Tag Archives: Bar

Diary Blog, 20 June 2022

Morning music

[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutland_Boughton]
[Robert Edward-Hughes, Midsummer]

On this day a year ago

Tweets seen

…and, yes, they (((are))).

Every. Single. Time“. Certainly 9 times out of 10.

Almost every negative socio-cultural and socio-political manifestation in our times is driven by “them”.

See also: https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2020/01/the-billionaires-behind-the-lgbt-movement.

We are not just facing opposing “ideas” or “policies”, and are not just speaking up for what is right, and/or as a contrary social or political bloc. We are facing new forms of Evil in much of the world, especially the advanced “Western” world. Evil must, eventually, be vanquished directly. That time will come. A titanic battle for race, culture, and civilization.

In a very real sense, we are in the preliminary or preparatory stages of what the Middle Ages might have termed a “holy war”.

https://twitter.com/BeUrHuckleb3rry/status/1538006897776660483?s=20&t=0rEgp_cbNLiJg6mfVL8Rew

The same is true, mutatis mutandis, in the UK and the rest of Europe.

A far milder penalty than that often meted out now to socio-political dissidents in the UK. One man in, I think, Cardiff, got over 2 years in prison not so long ago for putting stickers on lamp-posts!

Incidentally, that sign reads “For Ukraine— peace, for Russia— freedom!

Leslie Charteris

I was just reminding myself of the biography of the writer, Leslie Charteris, whose best-known work features The Saint, later a 1960s TV series starring Roger Moore.

As a child of about 7 -9 years old, I loved that TV series, and rather fancied myself as the title character, when older. What happened?!

The Saint also featured in films, and in other TV adaptations, from the 1930s through to 1997.

“Charteris” (in fact a half-Chinese born in Singapore, and whose birth name was Leslie Charles Bowyer-Yin), seems to have had quite as many weird and wonderful jobs as me, and a few adventures as well. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leslie_Charteris; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Saint_(TV_series).

More tweets seen

See also: https://ianrobertmillard.org/2019/01/09/on-recent-events-in-france/

More music

[German soldier talks to French lady, Jardins du Trocadero, 8me arrondisement, Paris, c.1941]
[Fraternité, occupied France, c.1941]

More tweets

Chicago zoo…

The Italians should shoot down the criminal invaders in the streets.

Talking points

I notice that the UK Government now offers those damaged by the so-called “vaccines” a payment of £120,000. A new benefit, never previously necessary: see https://www.gov.uk/vaccine-damage-payment.

This is no “conspiracy theory”— I have heard of a number of cases from those I know personally, both in the UK and overseas.

Britain 2022

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-10926555/NHS-eco-chief-says-fewer-face-face-NHS-appointments-good-thing.html.

Remote hospital and GP appointments are ‘broadly’ a good thing because they reduce pollution, the NHS‘ eco chief has claimed.” [Daily Mail]

What does he think the NHS is for? To give drones like him a good living?

Idiots like that are risible, on one level, but all the same have real influence.

“Human rights” lawyers

Saw a couple of tweets by some “human rights” barrister (QC, no less, which would have been impressive decades ago, but less so now, when 1 out of 10 barristers is officially ranked as Queen’s Counsel).

Said QC has apparently had death threats (but gave no details), and she apparently blames “Boris”-idiot’s hot air about immigration (which has skyrocketed since he started to pose as Prime Minister) for said alleged threats.

A question for my blog readers: when I was (wrongfully and, it now seems, unlawfully) disbarred in 2016, and at the instigation of a pack of malicious Jews, how many “human rights” lawyers spoke up to defend me? Too hard to guess? All right. How many barristers of any type or specialism spoke up for me?

None. Not one. Not one “human rights” barrister (whether or not holding the now very-devalued “QC” rank label); not one barrister of any specialism. Not one unknown to me, and not even one of those known to me, with many of whom I had been on friendly terms until I ceased Bar practice in 2008.

In fact, a few barristers and wannabee barristers (whom I had never once encountered) even tried to curry favour with the Jews by attacking me, or sneering at me on Twitter, or elsewhere.

Spineless, useless little people.

See: https://ianrobertmillard.org/2017/07/09/the-slide-of-the-english-bar-and-uk-society-continues-and-accelerates/.

See also: https://ianrobertmillard.org/2017/07/13/when-i-was-a-victim-of-a-malicious-zionist-complaint/; and https://ianrobertmillard.org/2022/01/15/diary-blog-15-january-2022-including-an-outline-of-the-failure-of-the-latest-jew-zionist-attempt-to-prosecute-me/.

