The Secret Barrister moniker inspires law firm counterpart, but tells Legal Cheek he doubts he’ll be as successful
A solicitor has chosen to use an anonymous Twitter handle to speak “very frankly and openly” about the profession. He’s told Legal Cheek that while he admires fellow tweeter The Secret Barrister (TSB), he won’t be using his account in the same way.
Anonymous barrister TSB has rocketed to social media stardom in recent years, now sounding off about the state of the profession to nearly 90,000 followers. He even scored a book deal, the efforts of which have now been published (and reviewed by Legal Cheek).
While The Secret Solicitor (TSS) hasn’t quite reached these dizzy heights — his @ShhSolicitor account is a few days old and boasts a follower count in the hundreds — he doesn’t seem too fussed. “I couldn’t give a monkeys who follows the account,” TSS tells us, “I’m just using it to speak absolutely freely.”
The anonymous tweeter, who reveals to us he works in private practice and has 40 years’ experience, continues:
“The account is just a p*sstake, it’s a place I can get things off my chest, and possibly impart a little knowledge — and have a chuckle with some of the profession.”
Where we can expect more serious legal musings is regarding “the absolute erosion of access to justice” through legal aid cuts, the Civil Liability Bill and more. He’ll be leaving in-depth blogging to the likes of TSB, though.
Other things setting the anonymous twosome apart include that TSS is forthcoming about his gender. (Though Legal Cheek does advisedly refer to TSB with male pronouns, the advocate has never gone on record with this.) When asked whether TSS is a man or a woman, he said: “Just checked — a man!”
Another difference is just how ‘secret’ the accounts are. While TSB’s identity remains a total mystery, TSS is more than happy to give Legal Cheek a call and we chat for ten minutes, during which he says he’s not quite in his 60s, works as a partner in a firm just outside of London, and mainly practises civil law.
Other anonymous accounts mouthing off about the legal system include The Secret Pupil and Brenda the Usher. What does TSB think about this new tribe of anonymous accounts? He says:
“While I can’t take credit for the idea of anonymous whistleblowing accounts on Twitter, if other people in the system have been inspired or prompted to speak out about the problems in criminal justice, that strikes me as a good thing.”