Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Book recommendation: Dictator by Robert Harris

There was a time when Cicero held Caesar’s life in the palm of his hand. But now Caesar is the dominant figure and Cicero’s life is in ruins. Exiled, separated from his wife and children, his possessions confiscated, his life constantly in danger, Cicero is tormented by the knowledge that he has sacrificed power for the sake of his principles. His comeback requires wit, skill and courage – and for a brief and glorious period, the legendary orator is once more the supreme senator in Rome. But politics is never static and no statesman, however cunning, can safeguard against the ambition and corruption of others. Riveting and tumultuous, DICTATOR encompasses some of the most epic events in human history yet is also an intimate portrait of a brilliant, flawed, frequently fearful yet ultimately brave man – a hero for his time and for ours. This is an unforgettable tour de force from a master storyteller. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Book recommendation: Rumpole at Christmas by John Mortimer

Rumpole at Christmas - the hilarious festive stories of John Mortimer's greatest character. Horace Rumpole is not overfond of the rituals of Christmas: turkey, tinsel and the like. But happily the festive season is not one respected by the criminal fraternity; meaning that celebrations in the Rumpole household are frequently disturbed in most-welcome ways. There's the suspicious Father Christmas at Equity's Court's festive party. The actor who goes missing from the panto on the night of a major crime. As well as the body cluttering up the health farm (where the great barrister is gloomily restricted to a diet of yak's milk and steamed spinach to please She Who Must Be Obeyed). These seven wonderful Rumpole stories show the great man at his sharpest, wittiest and best. Readers of Sherlock Holmes, P.D. James and P.G. Wodehouse will love this book. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Book recommendation: Death by Dangerous by Olly Jarvis

Death by Dangerous is a compelling legal thriller set in Manchester and Bradford. John Anderson is one of the North West's most dedicated and successful prosecution barristers. His career is going from strength to strength and he is on the verge of becoming Queen's Counsel. But the life he once knew suddenly comes crashing down following a fatal road traffic accident...Recovering from his injuries, he has no memory of the collision. Was he responsible for the death of a child? Who was his female passenger? Facing charges of causing death by dangerous driving, the professional and personal life he once knew now lies in tatters. Depressed and taking refuge in alcohol, Anderson refuses, in the face of so many unanswered questions, to accept his guilt. He becomes convinced that the gangster he was prosecuting at the time of the crash is in some way involved. The mystery deepens as his search for the truth draws him into Manchester's sordid criminal underworld. Shunned by his former colleagues, Anderson finds help from an unlikely source, enabling him to confront his prejudices and re-evaluate his past life. He embarks on a journey of self-discovery and, ultimately, the path for his own redemption. Anderson knows that defeat means deliverance to a prison full of violent criminals he has prosecuted over the years. He now has to find the strength to fight the most important trial of his life. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Book recommendation: The Crossing (Harry Bosch 20) by Michael Connelly

Six months ago, Harry Bosch left the LAPD before they could fire him, and then hired maverick Defense Attorney Mickey Haller to sue the department for forcing him out. Although it wasn't the way he wanted to go, Harry has to admit that being out of the game has its benefits. Until Mickey asks him to help on one of his cases, and suddenly Harry is back where he belongs, right in the centre of a particularly puzzling murder mystery. The difference is, this time Harry is working for the defense, aiming to prevent the accused, Leland Foster, from being convicted. And not only does the prosecution seem to have a cast-iron case, but having crossed over to 'the dark side' as his former colleagues would put it, Harry is in danger of betraying the very principles he's lived by his whole career. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Book recommendation: Animal QC : My Preposterous Life by Gary Bell

GARY BELL QC appears to be a pillar of the Establishment - one of Britain's leading lawyers, with his own BBC TV show, an entry in Who's Who, and a wife whose family are listed in Burke's Landed Gentry. But beneath the horsehair wig and silk gown is a very unusual barrister indeed - and his life story is astonishing and hilarious. Born to a teenaged cigarette factory worker and a nineteen-year-old miner, he grew up in a condemned slum terrace and then a Nottinghamshire pit village, and left his tough comprehensive without taking any exams. He followed his father down the mine but promptly quit because of his lifelong fear of the dark, and spent the next decade either homeless or working in a strange variety of jobs. Asda shelf-stacker, Pork Farms pie maker, door-to-door rag salesman, fruit machine technician, fireman, lawnmower mechanic, bricklayer, pet food warehouse fork lift truck driver… he's done the lot (and was sacked from most of them for incompetence). Along the way, he managed to rack up a conviction for fraud - he worked out how to fiddle those fruit machines - and was also a notorious football hooligan known as 'Animal' (though not for his fighting prowess, he's a terrible coward). Finally pulling himself together in his mid-twenties, he went to university as a mature student, where he stuck out from his younger, public school-educated contemporaries with his stonewashed jeans, skinhead and moustache. So he 'decided to become upper-middle class', adopting tweeds, received pronunciation, and (strictly for his own amusement) an Old Etonian back story. He got so good at this that he went back to his 'old school' to play in Old Boys' Field Game fixtures, and many actual OEs still swear they were at Eton with him. There's much more to say about Gary Bell - international debating champion, award-winning stand-up comic, Beverly Hills lawyer (he was recruited whilst still a student), chronic bedwetter, private pilot, friend of The Village People, devoted dad - but there isn't the space. Now among the country's top defence barristers - his cases are so complex that the papers are not counted but weighed, and they often weigh ten or fifteen tonnes - his preposterous story reads like a strange dream and redefines the word 'amazing', as well as being extremely funny, very moving, and utterly life-affirming. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Book recommendation: No Fear Or Favour by Henry Cecil

