Having narrowly beaten Kirsty Brimelow in the last battle of the top QCs, Twitter Joke Trial barrister John Cooper QC today found himself up against none other than Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keir Starmer QC.
Cooper got things underway by ridiculing the DPP's new social media prosecution guidelines, which he described as "the longest ever explanation of common sense I’ve seen".
When presenter Sarah Montague put Cooper's words to Starmer on this morning's Today Programme, the usually unflappable DPP lost his cool, hitting back angrily... Continue reading
There was a brilliant cartoon in The Sun over the weekend making light of the fact that the internet was deemed worthy of only a single page of the 2,000 page-long Leveson report. Still, there have been suggestions that a new regime of press regulation could be extended to apply to bloggers, if they voluntarily opt-in...
A "wholly unjustified and unreasonable" decision to prosecute a small law firm for supposed failure to comply with the new Code of Conduct has left Andrew Hopper QC of the view that the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is becoming increasingly dysfunctional
The Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) doesn’t impress The Law Horse. So he is proposing four alternative ways to keep barristers and solicitor-advocates in check.
Who better to assess an advocate’s skills than their client? Not a real client, obviously, they can’t be trusted. Most of them are even criminals. No, what is needed is a stooge, an actor: a mystery client.
For all intents and purposes, the actor is a genuine client. In liaison with a police handler they are arrested for a pre-agreed offence. From that point on, the system takes charge and the lawyers are called. The client – who is the one person who holds all of the facts – is perfectly positioned to assess the advocate’s skill: the conference abilities and advice giving, the bail applications and decision making, the client care, trial advocacy, management of expectations and plea in mitigation.
Only, pity the poor mystery client whose police handler loses their file...
Three weeks on from the scrapping of the trainee minimum wage and the decision looks more ill-thought through than ever, argues Oxford University Bachelor of Civil Laws (BCL) student Richard Ridyard
The thousands of LPC graduates without a training contract have choked off the arteries of confidence in the legal graduate market. We find ourselves at a crossroads. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has made a bold step by abolishing the minimum wage for trainee solicitors. But now that the dust has settled and we have had a chance to reflect on that decision, was it the right one? Here, I argue that the four reasons Legal Cheek gave to explain why the SRA acted as it did are flawed.
The deregulation of the legal market has thrown up its most unlikely result yet: haulage firm Stobart Group, which grew out of Eddie Stobart lorries, has unveiled Stobart Barristers.
You heard it here first, a full hour before any other publication, and it’s now been confirmed that the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has scrapped the minimum wage for trainee solicitors.
The good news for current LPC students is that, firstly, the change won’t come into force until August 2014, and, secondly, trainees will still receive the national minimum wage of £6.08 an hour. Trainees will NOT be re-classified as apprentices and so the fears that they could earn just £2.60 an hour have proved unfounded.
I attended the SRA meeting at which the rule change was agreed this afternoon, and it was difficult to argue with the logic of the regulator’s board members – several of whom had clearly agonised hard over the decision.
In the end, it boiled down to four key points.
Throughout last week there were murmurings of an embarrassment at the Law Society involving marriage champion Sir Paul Coleridge and a controversial US group called the World Congress of Families (WCF). I got the story nailed down on Friday afternoon, decided to hold it until Monday, and then to my disappointment John Bingham broke it in The Telegraph on Saturday.
It’s a great story – and even better if you include the facts which The Telegraph, with its sympathy towards the agenda of Coleridge and WCF, chose to leave out...