Archive for May 1st, 2013

If you had any doubts about ‘external investment’ in the legal system in England & Wales…. Neil Rose’s article on Eddie Stobart will inform / amuse / irritate you!

Stobart Barristers sets sights on criminal legal aid contract

Stobart Barristers – the direct access service run by the famous logistics company – has given a strong indication that it will bid for the new criminal legal aid contracts the government is set to offer under price competitive tendering…..

He said the current model – with large numbers of firms doing identical work while fees are falling – was “unsustainable”. Even if they start to merge, that will not wipe out “the legacy of debt” most carry. He described criminal law practices as “very wounded animals ready to die”.

It would appear that Group Legal Director and founder, Trevor Howarth, has ‘form’… experience of the law as practice manager for the firm of celebrity solicitor Nick ‘Mr Loophole (TM)’ Freeman.Will the Stobart trucks used to ferry their lawyers to court be named as the trucks are for shipping goods?  Could keep us amused ‘spotting them’…

You may be interested in listening to my podcast with Michael Turner QC, Chairman of The Criminal Bar, on legal aid reforms and the rise of ‘external investment and involvement’ in the legal profession?

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The Guardian : Stobart lorry chief faces contempt trial

“High court judge rules Andrew Tinkler and legal director Trevor Howarth may have lied to secure gagging order on whistleblower”

Not an ideal start for a company wishing to provide legal services – if true?


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I have marvelled, as many others have, at the antics of the Kippers in the run up to the local elections. After the extraordinary report of a Kipper – the article headline says it all… Physical exercise prevents you becoming gay, claims UK councillor candidate… John Sullivan, a UKIP party candidate, up for election next week, has made a series of anti-gay Facebook comments, including congratulating Russia for banning gay Pride, and comparing gays to termites” – I didn’t think it could become any more farcical.

But… today, the Kipper in Chief excelled himself by revealing that one of his candidates was not giving a ‘Nazi’ salute…he was imitating a pot plant.

Nigel Farage claims ‘Nazi’ salute Ukip Candidate was actually ‘imitating a pot plant’

NIGEL Farage has defended a Ukip candidate who was pictured seemingly giving a Nazi salute, offering the bizarre explanation that he was actually “imitating a pot plant”.

Nigel Unter Den Linden was quoted in the articles…” “I’ve looked carefully into this and spoken to Alex, and I believe him when he says that he was angrily trying to take a camera off his girlfriend who was annoyingly taking pictures of him in the pub imitating a pot plant,” he told the Huffington Post.

“These things happen – I should know!”

I am not at all sure that we need politicians – local or national – who want to imitate pot plants.  The Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling is quite enough to contend with for the present.

Well…there we are… ain’t UK politics a larf….. ?

Back soon….

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