Speaking exclusively to Legal Cheek, Alan Blacker — who also goes by the title Lord Harley — hits back at Crown Court judge who questioned his appearance, title and qualifications
Yesterday evening news broke of a solicitor-advocate who had been reprimanded for dressing “like something out of Harry Potter” while appearing in Cardiff Crown Court.
According to Wales Online, judge David Wynn Morgan demanded to know why solicitor-advocate Alan Blacker (pictured) — who was appearing under what he describes as his hereditary aristocratic title of Lord Harley of Counsel — was wearing colourful ribbons and badges on his gown.
Lord Harley, who was representing a client charged with death by dangerous driving, responded by explaining that he had earned the ribbons for voluntarily medical service with the St John Ambulance. To which the judge thundered:
“Here in South Wales, we had a barrister, who later became a judge, who, during the Battle of Normandy, was awarded the highest order of gallantry, the Victoria Cross. Did you ever see him wearing that medal? No. He would have considered it the height of vulgarity.”
“I did not raise any of these matters before this court during the trial because I am mindful of the fact that a young man has died and I did not want to interfere with the dignity of the proceedings, but if you ever appear looking like something out of Harry Potter, you can forget coming before this court ever again.”
Judge Wynn Morgan also questioned Lord Harley’s title and qualifications, according to Wales Online.
This morning Legal Cheek contacted Lord Harley, who told us that he was “shocked, appalled and very upset about this unwarranted attack which says nothing about my performance as a lawyer,” emphasising that he has not been criticised in any respect about his professional abilities.
The solicitor, who works from Christine Sharp & Co Solicitors in Lancashire, added:
“Last year when I won a trial in which Your Honour was the presiding judge he was confident and satisfied in my appearance and bona fides, which have been on public record for several years. This matter is being discussed with my lawyers currently.”
Of the unusual title he uses, Lord Harley explained:
“My title is hereditary. My family has been in the height of public life for over 700 years.”
Lord Harley’s epic public CV can be viewed on LinkedIn.