QC launches scathing attack on Judge Rinder for ‘denigrating the law’

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But many silks disagree

A number of the country’s top QCs have moved to defend barrister turned Judge Rinder star Robert Rinder, after one criminal law silk said the ITV show “denigrates the job and the law”.

Speaking to Legal Cheek, a trio of QCs sought to quell the Rinder-directed fire set alight by criminal lawyer Robert Marshall-Andrews QC, a tenant at Carmelite Chambers. He is quoted in the Mail Online as saying:

“Barristers shouldn’t be reality stars… I deprecate it and don’t understand how it’s allowed.”

Marshall-Andrews, who moonlights as an author when he’s not defending criminals, reportedly described the barrister job as “sacrosanct”, adding: “You can’t take barristers seriously if they go on Strictly and behave like this.”

The ex-Labour MP, speaking at an event to launch his latest novel, Dump, added:

“Years ago, I was doing some training with the California Bar Association. We mocked up a criminal trial to show the American lawyers how we cross-examined in an English court and we wrote to the Lord Chancellor Lord Hailsham to ask if we could wear wigs and he said No! That wasn’t even for a TV show and is how it should be. What does Rinder think he’s doing? It denigrates the job. You should be above these things.”

A TV advert for Judge Rinder

But, 73-year-old Marshall-Andrews’ thoughts don’t seem to reflect those of the whole profession. PJ Kirby QC, a tenant at Hardwicke Chambers, for one is less Rinder-riled. While he does concede the TV show isn’t an accurate representation of a court hearing, he tells us:

“Judge Rinder does show how one has to focus on the real issues in the case. I do not think he is making a mockery of the law. The civil courts are there to resolve disputes… Judge Rinder is showing how small disputes can be resolved.”

He adds: “I don’t understand the criticism of him going on Strictly. Obviously he was only chosen because of Judge Rinder. Despite my refined forms of dad dancing I don’t think they’ll be calling on me.”

The 2018 Chambers Most List

James Turner QC, a criminal lawyer, like Kirby isn’t as appalled by Rinder as Marshall-Andrews seems to be. He’s not a fan of the reality TV show because he often disagrees with University of Manchester law graduate Rinder’s decisions, but: “As long as people realise it’s simply entertainment and not a real court I don’t think that it brings the profession into disrepute.”

Brie Stevens-Hoare QC goes one step further, admitting she’s a fan of the “accessible and entertaining insight into dispute resolution” that Rinder provides. “The tone is so clearly driven by entertainment and humour that it avoids the danger of other judicial characters like the ethically dubious Judge John Deed,” she thinks, adding that “no one would think judges act just like Rinder”.

We agree, and are happy to report the Rinder-Legal Cheek love is reciprocated, as this video shows:

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This would be the same Rober Marshall-Andrews QC who appeared on Have I Got News For You?



Since when is HIGNFY a legally binding instrument?
False equivalence. He has not complained about a barrister talking to the media or appearing on any show, just a specific one.



Judge Rinder is not legally binding either.

The “award” is paid out by the TV show; it is not an arbitration.



was he wearing robes and a wig at the time?


Brick Court Pupil

His a joker who ruined his reputation for a hefty pay cheque. Not many barristers respect him.



Well, you’re easy to identify.



Robert Rinder happens to be a close personal friend of mine.

It’s generally not the done thing for pupils who have not yet earned their spurs to denigrate those who have already succeeded in the profession. It’s considered bad form at the Bar.

Good luck with that tenancy application.


Brick Court Tenant

Come to think of it, I think we could do with having a chat about this. Clerks’ room, 5.30pm on Monday.



bit harsh. i think hes cool. his legal analysis on the show is accurate, comes across as direct and honest, has sensitivity and humour (the case where one of the parties was called Shabba, and he briefly referenced the song, yes im old enough to remember that).

i think he shows a positive side of the profession – intelligent, sharp, witty and good natured.


Brick Court Tenant

Clerk’s room.




His gay and supports LGBT



Don’t worry, Kim K is going to be a lawyer soon



This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.


Frustrated Cunt

Where is Frustrated Writer?????



Is Judge Rinder a judicial celeb Katie?



Why shouldn’t gay people be Barristers?



This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.



I thought James Turner QC was a family lawyer?



He is that, too


Wake up

He needs to somehow feed his family, you know?



But either way, he is not a civil law specialist. You could say Rinder isn’t either, but it is not as if his saying that Rinder’s opinions are wrong is coming from someone eminently more able or conversant in English civil law than Rinder.



What’s this about needing the Lord Chancellor’s permission to wear wigs out of court?



Will we also introduce strobe lighting, popcorn and hot dog sellers, and a halftime show? Perhaps ring girls carrying the round number after each back and forth? Buffer to bring in the defendants?

“This is television, that’s all it is. It has nothing to do with people, it’s to do with ratings! For fifty years, we’ve told them what to eat, what to drink, what to wear… for Christ’s sake, Ben, don’t you understand? Americans love television. They wean their kids on it. Listen. They love game shows, they love wrestling, they love sports and violence. So what do we do? We give ’em *what they want*! We’re number one, Ben, that’s all that counts, believe me. I’ve been in the business for thirty years.”


Not Amused

Surely if he thinks there is a regulatory breach he should report it. If there is no regulatory breach then why would you try to control how other people behave?