Not one “human rights” or other barrister (or solicitor) has, since the events of late 2016, said a word in my “defence” (which I do not need, actually, having done no wrong; indeed, the contrary). Neither has any such lawyer said anything in defence of the free speech rights of others such as David Icke, Alison Chabloz, Jez Turner, or others targeted by the small but fanatical Jew-Zionist cabals who have embedded their influence in the UK legal system, with the police, in the System political parties etc.

We are actually talking about a handful of Jews, no more than a few dozen at core, most of whom have mental health problems, out of the ~250,000 Jews in the UK.

Even a few years ago, I was ready to defend the necessity for a reasonably-remunerated corps of advocates as part of a civilized society, and in principle I would still defend that thesis, but now, as for the barristers themselves (let alone the solicitors)!…fuck ’em. Most barristers now are craven creatures, running scared of being thought (and so possibly suspended or disbarred) “racist”, “anti-Semitic” etc; the same is true re. the other contemporary shibboleths, around feminism, the “trans” nonsense etc.

The “independent Bar”? It existed once, up to a point. No more, though.

Late tweets

“Brexit”, “Putin”, “Ukraine”, “climate change” etc, but never the fact that the stupid, crazed, or evil governments across much of the world themselves shut down their entire societies and economies for 2 years.

In any proper European society, that one would be up against a wall, facing a firing squad. Not “capital punishment” but social surgery.

Control of the migration-invasion by a state at war with its white British people.

Ah, slightly reminiscent of the Germany of the early 1920s…

Late music

Fragments of Memory…#From Pupillage: Neil’s Party

Foreword

Some reading this may also have read my previous blog posts [see Notes, below] about my rather untraditional Bar pupillage in 1992-93, and also about my early post-pupillage days in Bar practice. I thought to write about a few other stray incidents from those times. Humour was rarely entirely absent, though sometimes in the context of events which were, especially for the people advised or represented, taxing and upsetting. I was, of course, in the first six months of my pupillage not allowed to advise or represent, and so was basically a spectator and supernumerary.

Anyway, here is one event that has stuck in my recollection. It is not directly “legal”, but connected to some lawyers I knew.

Neil’s Party

At the time, in 1992, I was very friendly with a young barrister called Neil M. and his charming wife, Helen. Both had been in the same small “Practical Exercises” group at “Bar School” (the Inns of Court School of Law in Gray’s Inn, at the time the only place where aspiring barristers could study and be examined) in 1987-88. Our surnames all started with “M” (Neil and Helen had different surnames at that time, being unmarried; in fact they first met in that little group of 7 or 8 people).

I had gone to the USA (initially in 1989, but somewhat commuted UK/USA in the following few years) and had married a US citizen; I also qualified by exam (and pretty tough it was) at the New York Bar. Neil M. had started pupillage in London and, by 1992, was already a rising barrister at the criminal Bar. Helen, his wife by that time, had left the Bar for the solicitors’ profession. In 1992, when I returned to the UK after one of my sojourns in New Jersey, the country was just going to hold the General Election of that year.

I was not actively political at the time, though I of course despised the System parties. Neil M., on the other hand, was a Labour Party stalwart, a political position which originated from his upbringing in the North West of England: he was the son of an amiable “tankie” Communist (literally so, a member of the C.P.G.B.), whom I met a couple of times in later years.

Neil M. was, I suppose, somewhere in the middle of the Labour Party, ideologically, close to the outlook of John Smith, the Scottish advocate who led Labour for about 20 months until his death in 1994. I should characterize Neil’s outlook as “tribal Labour”; to me that had no greater weight than that of someone who supports this or that football team, or Oxford/Cambridge in the Boat Race. In fact, Neil M. concurred with my view up to a point, saying that I could not understand why people like him were so partisan in favour of a System party; for him it indeed was like “…supporting a football or rugby team; you don’t understand that either!”

I was invited to attend the special election night dinner at the beautifully-refurbished National Liberal Club, once the haunt of Gladstone, Lloyd George and Asquith, later (in the 1970s) the decayed and dilapidated place where the likes of Cyril Smith and Jeremy Thorpe had stayed and behaved badly. By 1992, most members were “non-political” (meaning not Liberal Democrats). Much later yet, in 2001-2002, I was myself a member.

Large TV screens had been set up in the Club dining room, in order to relay the election results from the BBC as they came in.

