Listening to the BBC Today Programme, heard a representative of the criminal Bar talking about how members of the criminal Bar are now suffering heavily from lack of work, and so fees. The courts have been closed or largely closed for 6 months. Barristers in private self-employed practice are subject to Lenin’s dictum, “he who does not work does not eat“— Кто не работает, тот не кушает [Кто не работает, тот не кушает]. How well do I remember that! I mean life at the practising Bar (1992-1996 and 2002-2008).
My Bar practice, especially in earlier years, in the early 1990s, was very much illustrative of that. I was in pretty poor London chambers at first, which supplied equally poor work, mostly criminal. I had to hustle, as the Americans say, to get work of my own in various ways, because chambers had poor work and the single Clerk was almost useless.
Before very long (it seemed long at the time), the magistrates’ court and Crown Court appearances gave way to High Court (i.e. non-criminal) cases, mostly judicial reviews, and other non-criminal work (mostly contract cases) in the County Court, as well as Tribunal appearances of various kinds. Quite mixed.
One day, a High Court brief marked at (for preparation time and first day or part) maybe £2,000 or even £5,000 for half a day or a day (this was about 25 or 27 years ago; today, it would be far far more), the next day a tiny magistrates’ court appearance at perhaps £100 (or less), or a “Mention” (a brief Crown Court appearance which might be only a few minutes in length), with criminal legal aid fee officially fixed at £46! The following day? Maybe nothing at all. The week after? Sometimes, still nothing at all! Followed by…whatever. Some weeks, one might do work in the thousands or even more; more usually, the fees would amount to a few hundred or a thousand; not rarely, I would make absolutely nothing in a whole week.
My spending was likewise up and down; one week, Rules restaurant, the River Room at the Savoy, Julie’s in Notting Hill, and a weekend at Cliveden [ https://www.clivedenhouse.co.uk/]. The next week might be an egg-on-toast breakfast at a workers’ cafe, and maybe a loaf of bread and a tin of tuna (plus decent red wine, though!) for the evening, and a walk in Regent’s Park for weekend recreation (depending on luck…).
Reverting to the Today Programme, my reaction (apart from Memory Lane reminiscence) was two-fold. I recognize that a civilized society needs a cadre of criminal defenders. Likewise, they need to be paid at a reasonably generous level to reflect their years of study, continuing study, and their responsibility.
Of course, many at the civil, Chancery and other parts of the Bar are not affected much, or even at all, by “the virus”. Still, the criminal Bar and maybe the family-law Bar are affected severely. A serious problem for society as a whole.
On the other hand, when I was attacked by a malicious pack of Zionist Jews, a persecution which led eventually to my unjust disbarment in October 2016, not one barrister spoke up for me, for freedom of socio-political expression (“free speech”) generally, or for fairness. Not one who had known me personally. Not one who poses as a champion of “free speech”, political liberty etc, and virtue-signals accordingly. Not one.
That being so, I have to admit that, harsh though it may be, I am laughing now as many members of the Bar are suffering, nearing penury and even bankruptcy. What goes around comes around, and I am not going to shed too many crocodile tears for people who failed to say one word for me or for free speech.
In fact, a few barristers, either Jews or very tied up with Jews and/or (probably) dependent on Jewish solicitors for work, tweeted joyfully about my getting disbarred; one or two were even gratuitously rude to me directly, either then or much later. Don’t worry— you happy few have not been forgotten.
Incidentally, the five tweets which resulted in my disbarment were all general comments; not one was addressed to any individual, and they were all true! Example? Michael Gove as “a pro-Jew, pro-Israel expenses cheat“. That was all demonstrably true, yet was deemed “grossly offensive“! Now, of course, we know that Michael Gove is also a cocaine-snorting drunk, who was even filmed not so long ago drunk and/or drugged, and staggering, in the Chamber of the House of Commons! Ye Gods!
…and it would be nice if the young wannabees who now pose as “journalists” could spell, and if they knew the difference between “praying” and “preying”…Stand up, Hull Daily Mail! [Update, 27 November 2020: the Hull Daily Mail must have seen my blog comment (or maybe others complained); they have now replaced “praying” with the correct “preying”…].
