bolch discovered mould having a Bunga Bunga  party in the oven.  Frankly, by this stage, I was not suprised.  A cleaning team was quickly engaged and the problem is solved.

14.  Then there was the paperwork saga.  I signed about thirty pages of a typed document – a ‘really legal’ tenancy agreement.    There was a clause referring to my obligation to pay the rent going forward.  I pointed out that I had, in fact, paid the entire six months and deposit in advance – so that clause was incorrect.  I am not a landlord & tenant lawyer.  The contract lawyer in me didn’t have to produce any miraculous out of the box thinking – I simply endorsed the clause with the rubric ‘Rent & Deposit settled in full’, dated it and signed under the rubric.  Mr Clown also signed.  I was informed the next day by The Clown in Chief that what I had done by doing this was ‘illegal’ and that I would have to re-sign that page of the agreement without the endorsement – and ‘No it was not possible to include a typed provision that I had in fact paid – I would be given a receipt to prove I had paid.”  I just laughed and said… “Hey.. go for it.. I could not care less after all you guys have done this week..and by the way…can I have a front door key that actually works?  I am like the Man In An Iron  Mask and  The Prisoner of Zenda locked up in my own apartment.”

15.  A locksmith arrived at 5.00 the next day.  John Bolch was kind enough, on the Wednesday evening,  to bring ‘essential supplies’ (Fags et al) down to me.  I was able to let him in using the intercom device. I was able to escape the next morning and gain re-entry by a cunning ploy.  I used the trades button which I knew – because Mr Clown had told me – would work until 3.30.  It did.  The locksmith came, sucked his teeth, told me I had a badly cut key, sprayed some WD40 into the lock and..hey presto, lock worked.  I hope he charged the clowns royally for his technical advice.

16.  I add that the estate agents are nice people –  they just didn’t hack it with my move – a view I am prepared to take!

And so… I am now fully in, broadbanded up and the planning for Van RougeTour, already under way, can proceed.

Have a good weekend…

Best, as always



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