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Mr Justice Peter Smith is BARRED from hearing Addleshaw Goddard cases

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The battle continues as list of firms and lawyers over whom he can no longer adjudicate grows and grows

law

Just when he might have needed more friends in high places it has been revealed that members of Blackstone Chambers are not the only lawyers who will not be appearing in front of Mr Justice Peter Smith any time in the foreseeable future.

Also subject to what is quaintly referred to as “a listing arrangement” is Addleshaw Goddard, who fell out with the judge after the firm declined to offer him £750,000 a year to come on board. A decision which left the judge and Titanic enthusiast “extremely disappointed” and one which he blamed on “the bean counters”.

Shortly thereafter, his behaviour while presiding over a case involving an Addleshaw Goddard partner was described by Lord Justice Judge as “intemperate” and “somewhat extraordinary”. And according to The Lawyer (£), the “listing arrangement” may have been in place for nearly a decade.

The magazine states that sources inform them cases for Peter Smith J “are not allocated on a normal basis” as they have to be “scrutinised” carefully to ensure there are no potential conflicts with the lawyers involved. This strongly suggests that the list of lawyers and firms who enjoy a listing arrangement with the judge is not a short one.

26 Comments

Anonymous

What was the honourable judge like when he was in practice?

(18)(1)

Anonymous

Funnily enough he was okay then. That was before he developed judgitis.

(11)(1)

Anonymous

Like it!

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Brilliant!

(0)(0)

Anonymous

This man symbolises all that is wrong with the’old’ generation of barristers who rely on reputation and pomp to project success.

Imagine what the public must be thinking whilst reading about this man’s exploits.

(32)(2)

Anon

I don’t think he symbolises anything. He just shouldn’t be a judge.

(38)(0)

Anonymous

Personally I think if he got appointed a High Court Judge maybe it is not such an unattainable ambition.

(13)(2)

Gladiatrix

Peter Smith J is not one of the ‘old’ judiciary at all. On the contrary, he does not come from a public school/Oxbridge background and that may actually be part of the problem. He likes to think of himself as ‘working class’, and that the ‘old boys network’ has had it in for him from Day 1. I’ve met Peter Smith J and he has the most enormous chip on his shoulder, without, from what he said to me, having any real evidence to justify it. I do wonder if he makes assumptions about how the rest of the judiciary and Bar behaves and then gets upset when it is suggested that he is not behaving in the way that the rest of the judiciary or Bar would.

Having said that, I think Legal Cheek should make an FoI application for the letters Peter Smith J claims to have received from other judges and barristers about David Pannick and/or Blackstone Chambers. If there really has been the level of criticism that he claims Blackstone may have more than one member of the judiciary to worry about.

(15)(7)

Danger Mouser Chief Agitator & Rabble Rouser

What are you wittering on about, you snobby cock? He attended Cambridge.

(14)(11)

Anonymous

There is no doubt that he has a massive chip on his shoulder.

(0)(0)

Lord Trumpton III Esq of Humpville

Speaking of legal poems of recent:

A vindictive judge
Should not be working as a judge
Because a judge must act independently
And, in lay terms, it is important to be nice
Not nice to be important

(Poems don’t have to rhyme)

(10)(5)

Anon

Yeah but they usually at least have some sort of meter. They’re not just normal sentences cut into lines

(5)(0)

Lord Harley

There one was a poster called anon, who was stuck up an arse like a tampon.
From his lofty great height, all he could see was shite, and all he did was go on like a wrong un.

Better

(2)(2)

Anonymous

Presumably this means Smith J cannot be given the usual Ch.D duty of sitting as interim applications judge as you never know who might roll up in those open house sessions. Probably not anyone as grand as Lord Pannick himself, but a lesser Blackstonian or two could sweep in.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

He sits in the applications court quite a bit.

(2)(0)

Ano Nymous

ChD judges sit in the applications court for 2 week stretches so anyone needing to make an application would be able to know that he was sitting and speak to listing accordingly, I suppose.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Peter Smith J does sit in interim applications. And is a good judge on the law. I would not be at all surprised if he were not on the receiving end of the old School tie boys network. It is a subtle thing but it is there. He doesn’t help himself though.

(2)(2)

Anonymous

Any Blackstone or ag lawyer in his court is quids in. Either they win(great) or they lose and get a slam dunk appeal (great).

Heaven knows how many other judges harbour grudges that jeopardise litigants but you never find out about it.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Past time he went. Too many cases where he has shown bias because of his personal agenda : Addleshaw Goddard (his failed consultancy): BA (his lost luggage) and the latest one (doesn’t like Blackstone Chambers). An embarrassment to the judiciary and doing the UK legal system great harm here – and abroad – reputationally.

(10)(2)

Anonymous

Spot on. Tell the LCJ.

(6)(3)

Anonymous

Stop being so pompous.

What’s the problem? He adds a bit of colour to the law. A hidden code in a judgment, a grudge against a law firm, a feud with Lord Pannick, ranting about his lost luggage, and no doubt much more besides. Top stuff, and in the otherwise dull-as-fuck Chancery Division to boot.

He’s a good judge. And you’ll miss him if he goes.

(12)(11)

PJ

Haha!

(2)(2)

Anonymous

Anonymous at 7.40 pm above is absolutely correct that Peter Smith was okay at the bar (actually considerably better than okay) – although I can’t comment on the judgitis allegation – I worked with the judge 1996-99 on long running litigation that went to the Court of Appeal when he was Peter Smith QC. At all times I found him approachable, personable, first rate in con and in court and very good with Legal Aid clients (for whom some of his status at the bar then would have had less time – he even voluntarily reduced his Legal Aid brief fee to lessen the impact of the Legal Aid charge on their damages – the only barrister I have worked with who has done this). So it is a pity and a surprise he has gained such bad press with some – it is hard to believe it is the same chap I worked with and I can only assume that, as others have observed above, there are internal stresses within the judiciary and parts of the MoJ that us everyday lawyer folk have little awareness of.

(16)(2)

Anonymous

Suitcase Smithy is a legend – we need more of him not corrupt barristers and BS judges

(3)(1)

David P

I won

(1)(0)

Tibbles

If a judge cannot sit on cases involving certain lawyers or parties, then he should not be sitting as a judge at all.

The “listing arrangement” is a de facto admission that he is biased and cannot be trusted to exercise his powers in an objective and … for lack of a better word … “just” way.

The problem is that there appears to be no way of getting rid of a judge except through an act of parliament.

Unless, I suppose, the LCJ takes PS aside and they have a conversation about his “health” and retirement plans.

(0)(0)

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