An Unexpected Discovery

My blog, as regular readers will know, concentrates on ideas or matters of general import to society or the world. I do occasionally blog about other things, such as the less strictly legal aspects of my life at the English Bar, particularly if the story or anecdote has a humorous element or one which, to me, seems to say something about society as a whole.

When I blog about people I have known or had connection with, I usually keep them anonymous, or use initials only as identifiers. However, there are cases where the individual is either very well-known or, in my view, does not deserve the protection of anonymity.

Let us go back to December 2007, when I was beginning to have serious problems with the Revenue, problems which were not resolved until 2012. I made my last appearance in court (a truly ridiculous 3-day construction case at Central London County Court…long story, deserving a blog piece of its own some day) and left for my home in North Finistere, France (though I remained, purely nominally, a barrister in chambers, and at the practising Bar, until mid-2008).

Not long before I left for France for the last time (I had been bi-weekly commuting for 3 years via car ferry and air), a nuisance joined chambers. I had twice (successfully) opposed this barrister, one Brent McDonald, in fairly minor County Court negligence cases in the South West of England and had been frankly unimpressed by him. Though he seemed not unintelligent, he also seemed devoid of common sense: for example, insisting to a judge that a motor accident must have happened in a certain way because of the laws of kinetic energy! He was originally in the construction trade, I believe, and had a technical background. I disliked his attitude, which was very and unnecessarily confrontational. He was also a sore loser. If I am being completely honest, I thought that there was something wrong with him mentally.

That individual, I believe of Scottish origins, was, according to the senior clerk to chambers, married to an Indian (I think) woman, and they apparently had a child (in fact, if memory serves, two children). The Clerk said that he had plenty of good work, mostly legally-aided.

I was, at the time, a member of Rougemont Chambers, Exeter, which had burgeoned from a handful of people and not much work when I joined in 2002 to being a busy provincial set with a couple of dozen barristers and three clerks in 2007 (it is now merged with another set under a new name and is the largest set in Exeter and the largest in the South West outside Bristol).

The other members of chambers (it was always a surprise to me what poor judges of character many barristers are) were apparently impressed by McDonald at a reception chambers held for him, and the senior clerk was impressed by the list of solicitors supposedly willing to instruct him (and thus bring work and revenue to chambers). I abstained on accepting him into chambers, rather than voting against him, because both the Head of Chambers (who is now a Circuit Judge) and the Senior Clerk had persuaded all other members to approve him and I did not have the power to veto his acceptance.

In the first day or so, McDonald was not offensive and even remarked on how impressed he was that I was mentioned in the main legal directories (that “review” barristers and solicitors) as someone to brief on matters such as Caribbean and other offshore laws, and oil and gas questions, the latter particularly involving the Russophone jurisdictions where I had had very direct experience (including a year living in Kazakhstan).

It was not long, however, before McDonald started to buttonhole me on my political views, though only on the race question (including the Jewish Question). This was odd, because members of chambers rarely discussed anything political. McDonald was insolent and inquisitorial. To me, his attitude was unbelievable, not least because he had only just joined chambers and was in every way junior to me! Protocol is important to me. His demeanour was would-be intimidating, would-be bossy. I was fuming but courtesy also is very important to me. In fact, the bastard even remarked, half-sneeringly,  on how polite I was and how it was obvious that politeness was important to me!

McDonald effectively admitted that his antipathy toward me was based on (his kneejerk assumption about) my political views, combined with the fact that his wife and offspring (I think that he had two children) were non-European; as noted above, I believe that his wife was Indian. In the end, he grudgingly accepted that I had different views from his and we effectively agreed to avoid each other in chambers. Until he arrived, chambers had been a pleasant place. It was an object lesson in how one person can poison a whole environment very quickly.

So I left the practising Bar and my Exeter chambers and England, though not primarily (in fact, scarcely at all) because of McDonald (though his being there was certainly a disincentive to me, like the taste of a bitter piece of peel when eating a fruit).