'If everyone had a perfectly clear conscience, the blackmailer would have no chance'. So begins a trial in which the unfortunate judge is himself blackmailed. Unwittingly 'picked up' by a 'respectable-looking girl' the judge finds himself put into an impossible situation in which an unscrupulous blackmailer threatens his career and personal life in an attempt to steer the course of a trial to an acquittal. Can Mr Justice Slaughter save himself from ruin and degradation? Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Book recommendation: Where My Heart Used to Beat by Sebastian Faulks

On a small island off the south coast of France, Robert Hendricks, an English doctor who has seen the best and the worst the twentieth century had to offer, is forced to confront the events that made up his life. His host, and antagonist, is Alexander Pereira, a man whose time is running out, but who seems to know more about his guest than Hendricks himself does. The search for sanity takes us through the war in Italy in 1944, a passionate love that seems to hold out hope, the great days of idealistic work in the 1960s and finally – unforgettably – back into the trenches of the Western Front. The recurring themes of Sebastian Faulks’s fiction are brought together with a new stylistic brilliance as the novel casts a long, baleful light over the century we have left behind but may never fully understand. Daring, ambitious and in the end profoundly moving, this is Faulks’s most remarkable book yet. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Book recommendation: Squeezing the Orange by Henry Blofeld

The quintessentially English cricket commentator, writer, oenophile, bon viveur, collector and national treasure, fondly known as “Blowers”, tells his riveting life story. Born in Norfolk and educated at Eton and Cambridge, Henry Calthorpe Blofeld OBE, nicknamed “Blowers” by the late Brian Johnston, is best known as a cricket commentator for Test Match Special on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra. His distinctively rich, cut glass voice and his vividly eccentric observations of life on and off the pitch, have made him a household name, not only in Britain but around the world, wherever cricket is played. Blowers has been close the the heart of the game for over fifty years and his career has taken him to the far corners of the earth. This autobiography, stuffed to the gunwhales with delicious anecdotes, brings his astonishingly colourful story bang up to date. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Book recommendation: Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham

I'm not a typical lawyer. I don't maintain a pretty office filled with mahogany and leather. I don't belong to a big firm, prestigious or otherwise. I don't do good works through the bar association. I'm a lone gunman, a rogue who fights bad systems and hates injustice . . . Sebastian Rudd takes the cases no one else wants to take: the drug-addled punk accused of murdering two little girls; a crime lord on death row; a homeowner who shot at a SWAT team. Rudd believes that every person accused of a crime is entitled to a fair trial - even if he has to cheat to get one. He antagonises people from both sides of the law: his last office was firebombed, either by drug dealers or cops. He doesn't know or care which. But things are about to get even more complicated for Sebastian. Arch Swanger is the prime suspect in the abduction and presumed murder of 21-year-old Jiliana Kemp, the daughter of the assistant chief of police. When Swanger asks Sebastian to represent him, he lets Sebastian in on a terrible secret . . . one that will threaten everything Sebastian holds dear. Gritty, witty, and impossible to put down, Rogue Lawyer is the master of the legal thriller at his very best. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Book recommendation: The Anti-social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole by John Mortimer

The Anti-social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole - a delightful novel starring John Mortimer's iconic character. ASBOs may be the pride and joy of New Labour, but they don't cut much ice with Horace Rumpole - he takes the old-fashioned view that if anyone is going to be threatened with a restriction of their liberty then some form of legal proceeding ought to be gone through first. Not that Hilda agrees, of course, but she's too busy completing her memoirs to dissuade him from taking an interest when one of the Timson children is given an ASBO for playing football in the street. And pretty soon he realises something fishy is going on. Why are the residents pursuing their vendetta against the Timson boy quite so strongly? Could they have a sinister reason for not wanting him on their street? John Mortimer's hilarious Rumpole novel, which fans of Sherlock Holmes and P.G. Wodehouse will love, sees the magician of the Old Bailey at his unpredictable and brilliant best. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Book recommendation: Make Me: (Jack Reacher 20) by Lee Child

Jack Reacher has no place to go, and all the time in the world to get there, so a remote railroad stop on the prairie with the curious name of Mother's Rest seems perfect for an aimless one-day stopover. He expects to find a lonely pioneer tombstone in a sea of nearly-ripe wheat ... but instead there is a woman waiting for a missing colleague, a cryptic note about two hundred deaths, and a small town full of silent, watchful people. Reacher’s one-day stopover becomes an open-ended quest...into the heart of darkness. Prepare to be nailed to your seat by another hair-raising, heart-pounding adventure from the kick ass master of the thriller genre! Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Book recommendation: Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike) by Robert Galbraith

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman's severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible - and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality. With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them... A fiendishly clever mystery with unexpected twists around every corner, Career of Evil is also a gripping story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives. You will not be able to put this book down. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Book recommendation: Rumpole on Trial by Sir John Mortimer

