Doughty Street junior barrister crowned ‘Most Fascinating Person Of 2014’

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Can you guess which one it is?


Amal Clooney’s online CV glitters with big name cases — from Tymoshenko v Ukraine to Sweden v Assange. It’s pretty impressive stuff for a barrister who was only called to the bar in 2010.

And the resume doesn’t even include her recent involvement in the Elgin Marbles controversy (over which she is advising Greece) or the case of imprisoned Egyptian journalist Mohamed Fahmy.

Yet — irony of ironies — Clooney (née Alamuddin) keeps popping up in the press because she has married some ageing actor.

And now US TV host has Barbara Walters has had the audacity to completely ignore Clooney’s roster of professional achievements in her crowning of the Doughty Street rookie as “Most Fascinating Person Of 2014”.

“You could say hers was the wedding of the year, but let’s put it into perspective, it was really one of the greatest achievements in human history,” explained Walters as she conferred the honour — which is much talked-about in the US — upon Clooney.

Making no mentioned of Clooney’s legal career, she added:

“Amal has been the subject of very little snark or envy, maybe because we — like George Clooney — find it impossible to resist perfection. Or maybe because it is heartening to think that no matter how long it may take, the perfect someone is out there for everyone. And that, for us, makes her the most fascinating person of 2014.”

In one sense Walters is right: clearly the “Most Fascinating Person Of 2014” has a long way to go as a lawyer, with no rankings in the legal directories yet and QC status a long way off.

Indeed, there is even a theory that some of her recent instructions may not be unrelated to her match with new hubby George. Certainly, Amal’s global celeb status made her the perfect choice of junior to raise the profile of Geoffrey Robertson QC ‘s gig to win back Greece’s marbles.

But this isn’t being entirely fair. Although Clooney, 36, is relatively new to the bar, she’s been at the law game since the early noughties, having done a stint as a corporate lawyer in New York with Sullivan & Cromwell prior to coming to London.

While stateside, Clooney — who was educated at Oxford and New York University — also clerked for US Supreme Court judge Sonia Sotomayor. It was this amazing combination of experiences, allied to her good looks and glamour, that saw her named the “hottest barrister in London” in Your Barrister Boyfriend’s inaugural 2013 “hottie list” — which, lest we forget, was firmly pre-George.

So while Amal’s hooking of a famous husband may be behind the media attention for now, don’t write her off as a person — or a lawyer — in her own right just yet.

The other nine ‘most fascinating people of the year’ who Clooney beat to the top spot were Scarlett Johansson (actress), Chelsea Handler (comedian), Neil Patrick Harris (actor), David H. Koch (businessman, political figure), Oprah Winfrey (former television host), Elon Musk (businessman and engineer/inventor), Michael Strahan (former American football player and television host), George RR Martin (author) and Taylor Swift (singer).