I do not think that McDonald stayed long in those chambers before joining a larger set in Bristol, an offshoot of a London set. I noticed that he was himself now mentioned in the legal directories which he seemed to revere. They said that he “had come up through the ranks” and was well-regarded or some such.

I myself have always viewed such legal directories with skepticism, not so much because they recommended me at one time (!) but more because I had read glowing reports about people and organizations which did not chime with my direct experience of them, such as the “Emerging Markets” mini-department at Cameron McKenna (a large City of London law firm) for which I worked for 6 months in 1996-97, based for most of which time in Almaty, Kazakhstan (I later stayed on there, working with a very large American law firm).

That Cameron McKenna department was largely a Potemkin village created by an Australian woman of Russian-speaking (note speaking) origins, who would have been incapable of organizing the proverbial “piss-up in a brewery”, but who was very good at putting on an impressive front: when her department was about to be closed (when the **** hit the fan in various ways), about a year after I myself had moved on, that person not only managed to move just in time (and with a few toadies) to another large City of London law firm dealing with Russia, Kazakhstan etc, but the Times legal section and the main legal directories all (briefed by her and/or cronies, no doubt) lauded her new firm as having been “strengthened” by having this useless and devious woman and said toadies on board! (the last I heard of her, a few years ago, she had returned to the Antipodes and was an Australian trade delegate at a fairly high level, no doubt flourishing like the green bay tree…).

Anyway, returning to this McDonald character, I pretty much forgot about him for a decade, but then I started my blog and included a few reminiscences etc. So it was that I decided, recently, to see whether he was still at the Bar. To my surprise, I could not find him in the Bar Directory, or anywhere else, even by Googling. I did find some noted (i.e. appeal) cases, dating from 2008 or so. I wondered whether he had died, emigrated, even been disbarred! I drew a blank everywhere. Then I noticed that there was someone with the same surname at his last-known chambers. Not his wife at the time I knew him, because hers was a foreign, I think Indian, first name and this one was called Fran. Anyway, the Indian woman had not been at the Bar. So I thought that the surname must be co-incidence (McDonald being a fairly common name). Then, however, I noticed a few more facts.

It turned out that appeal cases from 2008 and later, proudly noted on that chambers’ website as having been done by Fran McDonald, had in fact been noted, in the law reports themselves, as having been done by Brent McDonald. I took a closer look.

The Bar Directory now has no public record for a Brent McDonald, but does now have an entry for one Lola Francesca McDonald…

Now a stranger move yet! It turns out that the barrister formerly known as Brent McDonald and now known as Fran McDonald has relocated to, of all places, the small New Zealand town of Nelson, at the top of NZ’s South Island.

What makes this move even stranger, on the face of it (and notwithstanding that Nelson seems a pleasant small town, reputedly the sunniest in New Zealand), is that McDonald (whether as Brent or Fran) was a personal injury specialist (though in Exeter he did other negligence-related and yet other work in the brief time when we were both members of Rougemont Chambers in 2007). There is, as far as I know, no personal injury legal work in New Zealand (see below for the reason for this).

The legal directories said:

“‘…rising star [Fran] McDonald continues to act on severe injury and fatal accident cases in the UK and abroad. She is very popular.’ (2012)”; and

“‘[Fran] McDonald is solely focused on personal injury and clinical negligence.’ (2014)”

(note the square brackets: looks as if Fran was still Brent in 2012 and 2014, despite the “she”; as for the Legal 500, that organization does not note McDonald’s New Zealand departure in its latest online offering: see below)


Personal injury; public inquiry; clinical negligence; product liability; inquests.


Fran is a specialist barrister acting in the field of personal Injury who is recommended in both ‘Chambers & Partners’ and ‘The Legal 500’. Fran’s practice is focused on personal injury, including fatal accidents, inquests and inquiries.