The politically-correct toytown police of the UK are unused to real British people standing up for their own and national rights…
Yes, if you made mock of the Jews the way that the Jew Sacha Baron Cohen mocks the Kazakhs, you would get prosecuted (if supported by a well-funded pressure group). That’s no “conspiracy theory”: look what happened to Alison Chabloz…and “they” are still trying to get her.
Incidentally, I know Kazakhstan, having lived there for a year (1996-97).
Everyone in the country should be aware of the conspiracy behind all of this. Resistance must emerge, before we are all just complete serfs of a dystopian nightmare.
Below, a typical System-approved idiot thinks that a “lockdown”, if “strict”, can defeat a virus…
It never seems to occur to that type that “lockdowns”, however strict, merely delay the viral progress without “curing” the situation. Look at Spain now. And France. And Germany.
People who have not thought this through.
What has to be factored in is that anyone who has died within 28 days of a positive Coronavirus test is now deemed to have died of “the virus”, even if, in reality, their reaction to infection was slight and they died of other conditions! It’s mad.
Meanwhile, huge numbers of people are suffering and dying because undiagnosed, untreated, not operated upon etc for non-“virus” conditions. The NHS is limping along not doing its proper job.
In the world in general, only one person in every 8,000 has died from “the virus”; in fact, the statistics are so unreliable that it may be one in 10,000, or twenty thousand for that matter..
26 thoughts on “Diary Blog, 28 October 2020”
So, Peter Hitchens, Lord Sumption has made a no doubt highly intellectual argument against the restrictions on personal liberty during these very unusual times and as a result we must stand back in awe and agree with him. Sorry, I beg to differ! Sometimes even those who are expensively educated and can string a few words of English together beautifully well are not correct!🙄
Welldone to those police officers in Cardiff! It is a shame though that such actions to actually bother to enforce the restrictions have been few and far between and that no doubt explains a great deal as to why this country finds itself in its current predicament.
If only the present pathetic ‘government’ actually believed in the restrictions it has imposed as the governments of SIngapore and South Korea do then the situation wouldn’t be so bad here. Perhaps also more people would voluntarily abide by them if they felt the shambolic ‘government’ did!🙄🙄🙄
M’Lord of Essex, one need not be a “Tory libertarian loony” to be shocked at the idea of police crashing into churches and homes at Christmas to enforce “rules” which are probably legally invalid anyway.
Whilst it may be shocking to the more easily offended churches still have to abide by the law and should be doing so particularly in this case since I would have thought REAL Christians would be pretty supportive of the concept of the ‘sanctity of life’ and these regulations are designed NOT to harrass people in the view of loony Tory libertarians like Hitchens but to protect the human life of the community!
No, Richie Allen, it is libertarian exteimist yobs like YOU that need to be stopped because it is foul wretches like YOU, Peter Hitchens, that weird Tory cretin who the stupid people of New Forest West have elected who cause infections and deaths of innocent people when you can’t be bothered to follow the restrictions or agitate to have even this stupid ‘government’s’ mild restrictions to be repealed.🙄
Just because political ‘System’ supporters (if Matt Haig is one and he might not be) are wrong about many issues that leant mean they aren’t occasionally correct.
I, for one, applaud his very well-argued tweet and he is being totally correct there. Half-hearted, obviously not really believed in and pathetically weakly ‘enforced’ lockdowns or other restrictions will NOT work but those that are comprehensive, decently long, AND properly enforced as in Singapore and South Korea with proper test and trace regimes CAN do so and the evidence for this has already been demonstrated.
The Peter Hitchens and loony Tory MP for the New Forest West constituency, Desmond Swayne, approach of not caring at all about the virus,thinking it is nonexistent or not serious has been taken by President Trump and idiot Republican Party governors in places like Georgia with the all too predicable result of 8 million plus infections and 220,000 deaths and rising.
President Trump’s idiocy on this issue may well cost him his job very soon!
There was a report in the Guardian very recently that said that the results from a government study over the Summer indicated that those who had taken part had demonstrated very low levels of antibodies and this means that it is unlikely that those who have had Covid19 will develop immunity from reinfection. In short, the juvenile libertarian ‘let it rip’ fantasises of extremist morons like Peter Hitchens, Desmond ‘Nutty Professor’ ‘what the hell do I look like’ Swayne and their ideal of herd immunity will not work.