Older readers will recall that the opinion polls made Labour favourite to win the 1992 General Election. Neil Kinnock was widely expected to become Prime Minister, though later his triumphalist and arguably too-“Labourite” speech at Sheffield was blamed for putting off floating voters:

At any rate, Labour went into the final day and evening confident, a position echoed by many of those at the dinner I attended. In fact, I noted that many were not pro-Labour, but were quieter than the Labour partisans. At my table, I sat near Neil M. and his wife, as well as another barrister, a markedly iconoclastic (and amusing) Jew commercial barrister called Robert L. and his extremely engaging, attractive and articulate wife, a City of London banker, with whom I had an interesting and slightly barbed conversation.

All went well at the dinner until, after midnight, it started to become very obvious that Labour was not going to win the election. The scene in parts of the large Club dining room reminded me of a smarter and English (and far less sexualized) version of Don’s Party, the Australian film about a party which unravels when the expected victory of the Australian Labor Party (in 1969) fails to occur. I left the Club very late but still before most of the diners. I was told later that, after I left, scuffles and the like broke out between mocking “Conservatives” and angry, frustrated and drunken “Labour” partisans.

I myself was highly amused by the outcome of the election, mainly because, to me, it was obvious that most of the Labour MPs in the Shadow Cabinet were a bunch of fakes and/or hypocrites, led by Kinnock himself, a creeping crawling doormat for Zionists, and an apologist for mass immigration and finance-capitalism ameliorated slightly by a Welfare State already beginning to show signs of disappearance.

Neil M. was angry at me (and years later admitted to me that he had come close to hitting me! In the sacred precincts of the Club, at that!). He himself later became a local councillor in Islington and was informally offered the chance to become a Labour MP, but turned down the opportunity on the ground that as a barrister doing very good criminal work, he was making about twice an MP’s salary and needed the money. Years later he ruefully explained that he had thought that MPs lived off their salaries! He had no idea back then that not only did they have very generous expenses (and in many cases cheated badly on those!) as well as the really quite good salary (compared to most people), but also often had offers of lucrative “work” from all sorts of “consultancies” etc. Disguised near (or actual) corruption. Pity that Neil M. did not become a politician in the Westminster monkeyhouse. He would have been a good and conscientious constituency MP.

Final Word

In fact, Labour improved their position in the election, with an extra 42 MPs, though that still left the Conservatives under John Major with an overall majority of 21. It took 5 years before Labour under Tony Blair could sweep away the Conservatives and many of their MPs. Neil Kinnock ceded control of Labour to John Smith and then (after Smith died in office) to Tony Blair.

As for my friends Neil M. and Helen M. (I shall not say too much, to save them from embarrassment, now that the Zionist Jews label me in the msm and on social media as a “far right” “extremist”, “anti-Semite” and “neo-Nazi”), I maintained friendship for another 15 years, and in fact still regard them as quite close friends today, though I have not seen them now for a decade. I always send them a Christmas card (I’m like that, a bit like Jacob and the Angel: I will not let you go until you bless me…).

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/an-embarrassing-morning-in-court/

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/first-steal-a-chicken/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Liberal_Club

http://www.nlc.org.uk/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_general_election,_1992

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27s_Party

 

An Embarrassing Morning in Court

Another in the series of vignettes about my perhaps slightly unusual life at the English Bar. The disaster recounted below occurred in early 1994.

A children’s author called Lemony Snicket wrote a book called A Series of Unfortunate Events. I once represented someone who had suffered a series of such events.

A Nigerian, X, had been born in the UK where his affluent parents had been on holiday. A few weeks after the birth, the family returned to Nigeria, where X went to school. It was then decided to send X to university overseas. An American university, I think in the Midwest, was chosen and X attended that institution for a few years. During that time, X also engaged, like many Nigerians, in business activities of some sort. Unfortunately, as a result of these, he was charged and convicted of a Federal offence of fraud, subsequently serving a one-year sentence in Federal prison.

X had entered the USA on a visa which was invalidated once X was convicted of a Federal offence. Thus, when the year in prison had finished, X was incarcerated in another Federal detention facility as a person facing deportation. X wanted to appeal his conviction and so resisted deportation by filing an appeal against that too. He was moved to a Federal facility in Louisiana. According to his own account, the place was a “concentration camp” amid heat and mosquitos in which place, every day, he was offered the chance to be released if only he would agree to drop his immigration appeal and return to Nigeria. He resisted these invitations for some time, but eventually, worn down by the conditions, conceded.

It was at this point that it was discovered that X had been born in London. The US authorities thenceforth refused to deal with the Nigerian Consulate on his behalf and took him under guard to the UK Consulate in Houston, Texas, apparently the nearest one with authority to deal with the matter. He was issued with a British passport and was then sent to the UK, a country he had only seen as a newborn baby.

