Archive for the ‘Van Rouge UK Tour’ Category

Today, I am at University College London talking with Professor Richard Moorhead, Professor of Law and Professional Ethics. University College London has a curious distinction – the possessor of the utilitarian philosopher and jurist Jeremy Bentham’s skeleton dressed in his clothing preserved in a glass case.(Infra)

Professor Moorhead gives a brief definition of ethics before moving on to consider the practical difficulties lawyers face in practice today, illustrating his theme with examples. We consider whether the Code of Practice for solicitors is fit for the purpose – referencing a lawcast I did with Andrew Hopper QC on the regulatory framework – and we consider whether more emphasis should be placed on legal ethics at the academic and vocational stages of legal education.

Listen to the podcast on the Charon QC UK Law Tour blog

iTunes and downloadable version

Useful Resources:

Blog posts by Professor Richard Moorhead

Employment Tribunals: Weighted Against Employers?
Hackgate: where were the lawyers?
(Wannabee) Law Students: One graph which signals your future
LNATs and aptitude tests: what’s good got to do with it?

Footnote from Wikipedia on Bentham

As requested in his will, Bentham’s body was dissected as part of a public anatomy lecture. Afterward, the skeleton and head were preserved and stored in a wooden cabinet called the “Auto-icon”, with the skeleton padded out with hay and dressed in Bentham’s clothes. Originally kept by his disciple Thomas Southwood Smith, it was acquired by University College London in 1850. It is normally kept on public display at the end of the South Cloisters in the main building of the college, but for the 100th and 150th anniversaries of the college, it was brought to the meeting of the College Council, where it was listed as “present but not voting”.


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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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I am moving to Kent to set up my ‘forward operating base’ (FOB) this weekend – taking some subversive ducks from Battersea-on-Thames with me to instruct Medway ducks in the delights of subversion.

Once settled – The Van Rouge Tour will start.  I will start in the South-East and go hence throughout our sceptred isle over the course of a year in a camper van.  To avoid inflicting hypothermia on myself in the winter months I may have to stay occasionally in a hotel and will, in any event, return to the aforementioned FOB at weekends to enjoy the pleasures of research and writing up.  In six months time FOB will be moved North and I will take another six month let in a modest dwelling.

Podcasts, voxpops with a television camera, analysis of the legal events of the day, commentary on the changing legal landscape, ephemeral musings and anything else that comes into my surreal mind will be reported.  I am setting up a special Charon Van Rouge Tour blog to place all the posts in one place.  I rather like the idea of going on ‘Assizes’ and creating a Legal Domesday Book.   The plan is to cover England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It will take at least a year.

The important thing for me is to have an open mind and talk to many people to find out what they think of our legal system.  I shall be thorough in my investigation and talk to a wide cross section of people – not just lawyers.

I very much hope that regular tweeters who know me through twitter will take part and make this a truly collaborative project.  It will be a pleasure to do and I very much hope readers will enjoy the ‘reports from the frontline’.

I am genuinely pleased with the extraordinary support – financial, moral, encouragement, offers of beds for the nights, offers of dinner –  from tweeters and I will do my best to include as many people as I can in this project.

So far, sponsors have come forward to assist with logistics, running expenses, kit etc: The Law Society, Kysen PR, The Legal Technology Insider, LBC Wise Counsel, Riverview Law, The University of East Anglia Law School, Brecher, Routledge Law, Inksters, Cellmark., The College of Law, BPP Law School, TaxAid, Darlingtons Solicitors, Lawyers on DemandThe Trial Warrior blog

I am not a rich man – nor wish to be.  So… if any other organisations or individuals would like to be involved in this tour as a sponsor, please get in touch with me.  Sponsorships are modest.

3 Gavels Dinner:  @bretttechlawyer is hosting a fund raising dinner in mid-November. Details to follow.  I will be auctioning some of my real artworks and some of my nonsense F*ckart.

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