It has surely come to a pretty pass when even that ‘bible’ of globalist liberal-lefties The Guardian newspaper gets an issue right!🙄🙄🙄
If I used my Twitter account, I would be retweeting Matt Haig’s excellent tweet many times over though I would add the words barely even enforced to it.
If anything it is extremist libertarian lunatics like Peter Hitchens who haven’t thought things through. He is either damm thick or he doesn’t realise that Covid-19 is a highly infectious virus which is spread by normal human contact situations and that therefore we need to reduce human interaction to slow down it’s spread and buy us some time before a vaccine is developed
I think it is highly illustrative that the libertarian loony land of the USA has 20% of the world’s deaths yet only 4% of the globe’s population so the libertarian approach doesn’t work.
The deaths there and elsewhere are bad enough but we also need to remember that quite a few of those who have managed to survive serious illness with this viral disease now have permanently damaged lungs etc so they will never fully recover from it not that this concerns libertarian Tory and Republican Party extremists.
M’Lord of Essex:
Leaving aside “the measures taken”, what happens if (as seems likely), ALL measures and ideas fail? Then we shall *have* to bite the bullet and reopen society, before there is no UK society or economy left.
Churches and other religious institutions MUST abide by the law and if they don’t they should face the consequences of not doing so! Back in those halcyon days of the late 1980’s/early 1990’s this country and the Conservative Party wasn’t as idiotic and as loony-left/PC it is now and as a result we had a half-decent Home Secretary called David Waddington. He once had the police force their way into a church in Greater Manchester that was illegally harbouring a blatantly fraudulent ‘asylum seeker’ and had the individual removed.
Of course, it should go without saying that the CONServative Party has degenerated a lot even from that time (not that they were perfect then) and someone like David Waddington who was pro-hanging and wanted to enforce immigration rules unlike Priti Damm Useless who merely constantly facilitates illegal migration whilst talking tough about law and order and illegals would get to be Home Secretary now under the globalist, liberal-left, fake Conservative Party.
Whilst it isn’t over until the fat lady sings it looks as if the word’s most famous and prominent Covid19 denier, Donald Trump, is going to lose:
That is a shame. Although he has made many mistakes ie recognising Jersusalem as Israel’s capital instead of Tel Aviv he isn’t the worst President the USA has ever. He is also quite friendly towards us unlike embittered Irish American Joe Biden and it is nice that the USA has a President who has recent British ancestry.
He makes me laugh as well though in an genuinely entertaining way unlike our clown, Boris Johnson, who only saddens and depresses me.
Well, m’Lord of Essex, at first, in 2016, I hought that Trump was utterly unfit for a head of state role, *but* I also wanted warmonger Hillary (my keyboard wrote war*minger*…Stet?) to lose. My feelings remain similar vis a vis Trump and Biden. Biden seems almost gaga at times, and I think that if he is not what the “plebs” call a “nonce”, he is certainly near that, not that that alone makes him unfit to rule (look at Tiberius…).
The demographics favour Biden, though. Still, as you say, the fat lady is yet to sing.
Yes, there is a reason why Republicans call Joe Biden ‘sleepy Joe’. Whilst it is true to say President Trump is no spring chicken Biden is surely too old and doesn’t have enough control of his faculties enough to become the leader of the USA!
Hello Ian. I haven’t read anything from Peter Hitchens, last not least because he is a man of the Establishment, still, that book of his (“The Phony Victory”) sounds interesting. Have you read it?
Changing the subject, that Baron Cohen fellow is a particularly nasty/ugly “kike” (as the North Americans say). Only in a totally corrupted and Judaized society as ours, a disgusting clown like him would become a “celebrity”.
I agree about that Cohen Jew.
Re. The Phony Victory, I have not as yet read it. I *have* read, though long ago, the books of the rather unapproved-by-System (at least not fully “approved”) Correlli Barnett which (I speculate) may have influenced Hitchens.
