Law comes to the Edinburgh Fringe

Avatar photo

By Judge John Hack on

It’s not just arty luvvies galore in the Scottish capital at this time of year…


If it’s early August, it must be time for the entire British Isles comedy profession to decamp to that lovely northern English city of Edinburgh.

One legal affairs blogger made the long journey to what some still insist is Scotland and reported back with law-related artifacts.

Law firm V Good & Co bags points for quality branding that is bound to strike a cord with anyone who has over-imbibed on the single malt and woken up in the local nick.

However, the firm just as quickly loses most of those points for an over-abundance of gavel imagery on its website.

Scottish law is clearly distinct from that in England and Wales, but unless Nicola Sturgeon has distributed Scots Nats Party-branded gavels to judges while we weren’t looking, Legal Cheek reckons both sides of the border are in harmony on that point.

Where there is divergence is around the nomenclature for the advocacy profession. Scottish advocates get really narked if referred to as barristers. Instead they prefer being called … advocates, which is a bit confusing now that solicitor-advocates have rights of audience in Scotland’s higher courts — but hey, that’s their business. It’s nearly a separate country, after all.

In any event, @legalhackette put the whole issue into context with this image from a far more crucial aspect of Scottish culture — a boozer. The Advocate in Hunter Square in the Old Town encourages its bar staff to wear these little gems, which go down a right treat with tourists from around the world.

And while there is plenty to see and hear during the Fringe, one rarity is a Scottish brogue. Understandably, the locals head for the Munros at this time of year, but not before doing a brisk trade on Airbnb.

But that doesn’t mean that Celtic lilts are absent from Auld Reekie in August — there are plenty of Irish comedian’s plying their craft among the 3,000-plus Fringe acts.

And Legal Cheek readers will be interested in one. Keith Farnan (pictured below) is a former solicitor who took the view that a career being barracked by drunken audiences around the world had more to recommend it than dealing with demanding clients and law firm time sheets.


Farnan’s Edinburgh gig is called “Anonymous” and it focuses on the highly topical legal issues of privacy, liberty… and comedy.

Every day, more of our personal data is either given away, acquired in the interest of national security, or sold to the highest bidder,” says the blurb to his routine, which runs for the next fortnight. “But maybe we don’t really need our privacy, so let’s start by getting rid of curtains and go from there, shall we?