The most beloved barrister ever to sway a jury--or savor a claret--is back on the case, in an engaging new collection of stories. With his passion for Wordsworth, his kindly disposition toward the underdog, and a nose equally sensitive to wrongdoing and fine wine, the disheveled Horace Rumpole has become "one of the immortals of mystery fiction" (San Francisco Chronicle). Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Book recommendation: Magna Carta by Prof David Carpenter

"No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land." Magna Carta, forced on King John in 1215 by rebellion, is one of the most famous documents in world history. It asserts a fundamental principle: that the ruler is subject to the law. Alongside a new text and translation of the Charter, David Carpenter's commentary draws on new discoveries to give an entirely fresh account of Magna Carta's text, origins, survival and enforcement, showing how it quickly gained a central place in English political life. It also uses Magna Carta as a lens through which to view thirteenth-century society, focusing on women and peasants as well as barons and knights. The book is a landmark in Magna Carta studies. 2015 is the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta's creation - an event which will be marked with exhibitions, commemorations and debates in all the countries over whose constitutions and legal assumptions the shadow of Magna Carta hangs. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Book recommendation: According To The Evidence (Colonel Brain) by Henry Cecil

Alec Morland is on trial for murder. He has tried to remedy the ineffectiveness of the law by taking matters into his own hands. Unfortunately for him, his alleged crime was not committed in immediate defence of others or of himself. In this fascinating murder trial you will not find out until the very end just how the law will interpret his actions. Will his defence be accepted or does a different fate await him? Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Book recommendation: Law, Liberty and the Constitution: A Brief History of the Common Law by Harry Potter

Throughout English history the rule of law and the preservation of liberty have been inseparable, and both are intrinsic to England's constitution. This accessible and entertaining history traces the growth of the law from its beginnings in Anglo-Saxon times to the present day. It shows how the law evolved from a means of ensuring order and limiting feuds to become a supremely sophisticated dispenser of justice and the primary guardian of civil liberties. This development owed much to the English kings and their judiciary, who, in the twelfth century, forged a unified system of law - predating that of any other European country - from almost wholly Anglo-Saxon elements. Yet by the seventeenth century this royal offspring - Oedipus Lex it could be called - was capable of regicide. Since then the law has had a somewhat fractious relationship with that institution upon which the regal mantle of supreme power descended, Parliament. This book tells the story of the common law not merely by describing major developments but by concentrating on prominent personalities and decisive cases relating to the constitution, criminal jurisprudence, and civil liberties. It investigates the great constitutional conflicts, the rise of advocacy, and curious and important cases relating to slavery, insanity, obscenity, cannibalism, the death penalty, and miscarriages of justice. The book concludes by examining the extension of the law into the prosecution of war criminals and protection of universal human rights and the threats posed by over-reaction to national emergencies and terrorism. Devoid of jargon and replete with good stories, Law, Liberty and the Constitution represents a new approach to the telling of legal history and will be of interest to anyone wishing to know more about the common law - the spinal cord of the English body politic. Harry Potter is a former fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge and a practising barrister specialising in criminal defence. He has authored books on the death penalty and Scottish history and wrote and presented an award-winning series on the history of the common law for the BBC. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

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

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.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Book recommendation: The Silk Brief (The Silk Tales Book 1) by John Burton

David Brant QC is a newly appointed Queen’s Counsel, a “Silk”, a Criminal Barrister struggling against ever-dwindling legal aid funds and a lack of work. His Chambers is also suffering internal and external pressures and his Senior Clerk seems to only serve a select few. Life at the Bar is more challenging than ever before. His personal life is not much better. Having faced an acrimonious divorce after an inadvisable liaison with a female Solicitor, his life has become a mixture of enforced rest and ever increasing consumption of Claret and Rioja Reserva. However, after a night out with his Senior Clerk, he is instructed to defend in a Murder trial, leading one of the instructing solicitor’s firm’s In-House Barristers. The client is a Mr Damien Clarke, a cocaine addict charged with killing a known associate, Usman Hussain, after a night of smoking crack together in Hussain’s flat. The evidence against Damien appears almost overwhelming and as the case progresses towards trial it is strengthened by further forensic scientific evidence. David Brant QC must use all his forensic skill to combat the array of damning evidence against Damien and to pit his wits against a highly competent Prosecutor and a Judge who has a personal dislike for him. The Silk Brief takes us from before David Brant QC is instructed, through his early preparation of the case and conferences with the client in the High Security Belmarsh prison, through to the trial and verdict. It provides the day by day record of a murder trial including the examination and cross-examination of lay and expert witnesses, Counsel’s speeches, the Judges summing up and finally the jury’s deliberations and verdict. Although a work of fiction, the author draws extensively on his knowledge of the Criminal Bar of England and Wales, having practiced as a Criminal Barrister for over thirty years, latterly as Queen’s Counsel, conducting many trials, including murder trials in the Central Criminal Court, known colloquially and fondly as “The Old Bailey”. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Book recommendation: Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? by Michael Sandel