Ciaran Goggins

Jeremy turned to Derek, it had been quite a night, reading “The Swimming Pool library” then acting out some scenes from 50 Shades of Gay. “It can’t go on, I am a judge and TV star and you are a registered police informer”. Derek looked through a cloud of smoke, his West Indian features marred by yet another Yardie encounter “Listen bway…” cont p 5


DONALD R. MACLEOD QC (Scotland) Retd.

I think that Rinder communicates very well to the lay public how the principles of the law are applied in practice. He is far more judicious than Judge Judy, and he strikes me as being a rather principled man who has done nothing to bring his profession into disrepute. The criticism is unfounded and unfair. So what if he relaxes by dancing? Better than over-indulging at Pomeroy’s!



I suspect his Strictly work is within the “Handbook” but his ITV work is plainly “discreditable to a barrister”.



“Marshall-Andrews, who moonlights as an author when he’s not defending criminals…

‘Criminals’? Not unless and until convicted. Come on, Legal Cheek, make some effort to be accurate.


Wake up

No, barristers should instead be working on a minimum wage defending local thieves – barely being able to feed their families. Someone is jealous I guess. I honestly would rather be in Rinder’s of Judy’s shoes any day.



i think you are right.
sadly, jealousy, mind games and schadenfraude are the bread and butter of the legal profession and it starts in uni.

why cant we be positive and support each other?


Happily non-practising barrister

So hang on – Judge Rinder denigrates the job and the law does he?

In my humble opinion it’s quite the opposite. He not only provides a good service in resolving small disputes, he does this in good humour and approachability.

As the bar can easily be seen as being too traditional for modern day and not ‘accessible‘ this is a great way of displaying its humanity to the general public.

Also, you can’t take the bar seriously due to Judge Rinder‘s sections can you?

I remember the Leeds QC who was convicted of physically assaulting his barrister wife (both having subsequently denied this in court under oath) and, despite some punishment, he was still allowed to practice. The bar certainly is sacrosanct isn’t it!

Give me a dancing, tv personality of a barrister than a wife-beating one any day of the week.

Back to the point of the bar being denigrated… yes it is – by the barristers who sexually harass fellow colleagues, who are far too dependant on drinking and drugs, who lead massively disfunctional lives…

Judge Rinder is a good character and he can dance all he wants. He is far from the power-hungry, narcissistic, disfunctional fools that are the problem in that profession.

It’s about time the bar‘s dinasours grew up. Or shut up.



Happily for all.


Yes, happily for me too

When I was at the bar Westport I was amazed at how whenever the bar was ‘disrespected’ by telling a few home truths then woe betide for denigrating such a ‘wonderfully-respected’ establishment. The school bullying attitude was something I was initially alarmed by (as were they, when I bullied back) but with time I learnt to enjoy how purile even the most ‘senior’ members were.

The dysfunction, the sexism, the racism et al by the senior members. Only for the average Joe in Court to get sanctioned for the same…. Thankfully this is the bar’s minority, but an absolute disgrace in a profession that involves administering… wait for it… justice!



Fair point – how can a well-known barrister on the tv denigrate the profession when he doesn’t particularly do anything bad?

What about those inside the profession who bring it to disrepute?

Now that there is more whistling on the various forms of harassment etc, the can of worms is opening.



Totally agree. Barrister lies in court yet allowed to practice. BSB had its eyes closed. He has personality and is vibrant like most criminal practitioners. Who cares if he is on tv. The haters are jealous as they want to be on Strictly.



If you’re so bothered about the law being denigrated, lambast legal aid acuts and other hideous Tory reforms that drive a coach and horses through important legal principles.i



Dear Chief Secretary

I’m afraid there is no money

13 years of Labour. But good false choice argument.



Oh really? Then where did the Tories find the money for Brexit, the DUP, HS2 and Trident, to name a few of their hobby projects?

Oh yes, that famous righty money tree.



Really. It’s a matter of record.
Defense of the nation is a hobby project!
DUP are elected representatives.
Brexit is the largest democratic mandate in British History.
The magic money tree is a leftist invention.
And HS2, transport infrastructure was a Labour proposal!

and you are moving further from the actual story.
Now tell me how Trump is to blame.



A moment ago you were saying Labour spent all the money, now you’re justifying rightist big spending, which is it?


Too much is made of the note that Liam Byrne left. It was a joke. But there is an underlying truth that Labour spent money profligately and recklessly in government.

You can argue with the coalition’s and Tories’ spending priorities, but you can’t deny that after Labour any government was constrained by the massive debt it inherited.

Corbyn and McDonnell’s spending plans just rely on borrowing more money (massively) and hoping that the stimulus will allow for growth to pay it back. The industrial plan is just to re-nationalise and throw money at any problems.

I think McDonnell’s plans are dangerous bollocks. They are just an attempt to create state-employed client voters. You will no doubt disagree.

(I’m not Westcott.)


What’s so wonderful and special about the practice of law that anyone should get worked up about a lawyer appearing in light entertainment programmes?

Law’s just an industry like any other. I can see why circuit and High Court judges – like senior civil servants, the higher clergy, government ministers etc – should maintain some dignity of office. But who cares about barristers and solicitors?

Stupid, pompous objection from Marshall-Andrews.


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