The favourable references cease after 2016. The reason is a little vague (to me at least). I have no idea how long “gender reassignment” takes (or whether Brent/Fran underwent it), though, apropos of nothing much, I did once own a copy of the memoirs of April Ashley, my copy sadly abandoned in France in 2009, along with 99% of my library of 2,000 books. The April Ashley book was rare, too, the print run having been pulped.

I presume that the apparent hiatus after 2016 may have had something to do with what must be a very trying metamorphosis for anyone.

What makes the emigration to New Zealand odd is that it is clear, on the face of it, that McDonald built up a solid reputation in England in personal injury and the related clinical negligence area, but has now relocated to a country where there is effectively no personal injury or clinical negligence work, because New Zealand has a “no-fault” system, based on universal insurance, assessment of injury etc (see Notes, below).

I notice that McDonald, despite and perhaps justly boosting his/her personal injury repertoire on the London chambers’ website (to the exclusion of almost everything else), now lists as specialisms “employment law” and, even more weirdly (to my eye), nautical matters!

Fran’s main specialism in Nelson is issues relating to employment law. After completion of his exams in the new year he will resume practice over his full range of contentious interests including tort law (negligence, trespass etc), insurance, commercial/contractual disputes, professional liability, property disputes, medico-legal matters, engineering and construction and health and safety legislation.”


Many of his cases over the years have had a nautical theme such as claims involving distraint of containerised goods, allisions or breach of contract especially where jurisdictional/conflict of laws questions arose. Fran is equally happy to bring or defend claims. For example, he acted for UK Marines injured on the battlefield at the same time as being counsel for over 1,200 Iraqis alleging they were imprisoned, tortured or had family members murdered by UK forces.

The Nelson law firm names McDonald as Fran, as do the chambers in London (of which he/she is still, it seems, a member), but the London website refers to “she/her” whereas the New Zealand one has it as “he/his”. All very confusing… In addition, the New Zealand law firm shows McDonald as male, in a suit, shirt, tie, with short hair. The London website shows Fran as, or as if, female, with matching hair. Even more confusing…

The New Zealand law firm, Hamish Fletcher, which McDonald has joined in Nelson, has —actually not too unpleasing aesthetically, from the architectural point of view— offices on the floors above some retail outlets: Specsavers, a clothing shop and a “vape shop”, as can be seen via Google Earth.

Well, there it is. I am no psychiatrist, but it appears that the underlying motive force here is a wish for reinvention: the young man in construction or engineering becomes a barrister, marries, has children, changes sets, changes locations, changes sex, emigrates to the far side of the world and to very different circumstances, even (as it appears) metamorphosing in appearance again.

In the Russian proverb, “the soul of another is a dark wood” [чужая душа темный лес].

Does the above story tell us anything beyond the egregious McDonald’s personal odyssey? Someone seemingly rootless… is that typical of the age, typical now of UK people? I myself was once called, in jest, “the wandering Aryan”! It does reinforce my view of “legal directories”, not to mention chambers’ and law firms’ websites!

What about the “gender bender” aspect? A lady barrister I knew in London once was convinced that pollution of the water and air was leading to feminization in the males of both fish and humans (she was looking at her boyfriend at the time!). Was she wrong? I merely pose the question. When both April Ashley and (btw) a later friend of mine, Della Aleksander, had “sex change surgery” in Casablanca (April Ashley in 1960, Della Aleksander sometime in the early 1970s, I believe), such things were outrageous enough to draw down huge tabloid press interest. Now, it sometimes seems as though everyone and his dog is having a “sex change”! I do not think we can simply shrug our shoulders at all this. It may be that we are coming to the point where our whole civilization is about to experience a crisis.


Extra Note

Many readers of my blog will be aware that I ceased to be even nominally a barrister in late 2016. For those who are not, and are curious as to why, please see:

Update, 6 May 2019

I happened to notice that the name of the subject of the blog post no longer appears in the online list of barristers belonging to his former chambers in England.