Is killing sometimes morally required? Is the free market fair? It is sometimes wrong to tell the truth? What is justice, and what does it mean? These and other questions are at the heart of Michael Sandel's Justice. Considering the role of justice in our society and our lives, he reveals how an understanding of philosophy can help to make sense of politics, religion, morality - and our own convictions. Breaking down hotly contested issues, from abortion, euthanasia and same-sex marriage, to patriotism, dissent and affirmative action, Sandel shows how the biggest questions in our civiv life can be broken down and illuminated through reasoned debate. Justice promises to take readers - of all ages and political persuasions - on an exhilarating journey to confront controversies in a fresh and enlightening way. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Book recommendation: Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Go Set a Watchman is set during the mid-1950s and features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand both her father’s attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Book recommendation: A Certain Justice (Inspector Adam Dalgliesh Book 10) by P.D. James

From P.D. James, one of the masters of British crime fiction comes the tenth novel to feature commander Adam Dalgliesh. A Certain Justice is a chilling murder mystery packed with forensic detail, set in the treacherous legal world of London. Venetia Aldridge QC is a distinguished barrister. When she agrees to defend Garry Ashe, accused of the brutal murder of his aunt, it is one more opportunity to triumph in her distinguished career as a criminal lawyer. But just four weeks later, Miss Aldridge is found dead at her desk. Commander Adam Dalgliesh, called in to investigate, finds motives for murder among the clients Venetia has defended, her professional colleagues, her family - even her lover. As Dalgliesh narrows the field of suspects, a second brutal murder draws them into greater complexities of intrigue and evil. P.D. James, the bestselling author of Death Comes to Pemberley, Children of Men and Death In Holy Orders, once again explores the mysterious and intense emotions responsible for the unique crime of murder, with authority and sensitivity. A Certain Justice is set in the legal world of London and possesses all of the qualities which distinguish P.D. James as a novelist. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Book recommendation: The Two-Sided Man: A Selection of the Short Stories of Rudyard Kipling by Brian Harris OBE, QC

Somerset Maugham once described Rudyard Kipling as ‘our greatest short story writer’, adding, ‘I can’t believe he will ever be equalled. I am sure he will never be excelled.’ Known by many only for The Jungle Book and the Just So stories, Kipling’s range was in fact much wider. Most readers will be familiar with his stories about India and many know of his adventure tale, ‘The Man who would be King’ which was made into a record-breaking film, but how many are aware of his horror stories like ‘The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes’, his ghost stories like ‘They’, his mystery stories like ‘The Wish House’, his revenge stories like ‘Dayspring Mishandled’, or the enigmatical, ‘Mary Postgate’? All can be found in this anthology of sixteen of his favourite Kipling stories. It comes with an introductory essay by Brian Harris setting the author against the background of his family, his school and his times, confronting head-on such issues as his political and religious views and his supposed racialism. After posing the question, why should we read Kipling today, Mr Harris answers, ‘Here is someone who paid the respect that is due, but not always accorded even now, to the alien, the poor and the oppressed. As the unofficial spokesman of the greatest empire in the history of the world he described accurately and sympathetically the lives of the peoples living under its jurisdiction. Though no orthodox believer, he prized and in his writings illustrated the great Christian virtues of charity, compassion and forgiveness, as well as the more modest British virtue of toleration. Nor is it possible to read his stories without being surprised by the light they so often throw on the eternal mysteries of love, pain and loss. Ultimately, however, we read him, as our parents did before us, for sheer enjoyment. The Two-Sided Man comes hard on the heels of Mr Harris’ anthology of Kipling’s poetry (‘The Surprising Mr Kipling’) Available from Amazon.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Legal Advice for Pedestrians Hit by a Car

Consideration was given for the publication of this post

When you're visiting the scenic Oregon coast or sightseeing in bustling Portland, summertime can be quite crowded in the Beaver State. With more people, there's always a greater risk for unfortunate accidents to occur. Many cities in our region are walker and cyclist friendly, but in the blink of an eye, disaster can strike when motorists are not exceedingly careful on the roadways and in crosswalks. Oregon personal injury attorneys see a slew of pedestrian related lawsuits each year, and they can help you learn who is responsible for injury and damage in the event of a tragedy. 

Oregon Pedestrian Accidents
Anyone who has experienced--and survived--being hit by a car knows it is a downright terrifying and life-changing ordeal. When you are seconds from possible death, the last thing on your mind is a lawsuit. Still, people who are lucky enough to walk away from a car-on-pedestrian accident should know their legal options and go about protecting their best interests after a near-deadly collision.
Your health is always of the utmost importance, but if you have your wits about you in the moments after being struck, there are a number of things you can do to ensure the best possible outcome if you have to sue for damages. Remember that it is a person's lawful responsibility to demonstrate caution when he or she poses a threat to the community, and in this case, someone wielding a two ton car will always jeopardize a person on foot. Most importantly, consulting with Corvallis attorneys will help give you a comprehensive understanding of how the law comes into play in a pedestrian accident. 

What to Do If You're Hit by a Car
1. Keep the driver on the scene. It's not to say that most folks would flee the scene of an accident, but in reality, many victims assume they are fine. The initial shock and humiliation of being hit confuses people, and if they don't feel immediate pain, they insist it's no big deal. Once a driver makes his or her way off, though, it may be too late. Oregon personal injury attorneys recommend that once you are safely out of the street, do all that you can to keep the other party present. No matter how minor your injuries may be, people with broken ribs, knees, and other major afflictions may not know it for hours. 

2. Ask witnesses to stay. Minor car-on-pedestrian collisions occur most frequently in places like parking lots, where there are lots of people present. Even if the event seemed negligible, calmly request for observers to stay with you. Their perception of events will be much clearer than yours, and if the driver does not cooperate, witnesses can help your case in court. 

