Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Book recommendation: Jeremy Hutchinson's Case Histories: From Lady Chatterley's Lover to Howard Marks by Thomas Grant

Having been born into the fringes of the Bloomsbury Group and served under Louis Mountbatten in the Second World War, Jeremy Hutchinson went on to become the greatest criminal barrister of the 1960s, '70s and '80s. The cases of that period changed society for ever and provide a fascinating look into Britain's post-war social, political and cultural history. Hutchinson's role in them was second to none. From the sex and spying scandals which contributed to Harold Macmillan's resignation in 1963 to the fight against literary censorship through his defence of Lady Chatterley's Lover, Fanny Hill and Last Tango in Paris, Hutchinson was involved in many of the great trials of the period. He also defended George Blake, Christine Keeler, Great Train Robber Charlie Wilson, art faker Tom Keating and Howard Marks. Case Histories provides entertaining, vivid and revealing insights into what was really going on in those celebrated courtroom dramas that defined an age, as well as painting a picture of a remarkable life. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Book recommendation: And Is There Honey Still For Tea? by Peter Murphy

1965. The British Establishment is reeling after a series of defections and acts of treachery by high-ranking Intelligence Officers. When American academic Francis Hollander accuses Sir James Digby QC, a Baronet and a leader of the Bar, of being a soviet spy, Digby hires Ben Schroeder to represent him. But when evidence starts piling up of Digby's association with the Cambridge spies, Ben can no longer be sure he will save Digby from prosecution and ruin. Is Ben willing to risk his career to obtain vital evidence? Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Book recommendation: Forever Rumpole: The Best of the Rumpole Stories by John Mortimer

Forever Rumpole - a hilarious new selection of the very best Rumpole stories by John Mortimer. Horace Rumpole lives alongside Mr Pickwick and Bertie Wooster as one of the immortal comic characters in English fiction. With his curmudgeonly wit, his literary allusions, his disdain for personal ambition and his lack of pomposity, he has, in the words of the Daily Telegraph, 'ascended to the pantheon of literary immortals'. Forever Rumpole contains seven stories originally chosen by the author himself as his favourites, together with a further seven from the later period and the opening chapters of a Rumpole novel that Sir John was working on when he died in 2009. The book also includes a fascinating introduction by Ann Mallalieu, fellow lawyer and for many years Sir John's colleague in practice. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Book recommendation: Who Governs Britain? by Anthony King

The British system has been radically transformed in recent decades, far more than most of us realise. As acclaimed political scientist and bestselling author Anthony King shows, this transformation lies at the heart of British politics today. Imagining - or pretending - that the British political system and Britain's place in the world have not greatly changed, our political leaders consistently promise more than they can perform. Political and economic power is now widely dispersed both inside and outside the UK, but Westminster politicians still talk the language of Attlee and Churchill. How exactly has the British system changed? Where does power now lie? In Who Governs Britain?, King offers the first assessment in many years of Britain's governing arrangements as a whole, providing much needed context for the 2015 general election. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Facts You Need To Know Before Making a Medical Negligence Case

Consideration was given for the editing and publishing of this post

If you’re hoping to receive compensation and/or justice for an instance of medical negligence (otherwise known as clinical negligence), there are a few things that you need to know, before you take the legal plunge. 

Medical Negligence: Know What Qualifies

Medical negligence has certain legal parameters, so you need to fully understand the concrete definition, before you make a claim. You need to be able to prove that the standard of care drastically dropped below what would be considered “reasonable competence”, and that the treatment you received adversely affected you in ways that worsened or deteriorated your condition. It needs to have been damage that would not have otherwise occurred. 

Time Limits

There is a window of time, within which you can make a claim. If it has been more than 3 years since the incident took place, you probably won’t be able to make your claim for medical negligence, unless it’s a specific exception that allows for a greater time limit, such as the patient being a child or mentally unwell at the time. 


It’s unlikely that you will go to court. You will probably come to a settlement before it gets to that stage. Here, you can barter for compensation and ask for an apology. This is often far more preferable than going to court, as it’s over more quickly, amicably, and you don’t have to waste extra time and money fighting your case.


Do you have the funds to carry you through the legal process? This can be an expensive venture. You may be able to win back legal costs, but it’s still a lot of cash that is leaving your pocket. Can you afford it?

Solid Evidence

Be sure to collate as much solid evidence as you can. This will, of course, include medical records, but you can also take pictures and document your difficulties over time, so your claim is stronger and you can show the full extent of the damage that has occurred.

A Lengthy Process

Are you prepared for a long battle? Most medical negligence claims last between 18 months and 3 years. You need to be ready to go the distance. It can be an extremely stressful and upsetting process, so you must be mentally prepared before you embark on a claim.

Medical Witnesses

Medical witnesses will be asked to represent an unbiased opinion on whether or not you have been unfairly cared for, which has resulted in poor health. By looking at the evidence, and your medical records, a professional witness will always be called upon for your claim.  

Your Solicitor Will Dictate Your Success

Choosing a fantastic solicitor can make the difference between a small settlement, and something that you feel fairly represents the damages that you have had to endure. They should also be sensitive to your situation and someone who you can get on well with – you will be spending a lot of time with them in the future!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Book recommendation: The Great Defender: The Life and Trials of Edward Marshall Hall KC, England's Greatest Barrister by Edward Marjoribanks (Author) and Gary Bell QC (Introduction)

When Sir Edward Marshall Hall died in 1927 it was the end of an era. Tall, strikingly handsome and charming, the barrister was the finest advocate ever seen in the English criminal courts. Known as 'The Great Defender' as he fought tooth and nail for his clients, those in the shadow of the hangman's noose were often saved from execution by his dramatic and eloquent defence. His closing speeches to rapt juries were legendary and there was never a free seat in the public gallery or on the press bench when he was in the Old Bailey. Marshall Hall did not win every case - the 'brides in the bath' murderer George Smith and poisoner Frederick Seddon were sentenced to death - but not without a fight from the amazing advocate. One of his finest victories came in 1894 when he saved the life of Marie Hermann, a former Austrian governess who had resorted to prostitution to feed her three children, one of whom was blind, after her husband abandoned her. Charged with the murder of an elderly client, even she believed she would be hanged. Marshall Hall gave an impassioned plea to the jury which ended with him, with tears on his cheeks and pointing to her in the dock, begging, 'Look at her, gentlemen of the jury, look at her. God never gave her a chance. Won't you?' They did, and she was found not guilty of murder. Despite success in court, Marshall Hall's personal life was tragic. His first wife, Ethel, whom he adored, informed him on their honeymoon that she could never love him and died in agony following a botched, secret abortion after getting pregnant with her lover's child. This biography, written by his friend Edward Marjoribanks, with an introduction by criminal barrister Gary Bell QC, details many of the advocate's famous trials and his life outside court. Available from Amazon.