Update, 28 May 2022

Having seen that the original blog post has had a number of hits overnight, I checked out the website of that law firm in Nelson, New Zealand. It seems that the individual in question has now reverted to “Brent”.

What an unexpected and odd world we live in.

14 thoughts on “An Unexpected Discovery”

    1. How did that song go? “Money money money, must be funny, in the rich man’s world”…

      More seriously, this is part of the degeneracy of our advanced civilization, which badness accompanies the better aspects of our culture like a satellite. One of my recent blog posts attempted to address the question of whether our present, shall I say, way of life will last for very much longer. Frankly, I doubt it.


  1. Brings to mind Solzhenitsyn attrib. to ‘The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956’ (unverified)
    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

    Surveying the scene with detached interest, conjecturing that is some way off, after all if a response isn’t provoked by the likes of this, somnolence is still abroad:


    1. I watched the video in the link at the bottom of your comment. I believe that Americans now call such an occurrence a “chimp-out”!

      You are right. Usually only a few do anything concrete. I often wonder, thinking about the mass rape which the Red Army inflicted on the women and girls (even some boys) of Berlin and Vienna in 1945, whether it would have made a difference if all women and girls (and civilians generally) had been supplied with a Walther PPK or similar and say 50 rounds of ammo. After all, if every woman had been able to take down one or two Red Army soldiers (or even better, Jew commissars), that would have seriously impacted the Red Army and NKVD, though it would not have altered the ultimate outcome.

      Decades ago, an old friend who had lived from the early 1940s to 1960 in East Africa told me that “these days, Africa is not for the white man”, as that continent continued to slide into black-“ruled” chaos (under the suzerainty of the international banking system). The “British” cities are also now “not for white man”. The more affluent multikultis try to persuade themselves otherwise, as they avoid the huge swathes of “bandit country” which surround the enclaves of Little Venice, Hampstead, Primrose Hill, Holland Park etc, but the barbarians are encamped right there at the gates…

      Look at what happened to me: disbarred at the urging of a small group of Jew-Zionist zealots. Did I see any (I mean ANY) public support from “fellow-barristers” on Twitter, in comments sections of the legal press online etc? No. The Jews applauded the travesty, of course, a few doormats of the Jews the same, but the huge mass of sheep just looked on from the sidelines, afraid to annoy the Jews or the System… They are just sheep (as proven by their inability even to stand up as the legal and legal aid and court system is trashed, together with the livelihood of many of them. Barristers are now mostly sheep.


  2. As I understand it the entire legal profession in UK is now bound by professional conduct rules enforcing compliance with The Agenda™ so non-compliance is not an option, irrespective of the substantive merits. This in turn inculcates unthinking group acceptance and enforcement of these new norms – recall the recent case of the alien female lawyer whose client expected a native.

    In an effort to keep this snappy, I’ll post mainly just the links with only briefest explanation, as I think them important enough:

    * The likely origins of the multiple genders madness:

    The ‘multi-gender’ differentiations don’t seem to have any claim on science although there’s an interesting reference to Klinefelter’s syndrome genetic disorder in the piece on “Caroline Cossey” here:
    (Recall the 1980s posters with ‘Bond Girl’ jet-ski-ing behind a sea serpent or such advertising Smirnoff?)

    ** The spiral into madness in present day UK evokes similar manifestations such as in the 1918 Hungarian revolution described in Cecile Tormay’s ‘Outlaw’s Diary’ pt.2, seriatim:

    ” ‘Baths for the Proletarian children!’ It sounds a very human provision, but is really only a pretence for new provocation.”
    The caption to the photograph facing print page 38 is clipped in the linked version but you can see the full version here (“The Jews call a meeting…”:

    *** I think the UK Column and Nick Griffin among others have lately warned that Scottish schools are to be a test bed for ‘transgender’ indoctrination of vulnerable schoolchildren before the plague advances to the rest of the UK’s schools. Presumably part of the Coudenhove-Kalergi plan, like aggressive promotion of homosexuality.