3. Always call the police. In order to seek damages for your medical bills, loss of income, pain, and suffering, you need a formal documentation of the event. Even if you're not sure who is at fault, calling the police to the scene is of absolute importance. If anything, they can ensure your physical safety. In the best case scenario, the police report will help you make a case for compensation if the driver is in the wrong. 

4. Take pictures and keep careful records. If you are well enough to move about while waiting for law enforcement, capture your surroundings including the motorist's license plate, car, street signs, and anything else that might serve as evidence in a later court battle.

5. Always see a doctor or go to the emergency room, depending on the severity of your injuries. Victims of accidents are often so upset and distraught that they convince themselves they will go later, but if you wait too long, your records may not hold up in court. Once you seek prompt professional medical care, keep an immaculate paper trail of all your accumulating bills and other documentation relevant to your injuries. 

6. Finally, seek legal advice if you want representation or feel you can't compete against the insurance company alone. Experienced Oregon personal injury attorneys like those at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield offer expert insight on how to build a solid case in the event of a minor to severe run-in with a motor vehicle. As the victim of an almost tragedy, don't be afraid to advocate for yourself and for what you rightly deserve. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Book recommendation: To Kill A Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition Paperback by Harper Lee

'Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.' A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel - a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man's struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much. To Kill a Mockingbird is a coming-of-age story, an anti-racist novel, a historical drama of the Great Depression and a sublime example of the Southern writing tradition. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, June 10, 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'. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Book recommendation: May it Please Your Lordship by Toby Potts

Toby Potts has just qualified as a barrister and is about to embark on a career in one of the world's oldest professions. Stirring speeches to rapt juries, triumphant press interviews and enormous fees paid by grateful clients. he can see it all. But unfortunately, he has reckoned without Judge 'Bonkers' Clarke, The Honourable Mr 'Sourpuss' Boniface and a range of other equally terrifying, grumpy and borderline insane judges - not to mention tricky solicitors, bent coppers and dodgy defendants. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Book recommendation: The Shepherd's Life: A Tale of the Lake District by James Rebanks

Some people's lives are entirely their own creations. James Rebanks' isn't. The first son of a shepherd, who was the first son of a shepherd himself, he and his family have lived and worked in and around the Lake District for generations. Their way of life is ordered by the seasons and the work they demand, and has been for hundreds of years. A Viking would understand the work they do: sending the sheep to the fells in the summer and making the hay; the autumn fairs where the flocks are replenished; the gruelling toil of winter when the sheep must be kept alive, and the light-headedness that comes with spring, as the lambs are born and the sheep get ready to return to the fells. These modern dispatches from an ancient landscape tell the story of a deep-rooted attachment to place, describing a way of life that is little noticed and yet has profoundly shaped this landscape. In evocative and lucid prose, James Rebanks takes us through a shepherd's year, offering a unique account of rural life and a fundamental connection with the land that most of us have lost. It is a story of working lives, the people around him, his childhood, his parents and grandparents, a people who exist and endure even as the world changes around them. Many stories are of people working desperately hard to leave a place. This is the story of someone trying desperately hard to stay. James Rebanks is the Herdwick Shepherd, whose account of shepherding has a strong following on Twitter (@herdyshepherd1). His family has farmed in the same area for more than six hundred years. Available from Amazon.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Benefits of Visiting a Doctor After a Car Accident

Brought to you by our friends at Howie, Sacks and Henry LLP, Canada

There are some car accidents that are major and can result in serious injury to the driver and his or her passengers. Other accidents are called fender-benders and these sometimes result in minor injuries. Regardless of how minor the car accident appears to be, it’s a good idea for the driver to get checked by a doctor. Consider some of the reasons why it's beneficial to a driver’s health to get checked out by a doctor after being involved in a car accident. 

An Unknown Injury

One of the reasons why a driver should be examined by a doctor after a car accident is because some injuries can show up a day or two after the incident. For instance, a driver may strain his or her neck during a fender-bender. However, the person may not experience neck pain until the morning or day after the car accident. If the person is checked by a doctor, the physician can make note of the injury and this information can be included in the driver’s car accident claim

An Internal Injury

Another reason why a driver should be examined by a doctor after any type of car accident is to check for internal injuries. A doctor can perform certain tests that rule out internal injuries that the driver may not be aware of. Oftentimes, a driver’s mid-section will hit the steering wheel when an accident occurs and he or she will suffer internally from the sudden impact. A doctor is able to make note of these types of injuries and provide treatment for the person. A driver who is injured in a car accident may want to take action and contact a legal team such as HSH lawyers for assistance.


Visiting a doctor after a car accident allows a driver to have a record of his or her condition after the incident. So, if anything changes or a small injury worsens, the driver will have documented proof of his or her health condition. This can help the driver if he or she decides to pursue the issue with the other party involved in the car accident.