No peerage, no knighthood. Lesser men have had both…
“After Britain’s victory in the Falklands War Barnett spoke of the “courage, professionalism and ultimate success of our Falklands task force” but added:
The lesson of the Falklands crises is not that we need a blue-water surface fleet in case of similar residual bits of pink on the map come under attack, but that we should bring our foreign policy into congruence with our defence policy and shed such unprofitable bits of pink in good time. The real guilty men of the crisis are the MPs of both parties who, in the past, blocked possible deals with the Argentine with emotional cries of “sell-out” without apparently reckoning the possible cost of defending the Falklands against the value of the islands to the United Kingdom. Can it now be really argued that a capability to do another Falklands somewhere in the wide oceans is more important to our security of this country than the preservation of Western Europe, our own outer rampart and our greatest market?”
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Further to earlier reply, I have found the likely reason that Correlli Barnett (who was a sergeant in the UK (Army) Intelligence Corps in Palestine in the 1940s), never got the full recognition deserved:
“During the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in mid-2006 Barnett wrote that it was “grotesquely out of proportion” to the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers and the damage inflicted on Israel by Hezbollah. He argued that Israel “was born out of a terrorist struggle in 1945-48 against Britain” and that the “Arab resentment of Israeli hegemony…powers both Hamas and Hezbollah as they follow the path of terrorism first mapped out by the Stern Gang and the Irgun Zvei Leumi in the 1940s”.
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Hello Ian: Thank you very much for the comments regarding Hitchens’ book and Correlli Barnett. Unfortunately, I did not buy Barnett’s book “The Swordbearers” when I had the chance nearly 40 years ago. I never read anything by him although I agree with his assessment of Montgomery (that mediocre and arrogant prat) as a glorified and mediocre commander.
Correlli Barnett’s observations about the Falklands/Malvinas are spot on. Incidentally, two days ago I had lunch with some friends, one of them, who has read every book published about the South Atlantic War of 1982, told me that, according to one historian, the original idea of the Military Government (Galtieri) was to occupy the islands to later negotiate with the British government with the hope of obtaining a great diplomatic victory but the unexpected explosion of patriotic pride and the support showed by the people of Buenos Aires that filled May Square to cheer Galtieri led him to the abandoned that idea and go to war if necessary. I found this a bit far-fetched, but I am sure that Galtieri was a fool that did not have the slightest idea of what he was getting into.
As I said to you before, if ever there was a war that should not have happened it was this one.
Re Falklands/Malvinas, as we discussed before, both governments were driven largely by domestic imperatives. The invasion of the islands was a trigger to the British public, despite the fact that most had no idea where they were (out of our once far-flung Empire). Once the invasion happened, the die was cast. Had Argentina carried on negotiating, it might have been that, over time, another solution might have emerged.
For British people, the fact that the Falkland people are almost indistinguishable from English/British people (and were completely resistant to being part of Argentina) was all-important.
In fact, the Falklanders are much closer racially/socially to the British in the UK than are, say, the people of Gibraltar (who also cling closely to the UK).
Actually, I cannot see why Argentina, with its vast territories, 8th largest in the world and 11 times the size of the UK, really wanted the islands, 300+ miles offshore (obviously far more distant from the UK!) but there it is.
As to Montgomery, I should assess him as a very dull and mediocre general.
Any fool can win a battle when his armies are 3x, 4x, 5x stronger than those of the enemy.
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The legal profession in the UK seems to be very complex and heavily regulated. I was surprised by the enormous differences in the pay regarding the situations or cases. Is this clearly regulated?
I am asking because, through reading and films I got the impression that, in the US and the UK, there are two kinds of lawyers, those who made obscene amounts of money and those who do not. Is this due to the system in itself, I mean to a lack of clear rules and regulations, or to the ruthless competitive trait of capitalist Anglo-American societies?
First of all, of course there are two quite different legal professions in England & Wales: barrister; solicitor. In Scotland too (solicitor; advocate).
A solicitor will usually though not always charge by reference to time, ie so much per hour, for as many hours he/she does.
A barrister is often paid a global fee, but also may, alternatively, charge per hour; it depends. The usual situation is that a practising barrister is given a case (a “brief”) with a set sum marked to cover perusal, study, preparation and the first day in court, if any is expected; then also marked another sum for each day after the first day in court. One of my last few cases (in late 2007) was £5,000, with “refreshers” at £1,000 per day. In the event there were no refreshers because the matter settled on the first day at court.