    I personally find Nick Griffin too much of a Cassandra and am suspicious of the insistence with which he implacably asserts the UK native population is condemned to become a minority before the end of the century. But is he right in saying the battle via the ballot box is lost and other means must be found? Various podcasts

    On page 4 of “The True Believer” by Hoffer it reads:
    “… [it] seems to indicate that in
    modern times nationalism is the most copious and durable
    source of mass enthusiasm, and that nationalist fervor must be
    tapped if the drastic changes projected and initiated by revo-
    lutionary enthusiasm are to be consummated….” I should get round to reading it properly but there’s a glimpse there why ‘nationalism’ is so deprecated in certain quarters.


    1. Thank you.
      As to ballot-box victory in England (and Wales; Scotland is still beguiled by its fake-“nationalist” ZOG SNP), not completely impossible, but demographics are against it, in that even 10 years ago, 1 in 6 of the pop. in England was non-white.

      What is it now? 1 in 5? If not, it soon will be. 20% non-white. Scarcely any of those will vote for a social nationalist party or candidate. Having said that, the non-whites are clustered in certain areas, of course: London, the post-industrial North around Manchester and Liverpool, the West Midlands, Leicester, Bedford, Northampton, London going west (as far as Reading).

      My “safe zone(s)” plan means that at least one area (the South West) and maybe several will be so constituted demographically that in principle, a social national party might be able to get a bloc of MPs, even if only a few dozen. Against that is the fact that the *white* population is brainwashed now, both in its school “education” and more powerfully by subliminal propaganda in soaps, dramas etc. I just saw the first of the new Endeavour series. I counted three or maybe four blacks with speaking parts alone in the episode! In 1967 Oxfordshire, supposedly! I lived on the border of Oxfordshire and Berkshire as a child, until 1967, when my family relocated for 2-3 years to Sydney NSW. There were scarcely any blacks even in Reading then. I do not remember seeing even one (with the exception of the West Indian NHS consultant who treated me at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading , c.1962, for a temporary deafness problem). Viewers of “Endeavour” born later, say in the 1990s, would now have a completely distorted view. As for “Grantchester”, it’s unwatchable now, because of the blatant propaganda in it.

      I take the view that “all roads lead to Rome”. A political org, even one contesting elections, might be part of an overall strategy.


    2. Wigger – sorry to disagree with you but Indigenous Britons WILL be a minority, “well” before the end of the century if things don’t change dramatically! As for “Griffin” he is alright I suppose but the problem is he changes his mind too often. Who can remember his “salt in the “soup” comments, or his denial of the supposed Holocaust and then his acceptance of said theory a few years later, while courting the mainstream media? Griffin says one thing and then the polar opposite – depending on who the audience is, not trustworthy to be honest!


      1. I’ve never known what to make of the Holocaust to be frank. I tend to believe it did happen in some form but has been grotesquely exaggerated and embellished. I think the supposed number of murder victims is a lot fewer than six million and need not have involved huge dedicated extermination camps. Shootings and portable gas chambers on the scale of a couple of hundred thousand are believable but six million in camps like Auschwitz using static gas chambers are not. Didn’t anyone escape from there or the other extermination camps during the time these events were supposedly taking place and then proceed to tell the world? Zionist Jews had the objective of setting up their own state after the war and this was during an era when the empires of various countries were being shut down so that would provide an incentive to call the deaths of Jews from ill treatment into an embellished tale of six million deliberate exterminations in camps expressly set up to for that purpose!