Remember, even if you don't feel hurt, it's best to get examined by a doctor who knows what signs to look for. This can benefit your long-term health and prevent other related problems.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Book recommendation: Diary of a Lawyer by Goldie Millan

When her beloved father dies under suspicious circumstances, Liberty Deller finds herself the recipient of a host of mysterious objects, as well as a £500,000 inheritance. Viewing it as the perfect opportunity to uncover the truth behind her father’s death, Liberty joins his old firm—and quickly realises that dark secrets abound. As paralegal to the ruthless Lydia Bammona, Liberty receives a crash course in the moral and ethical limbo that exists at the Yorkshire-based law firm that’s funded by a pair of brothers known as the “Yorkshire Terriors.” Recording her thoughts and one-sided conversations with her deceased father in the diary that he left her, Liberty slowly unravels a tangled web of lies that puts her in increasing amounts of danger. As robed men begin to follow her every move, Liberty falls victim to attempted murder, kidnapping, and more. But what do these mysterious stalkers want? With surprising plot twists that include family drama and a touch of romance, Diary of a Lawyer offers up plenty of suspense for lawyers and mystery lovers, alike. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Book recommendation: The Man Who Left by Theresa Weir

THE MAN WHO LEFT is a memoir about the importance of fathers. It's about the men who leave, and the men who stay. It's a familiar story. Father leaves his wife and children and never looks back. Theresa Weir was five when her father left his family for a better life with a wealthy socialite. Many years passed with only occasional and grudging contact by Theresa's father. When Theresa married into a successful farm family, her father resurfaced, but she couldn't help but be suspicious of his awkward visits. Years later, when the aging socialite dies and Theresa's father is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, people expect Theresa to move to Florida to care for him. A daughter's duty. This is Theresa's personal story of a strained and painful father/daughter relationship. What does a daughter owe the father who abandoned her? Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

You Have Options to Settle your Settlement

Brought to you by our friends at Howie, Sacks and Henry LLP, Canada

Nobody wants to get involved in the legal system. However, there are certain times in your life when it may become necessary to stand up for yourself and your personal rights. One of the most common occurrences where people need legal help is when they suffer an injury. In these instances, you will need to hire a lawyers to represent your interests and ensure that you are awarded a settlement that is sufficient for the severity of the injury you have suffered. Personal injury cases are the specialty of HSH Lawyers. They handle these cases every day, helping to get their clients the compensation they deserve. Here are some ways that great lawyers can win big settlements.

1. Many years of experience handling disability cases

If you are trying to win a long term disability settlement, you need experienced lawyers on your side. You can be sure that the insurance company you are fighting against has good lawyers defending them, so having quality lawyers in situations like this can be invaluable to helping you win the settlement you are entitled to. Lawyers that handle disability cases for a living have seen it all before. They know all the tricks that insurance companies use to try to get out of paying claims that are valid. Having an experienced lawyer can literally be the difference between winning and losing your case.

2. One step ahead

Lawyers who are great at their jobs are always one step ahead of the lawyers they are going up against. This is especially true when it comes to lawyers who handle disability cases for a living. There are various strategies that insurance companies use to avoid paying off claims. These include saying that the insured person misrepresented their medical condition when they applied for coverage, the insured person is not sufficiently disabled or the insured person is not disabled at all. Knowing what defense the insurance company will use and when they are going to use it can help to swing the court's decision in your favor. Therefore, you need a disability lawyer who can anticipate the moves of the opposition.

3. No fear

Many insurance providers are enormous companies that prey on the fear of their clients. They depend on their clients being too afraid to file suit against them, for fear that they will be caught up in a legal nightmare. A good lawyer is not afraid of any insurance provider.

Book recommendation: Judicial Whispers (Caper Court) by Caro Fraser

For Leo Davies, a charming, brilliant barrister at one of London's most prestigious chambers, life is good. It is only when he applies to take silk and become a QC that whispers begin of his scandalous sexual past. Leo, a man who has always meticulously divided his personal and professional lives, is unnerved to discover just how much his colleagues seem to know. Could attaching himself to a suitable woman be the solution to his problems? When fellow barrister Anthony Cross falls in love with beautiful solicitor Rachel Dean, Leo realises he may have to callously hurt them both to save his career. But Rachel has a dark and frightening secret of her own, and Leo's relationship with Anthony is more complicated than ever ... Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Book recommendation: Crucial Evidence by Margaret Barnes

Lenny Barker is pleading not guilty to the brutal murder of prostitute Shelley Paulson, while his defence barrister Cassie Hardman is left in no doubt of his guilt - that is until she learns of compelling new evidence in the high profile case to which only she is privy. Risking her future career and her ambition to become a QC, Cassie Hardman seeks a fair trial for the accused Barker, and will stop at nothing to locate the missing witness who may hold the key to his acquittal. Will she find the man in question before the jury retires to consider their verdict at the Old Bailey? And if Barker is acquitted of the gruesome crime who was really responsible? Available from Amazon.

