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Mysterious barrister lifts lid on cocaine-fuelled life at the bar

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Courts are apparently full of coke-head lawyers ogling jury members

Lead

A mystery barrister has penned tell-all account of life at the bar, revealing it’s a world of drugs, stress and client poaching.

The apparently male barrister — who writes under the pseudonym Russell Winnock — gives an honest, and on occasions brutal account of his experiences as a criminal practitioner in a book entitled “Confessions of a barrister”.

The secretive author, who says that he is 30-something and was called to the Bar in 2002, claims that drugs are rife at the bar — echoing research conducted by Legal Cheek earlier this year that revealed one in five barristers who admitted to taking drugs did so while at work.

Winnock, who says that he’s married with children and practises in the south of England, suggests that while commercial lawyers — with their high salaries — use drugs for recreational purposes, those at the criminal bar use narcotics, such as cocaine, to tackle stress and pre-court nerves.

The book also touches upon the private nature of those working at the bar. Speaking to The Times (£) newspaper yesterday, Winnock said:

What really worries me is that people, as is the culture of the bar, are quite secret about their private lives, and if they have problems many will never admit it because it’s akin to admitting that you’re not very good.

The mystery member of the bar also reveals that with government attacks on legal aid, coupled with an increase in solicitor-advocates, client poaching is rife.

Winnock recalls a time when a female solicitor stole a client from him. The young man, who was on remand, was lured with gifts in the shape of a new pair of trainers and a phone card. He suggests that these underhand tactics are commonplace when thousands of pounds in legal aid is potentially up for grabs.

He continues his often-damning analysis, suggesting court robing rooms are akin to rugby club changing facilities, with male barristers openly discussing which female barrister are “fit” and analysing how attractive particular members of the jury are.

The crime specialist also takes the opportunity to fire a shot at the government’s devastating cuts on legal aid. He argues that criminal barristers earn barely enough to survive during their first five years in practise, meaning the profession is becoming increasingly reserved for those from a well-off background.

Winnock’s motivations for penning his experiences are apparently twofold. He suggests that he not only wants to defend the bar, but also correct an outdated impression, telling The Times:

People need to see us as a profession [in] which ultimately we are providing a service, because without the criminal justice system everything falls apart really.

28 Comments

Anonymous

Nobody likes a telltale

(26)(10)

ace frehly

What are you on about? EVERYONE loves a tell-tale!

(37)(4)

Anonymous

The anonymous author is Charlotte Proudman in disguise AICM £5

Creating a sexist male character to ‘lift the lid’ on sexism in the profession in order to prove her point.

Not the first person to use a sock puppet.

The new Johann Hari

(30)(13)

Anonymous

Grass needs to stop grassing.

Snitches get stitches!

(19)(7)

Not Amused

As legal aid is cut it is unsurprising to see people branching out in to other means of generating cash. Penning anonymous ‘confessions’ which name no names, are sensationalist and obviously silly is merely one alternative revenue stream.

The author should be ashamed. The rest of us should ignore him.

(13)(19)

Anonymous

Yup, let’s ignore the views of people using anonymous pseudonyms, Not Amused. Somewhat hypocritical, no?

(36)(1)

Anonymous

*Translation*

“Don’t listen to that anonymous authority . Listen to this anonymous authority instead!”

(25)(1)

Anonymous

At least he’s making money out of it. What’s your excuse?

(6)(1)

Ray North

Actually, far from ignore this book – we should applaud it, because the author, bless him/her, is trying to defend the legal aid system and the profession.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Her.

(0)(1)

Lord Harley of Bollocks

As the most eligible gentleman at the bar, I’m told I’m quite the topic of conversation among female advocates.

I would like to formally put my name forward for the role of James Bond, and in anticipation of my successful application have already updated my linkedin profile.

What a hero I am!

(13)(1)

Anonymous

To be fair, sometimes the jurors have distractingly massive tits

(28)(2)

Anonymous

To those in the know, the jury is commonly known by the name “the tit lucky dip”

(4)(1)

Anonymous

I don’t see what’s wrong with this. This is entirely my experience of life at the criminal bar.

(3)(2)

Anonymous

Practise is the verb. Practice is a noun.

(6)(5)

Peregrine Falcon KC

‘Twas always so. Fondly I remember as a pupil I was required to rise before dawn to light my master’s coal grate and opium pipe.

(17)(1)

Dr Bonham

*gasp* D-d-drugs?

(1)(1)

Ms Charlotte Proudperson

His picture is stunning!

(7)(2)

Sheikh Rahtul Ahnrol

My vending type product can help with physical happenings from seeing stunning pictures!

(0)(1)

Ms Charlotte Proudperson

Go away! I have no need of your products, Sheikh…

…well maybe only at night…

(0)(1)

Anon

Don’t get high on your client’s supply.

(5)(2)

Anonymous

This rule is so underrated keep your family and business separated. Money and blood don’t mix like two di*ks and no bitch. Find yourself in serious sh*t.

My minor private school in the south east was full of crack who*es around the late 90s…the 10 crack commandments kept me safe and my business profitable…

(3)(3)

lil kim

I wonder why they call u big poppa

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Nonsense !!!! All of this !!!

(1)(1)

retiredbrief

The author may not get the connection, but it is my genuine belief that you are unlikely to succeed as a lawyer unless you respect the law, including drug possession laws.
Plus, you are likely to get found out with devastating results.

(7)(2)

Anonymous

I can’t help thinking that the anonymous author is one of those “Deva” barristers who is exaggerating life at the bar to help sell his book (which by the way is very good!)

(1)(1)

Tony Montana

There isn’t any Coke at the Bar. It’s all bollocks.

(1)(1)

Randall

Ah Coke, yes those of us in Civil have long resorted to his Institutes but only when we cannot afford more up to date textbooks

(3)(1)

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