        Was Ruldolf Hess murdered by Thatcher’s Tory government because he would have let the world known the British government in 1941 ignored his warnings about an intended holocaust of Jews by Hitler’s regime which would proceed if the war was not ended that year? Now that would have embarrassed Thatcher and this country! Was Hess murdered because of his knowledge of the Royal Family plotting to overthrow Churchill with the Queen Mother being alive in 1987 or because of the alleged correspondence between King George Vl and Hess being an embassment to today’s royals and her?

        pps. Re. “war crimes”…


      2. My views (I am aware that you replied to Wigger, rather than to me as such):

        As to “holocaust”, the label says nothing. Obviously, Jews were detained in large numbers, almost all after the start of the Second World War. Prior to 1940, Jews were encouraged to leave the Reich. Huge numbers did, going to UK, USA, Australia, Palestine etc. This of course created, and had since 1933, a community of interest between the Reich and the Zionists: Hitler wanted the Reich and ideally all Europe to be “Judenfrei” or “Judenrein”, the Zionists wanted as many Jews as possible to swamp the Arab populations of the British Mandate territory of Palestine. The German government were not Zionists, the Jews not National Socialist: they simply had mutual interests.

        Once the war started, the Reich, in its conquered lands, contained a huge number of Jews almost all of whom were hostile, many of whom were engaged in terrorism and other activities inimical to the Reich. The German Government did what all other major powers in WW2 did: it detained that hostile population en bloc. In some parts of Europe, such as Denmark, Hungary, Vichy France, even (originally-) Occupied France, Jews were either never detained, or only detained in the last year or so of the war.

        There never were any “gas chambers”, let alone lampshades of Jew skin, leather armchairs upholstered with Jewish skin, soap from Jews etc. Those were WW1 British “black propaganda” tales recycled in WW2 for the idiot element. Jews were set to work in labour camps. The conditions varied. Sometimes they were very poor. Toward the end, the collapse of the Reich meant that some camps ran out of medicine, food etc. Terrible conditions were sometimes the result, though the condition of Jew prisoners released to Denmark and Sweden from some notorious German camps looks surprisingly good, in fact.

        Not one of the major war leaders wrote anything about any “holocaust” (let alone “gas chambers”) after WW2. That really is the “hoax of the twentieth century”.

        I once had a book of memoirs by a British officer, who was very friendly after the war with one of the highest ranking surviving German staff officers, who worked directly with Hitler and the OKW (German High Command) for several years until 1945. That German said that he himself had never seen anything alluding to mass extermination of Jews or existence of the fabled “gas chambers”.

        The mass killings of Jews in the first part of the war on the Eastern Front, in formerly Soviet territories mainly, parts of the Baltic and Poland, were mostly the work of locals, not even Germans, and were shootings. There were some geographically-limited massacres by Germans, however, in which Jews, particularly those connected with the Soviet security authorities (NKVD) were executed. The locals supported these shootings.

        War is hell (and most of WW2 could and should have been prevented), and the Soviet (and Allied) forces did things as bad and on at least as big a scale as anything done by the German side.

        ps: as to Hess, it seems too much of a co-incidence that he (and it now seems that it probably was the real Hess) died (August 1987) not long before Germany was re-unified, but it may have been just that— co-incidence (or Fate). I was in Poland twice, as well as briefly in the DDR and Czechoslovakia, in 1988. There was no overt or public sign that socialism in Eastern Europe was about to collapse.


  3. and elsewhere –
    World Almanac 1933 and 1948: Population worldwide by religious beliefs, showing more Jews after WW2 than before.
    I’ve no idea if that is verified nor do I know its exact source though I thought Red Cross figures indicated the same…?
    Plus the newspapers touting the 6-mio figure long prior, before and after WW1…
    Yes indubitably some Jews must have died unlawfully and their incarceration as involuntary guest workers rankled but that isn’t evidence of a preconceived plan to murder 6-mio.

    As for Griffin, the standard disclaimers being observed, we should probably recall that it was he/Collet/the BNP that publicised the so-called grooming gangs / perpetrators of statutory rape and other offences.


  4. Wigger – I acknowledge the grooming aspect and I have done for years – although “Marlene Guest” had a role to play, particularly in Rotherham!


  5. Yes.

    A pretty good performance though in the excerpts from the Man for all Seasons played by Adam Green /KMN here:

    13 Feb 2019 – Tommy Robinson is a Judas Goat Sell Out!


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