Book recommendation: Crucial Evidence by Margaret Barnes

Lenny Barker is pleading not guilty to the brutal murder of prostitute Shelley Paulson, while his defence barrister Cassie Hardman is left in no doubt of his guilt - that is until shelearns of compelling new evidence in the highprofile case to which only she is privy. Risking her future career and her ambition to become a QC, Cassie Hardman seeks a fair trial for the accused Barker, and will stop at nothing to locate the missing witness who may hold the key to his acquittal. Will she find the man in question before the jury retires to consider their verdict at the Old Bailey? And if Barker is acquitted of the gruesome crime who was really responsible? Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Book recommendation: Order in Court: 2 (Toby Potts) by David Osborne

Toby Potts, fresh from Bar School, and clutching his graduation diploma, is a young, aspiring barrister, full of hopes and dreams and intent on becoming the leading criminal advocate of his time. He can hardly wait to get on his feet and impress the jury with his incisive cross-examination, his mastery of all things legal, and his spellbinding final speeches. Sadly, reality kicks in, and Toby finds the path to fame and fortune far from smooth and uneventful. Chambers politics, strange clients, solicitors who come and go on a whim, and even stranger and eccentric judges, all have their part to play in Toby’s climb up the greasy pole. Moments of courtroom drama, and many more moments of high fiasco, mark Toby’s initiation into the heady world of the Criminal Bar. So much to learn, so little time. Will Toby succeed where so many have failed? He has the determination, he has the self-belief, but does he have what it takes to reach the pinnacle of the profession? Only time will tell. One thing is certain - never a dull moment! Why be ordinary, Toby was once told, if you have it in you to be extraordinary? Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Book recommendation: Winners: And How They Succeed Hardcover by Alastair Campbell

Alastair Campbell knows all about winning. As Tony Blair’s chief spokesman and strategist he helped guide the Labour Party to victory in three successive general elections, and he’s fascinated by what it takes to win. How do sports stars excel, entrepreneurs thrive, or individuals achieve their ambition? Is their ability to win innate? Or is the winning mindset something we can all develop? Drawing on the wisdom of an astonishing array of talented people – from elite athletes to top managers, from rulers of countries to rulers of global business empires – Alastair Campbell uses his forensic skills, as well as his own experience of politics and sport, to get to the heart of success. He examines how winners tick. He considers how they build great teams. He analyses how they deal with unexpected setbacks and new challenges. He judges what the very different worlds of politics, business and sport can learn from one another. And he sets out a blueprint for winning that we can all follow. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Kevin Carr - round the world runner from Devon!

What a privilege to get out and support Kevin Carr today as he comes towards the end of his gruelling round the world run. All things being well, by tomorrow evening he will have broken the record for running over 16,000 miles around the world. It's a mind-blowing feat that has included running through Australia's Nullarbor Desert, over the Andes and even being stalked by a black bear in Canada. You can read more about this at The Independent and on his website. He's also raising funds for the British Red Cross and mental health charity Sane and you can donate here.

It's a rare privilege to meet someone achieving something so extraordinary and all the more so when he is so understated and humble about the whole thing. It brings to mind Hugh Symonds who 25 years ago this year ran the first continuous traverse of the 3,000 foot mountains of Britain and Ireland (which you can read about in his book here).

So, here's to Kevin completing the run in fine style tomorrow. After that, wouldn't it be great to see him up there in the running for Sports Personality of the Year?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Focus On: Reasons Why Will Writing Is Important for Everybody

Brought to you by our friends at Vincents Solicitors

Dying without a will – or intestate – is an unfortunately common problem. As of 2014, 48% of the UK’s 64 million population had not made a will. This represents at least £250million of untapped business for UK based solicitors; each one of those 33 million people is a potential client of the future. 

It isn’t just bad news from a business perspective. For clients and their families – who, in a large proportion of cases, have not made a conscious decision to avoid writing a will, instead simply forgetting or putting it off for later – it represents a potential disaster.

Why Are Wills Important?

When somebody dies intestate, the decision as to where assets are placed is made by the courts based on a raft of rules. Often – if the person dies with no known kin - that inheritance can go directly to the state. In the six years from 2006 to 2012, over £1m of bona vacantia property was inherited by the Duchy.  It can also, in some cases, go to a person with whom the person has little to no contact or relationship. There have been thousands of cases in which a cohabitant or long-term partner of the deceased has been legally unentitled to inheritance; despite what would have usually been agreed was intended.

In some cases, this happens when estates are particularly big: celebrities such as Amy Winehouse, Heath Ledger, Bob Marley and Stieg Larsson all died either with an out-of-date will - or without one at all. In each case, this causes problems for the relatives of the deceased.

No Will = Problems for All

Amy Winehouse’s parents inherited her £3million fortune after she died in 2011, leaving her ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil with nothing; Heath Ledger’s will was out-of-date, accidentally leaving his then 3 year-old daughter Matilda out of his inheritance. Bob Marley’s $30million estate was fought over by dozens of claimants, including his 9 children, when he died intestate in 1981, and Stieg Larsson’s estate was inherited by his father and brother, as opposed to his long-term partner, when he died in 2004. The latter was particularly contested, and Larsson’s former partner has battled for literary control of his works ever since. 

Whilst these would be expected to cast a spotlight on the importance of creating a will, little impact seems to have been made on the number of people who are preparing for their families after their own deaths. 

Many people cite lack of urgency as a reason for not creating a will; viewing themselves as somehow infallible; ‘too young’ to consider what will happen after the inevitable.

The above examples show that you can never be too early to plan for the future, however.

Lack of forward thinking is not only bad for legal business, but for individuals and their families; it’s so important to prepare as best as possible, especially when support which helps guide you through the process can be given via specialists wills and probate solicitors, like these. Have you written your will? How does your legal practice encourage clients to prepare their wills? Let us know in the comments below.

This post has been written by Anastasia Evans.