If the matter is only advisory, then the fee may be x-amount per hour or it may be a lump sum. I used to do some drafting of oil contracts, eg I remember doing one for delivery of oil on tankers, for delivery to Mozambique. The total amount of money the oil was worth was so large (cannot now remember exactly but hundreds of millions of dollars) that I had to hugely increase my professional liability insurance to cover it! I was paid per hour. I cannot recall the hourly rate, but I think about £200 per hour. I was doing about 30 *billable* hours a week for it.
There may be a lump sum payment even for advice; eg when I was in Charleston, South Carolina as an *employed* (salaried) lawyer (a quasi-partner), we needed advice on the legal effect of *one* clause of a document under English law. The whole document was 17 pages long, but the relevant bit was on one page of that. I called two “top” company law chambers in London.One quoted me £5,000 for perusal, telephone advice, and a *short* written advice by a silk (a QC)! The other place quoted about £3,000 for perusal and a telephoned advice.
In respect of barristers’ pay, there is no regulation except where the matter is dealt with under either criminal or civil legal aid. I did no work of that kind, except when I was practising in London in the early 1990s. I believe that it is much less generous now than it was 25-30 years ago.
No fortune even back then.
A privately-paid case can be paid (in a very few examples) in the millions or certainly hundreds of thousands, or it may be £100! Or nothing at all, if the barrister is appearing pro bono or for friends. E.g., I knew someone who appeared in the High Court for his old school (Eton College) but did not ask for a fee.
Sorry for the long reply!
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Thank you very much for your interesting reply. Obviously, the situation is more complex than I imagined. I did a little bit of digging, and I found a good website (www.thelawyerportal.com) that will help me to understand the subtle differences between solicitors and barristers, although already has warned me that:
“From an advocacy perspective, for example, the line between the two professions has become more blurred in recent times.” In other words, nothing is as simple as it may seem.
Here, in Argentina and, as far as I know, in the rest of South America as well as Italy, Spain and France where the Roman Law is observed we only have “abogados” (Spanish for advocate). The career takes 5 years, and the lawyer/advocate is known and addressed as “Doctor” since the formal title is “Doctor in Law”. That is why the English distinction between barristers and solicitors is so strange for us and very difficult to understand.
Regarding the fees of a solicitor, who usually charges per hour, how are the hours determined? I mean, if my solicitor bills me for, let’s say 47 hours, how can I verify that he actually dedicated so many hours to my case? I think it is impossible to ascertain that and must be open to abuse.
As far as I know, here, solicitors and notaries’ fees are regulated and consist of fixed rates and/or percentages according to each specific case. I heard that some charge per hour but is rather unusual and mostly limited to corporate clients.
Sorry for going into so much detail but is something that fascinates me.
I believe that solicitors are now expected to provide lay clients and others (even companies with legal departments) with a breakdown of time spent. Of course, if a solicitor says “1 hour spent perusing documentation”, that cannot be verified easily. There are mechanisms for challenge or mediation, run by the Law Society (the solicitors’ ruling body).
Large law firms (solicitors) have ways of assigning time to cases. Before I went to Kazakhstan in late 1996, I had to spend a few weeks in London, at the large HQ of that law firm. They had a system (as did/do other large firms) called Equitrack, which had small terminals on desks, walls etc. Every time a lawyer or other fee-earner did anything billable (even 5 mins!) it could be quickly entered. The system then collated it.At the end, or at any stage, a bill could be issued to the client by the billing department.
These large City of London law firms are huge, with all sorts of departments. For example, the one for which I worked had a “bank” with several staff. People were travelling constantly worldwide, and the HQ never closed. It was open 24/7 and the front doors were never locked.
If you needed money, and were a partner (I was not a partner but was authorized) you could go to that “bank” in the building, and on request get up to £10,000 *in cash* and in any major currency, no questions asked! The ideal bank!
If a client is dissatisfied and thinks that he has been overcharged, there are the mechanisms I mentioned, though I agree it can be a problem. When it comes to large clients, law firms want to keep the client as client, so may reduce the bill on request; likewise, a barrister is dependent, usually, on solicitors to give more work. An incentive not to pad the bill…
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