Monday, March 16, 2015

What You Need To Know About the New Drug Driving Laws

Brought to you by our friends at Barlow Robbins Solicitors
Despite the zero-tolerance approach to drink-driving that the law has long taken, drug driving law has always been noticeably less comprehensive. Perhaps due to the higher numbers of drink-drivers, alcohol has always been the more pressing problem for police responsible for regulating fitness to drive.
However, the imbalance is now being addressed. This weekend, drug driving laws were updated to establish specific limits for driving under the influence of eight illegal drugs, and eight prescription drugs.
What Does The New Law Say?
Under the new law, there will be virtually zero-tolerance given to those caught behind the wheel under the influence of any listed illegal drugs - including ecstasy, heroin, cocaine and LSD.
The (legal) prescription drugs which are now regulated include diazepam, methadone and morphine, amongst a range of others. Unlike with illegal drugs, it will only be an offence to drive over the specified limits of the relevant legal drugs, as opposed to with any illegal drugs. It will also constitute an offence if the drugs haven’t been prescribed.
However, it will remain legal to drive if the drugs were prescribed and medical advice has been followed, and if the prescribed drugs are not causing the driver to be unfit to drive. However, unprescribed prescription drugs will not be allowed.
How Will It Be Enforced?
Police have introduced ‘drugalysers’ – a roadside screening method for cannabis and cocaine – to immediately determine when drivers are unfit for the road.
The drugalyser will be used to more quickly identify and prosecute drivers, while suspects may also be taken into police stations for a more comprehensive test for further narcotics.
Drivers who test positive – or are found to be over the limit – for the relevant drugs will face a criminal record, loss of licence and a fine of up to £50,000. In the worst cases, drivers could face up to 6 months in prison.
Long-term, this can have a significant negative impact on employment, car insurance, and even travelling to countries like the USA.
How Has This Been Received?
Appending existing legislation which makes it an offence to drive under the influence of any drug, these recent changes have been welcomed by many.
With around 200 people killed in Britain each year by drug drivers, Robert Goodwill – the Road Safety Minister - has said that the change clearly shows the government’s message: “if you take drugs and drive, you are endangering yourself and others… and risk losing your licence and a conviction.” Others have suggested that it finally brings the law regarding drug driving up to a standard of that set by drink-driving regulations, and demonstrates how serious driving under the influence of drugs really is.
The new law is set out on this page. For information or advice on this - or any other – legal driving issue, contact the motoring offence team at Barlow Robbins.
This article was written by Anastasia Evans.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Great new app: Laundrapp

Brought to you by our friends at Laundrapp

Like it or not, appearances matter and nowhere is that more true than in the legal profession. Unfortunately, hard work is equally essential – but who has time to make sure their shirts are ironed when you’re still in the office at 8PM?

Finally though, there’s a better solution. Laundrapp is a new dry cleaning and laundry service that collects, cleans and delivers at a time and place that suits you – and you can book it whenever you want on iPhone or Android.

You can even get suits delivered straight to the office if you cycle to work – or if you live at your desk.

While it’s currently exclusive to London, Edinburgh and Birmingham, Laundrapp is expanding very quickly and will be in Manchester and more very soon. Use the Laundrapp voucher code BABYBARISTA you’ll get 30% off your first order!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Book recommendation: Letters to a Law Student: A Guide to Studying Law at University by Nicholas J McBride

Letters to a Law Student is the definitive guide to studying law at university. It is filled with advice to turn the potentially daunting task of studying law into an enjoyable and stimulating experience. Reading Letters to a Law Student will also help anyone considering studying law at university decide whether reading for a law degree is the right option for them. Written in a lively and entertaining style, this book offers clear and helpful answers to your questions about studying law at every stage of taking, or thinking about taking a law degree, from: “should I study law at university?”, and “what do law students do?”; to “how can I get the best marks in exams?”, and “what can I do with a law degree?” - along with many more. The Letters to a Law Student Companion Website provides additional support in finding out more about the study of law, using the Internet in your studies, and exploring the types of careers available in law. Letters to a Law Student is essential reading for anyone who is doing, or thinking about doing, a law degree at university. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Book recommendation: Advocacy in Court: A Beginner's Guide by Keith Evans

A book for all new lawyers who wish to become advocates and for all solicitors who gain rights of audience and propose to exercise them. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Book recommendation: The Law Machine by Marcel Berlins

Marcel Berlins, a former practising lawyer, has written several books and presented a number of television series, including The Law Machine. He presents 'Law in Action' on BBC Radio 4 and writes a weekly legal column in the Guardian. Clare Dyer, asolicitor, is legal correspondent of the Guardian and the British Medical Journal. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Book recommendation: Ford County by John Grisham

Gripping short stories from the No.1 bestselling author of the legal thriller. Worldwide No.1 bestseller John Grisham takes you into the heart of America's Deep South with a collection of stories connected by the life and crimes of Ford County: a place of harsh beauty where broken dreams and final wishes converge. From a hard-drinking, downtrodden divorce lawyer looking for pay-dirt, to a manipulative death row inmate with one last plea, Ford County features a vivid cast of attorneys, crooks, hustlers, and convicts. Through their stories he paints a unique picture of lives lived and lost in Mississippi. Completely gripping, frequently moving and always entertaining, Ford County brims with the same page-turning quality and heart-stopping drama of his previous bestsellers, and is proof once more why John Grisham is our most popular storyteller. Available from Amazon.