X said that he had never been violent, but only argued with the US officials accompanying him, to the effect that he wished to go to Nigeria, not the UK. As a result, X travelled from Houston to Gatwick handcuffed throughout the flight, also forced to wear a weighted leather device attached to one leg, and with two guards guarding him.

X’s travails continued after landing. All other passengers were disembarked, then a police car was driven up to the aircraft and steps brought. X was told to get up but could not, by reason of his leg having gone to sleep. The handcuffs and leg weight were removed. He was then manhandled by the guards and the British police off the aircraft, then literally dragged down the aircraft steps and into the waiting police car. It got worse from there.

Having (according to his own evidence) not wanted to be sent to the UK, X was now held at Gatwick police station and then an immigration detention centre near Portsmouth on the basis that he had no right to be in the UK  and was, notwithstanding the recently-issued British passport, an illegal immigrant! After two weeks in British immigration detention, X was driven back to Gatwick police station, told “OK, you have been checked out and you do have the right to be in the UK”, whereupon he was given the bus fare to Crawley, the nearest town, and released. Thus X found himself in the UK with only pennies in his pocket, nowhere to stay, knowing no-one and nothing.

X eventually managed to get some kind of emergency help with housing from the local council but wanted to move to London. He left Crawley for various reasons and went to London. He applied for housing to seven London boroughs, most of which refused even to consider his request (he claimed). This was the basis for his wish, over a year later, to seek judicial review of the decisions to refuse him and/or the refusal to consider his request(s) at all. I have no idea why his Nigerian family did not help him out with money or air tickets. Maybe the American events had estranged them.

X in person was irritating: an obsessive, fast-talking West African who had obviously decided to stay in the UK and to extract as much benefit as possible. Having said that, I thought that he had been treated very badly both in the US and UK. His case seemed at least arguable. His solicitor was a small Nigerian, almost a pygmy in size, who did not inspire confidence.

On the morning of the “application to apply” of the 2-stage process, I was at the Royal Courts of Justice, my by-then-usual stamping ground, in order to appear before Mr. Justice Laws (later a Lord Justice of Appeal). I had invited an old friend, an elegant European aristocratic lady, to see me in action and then, after my hoped-for initial triumph, to join me at lunch in Hall at nearby Lincoln’s Inn.

Greek tragedy placed hubris as inviting Nemesis. The courtroom was quite crowded with other barristers coming on after me. At first, things went well, despite the fact that, instead of neatly-organized files, the pygmy solicitor’s filing system appeared to be a large black bin-bag. The judge was listening, even perhaps slightly nodding at times (or was that wishful thinking on my part?). Then I struck the reef:

“Mr. Millard, where is the document from each council refusing Mr X?”

“My Lord, there are no such documents. Part of the case of the Applicant is that he requested a written decision in each case and was refused even that.”

“Mr. Millard, I think that I have to see something in writing.”

It was at this point that I felt a tug on my barrister’s black gown. Turning slightly, I saw the pygmy waving a piece of paper excitedly, smiling manically and nodding like a mechanized Victorian toy. Rashly, very rashly, I replied to the judge,

“I in fact appear to be in a position to assist your Lordship”

and only then looked at the paper. Big mistake. It was blank. I turned it over. Blank. I turned it over again, not quite believing this. I must have looked like a character out of a Laurel and Hardy film. I caught, peripherally, the incredulous looks of a couple of the waiting barristers. Sadly, no flying saucer appeared to beam me up and away from it all. I had to say something.

“I regret, my Lord, that in fact I am not in a position to assist your Lordship.”

Thus it was that Mr Justice Laws, later Lord Justice Laws, turned that colour, a mixture of pink, red and purple, that I now call Judicial Livid. His final remarks, in refusing our application, were curt (though not insulting; they did not have to be…).

On the way out of the courtroom and into the corridor, my guest, swathed in furs and jewels, and whom I had hoped would see me achieve a successful result, sympathetically said, “poor Ian”…

Update, 6 April 2020

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8190231/Dominic-Cummings-uncle-retired-judge-Sir-John-Laws-dies-coronavirus-diagnosis.html

All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players. … They have their exits and their entrances, and in his lifetime a man will play many parts, his life separated into seven acts.

[Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 7]

First, Steal A Chicken

This post is one in the line of reminiscences of my life at the English Bar. More exactly, it is another story of my days of pupillage (“on the job training”) as a newly-minted barrister in 1992-93, still under the control of a “pupilmaster” (though, as explained in other posts, my “pupilmaster” was in fact the same age as me, a consequence of my “rolling stone” or “wander-bird” youth). It tells the story of a fairly minor series of thefts, but at the same time says something about UK and even European society generally.

A timeworn joke says that the first line of an old Hungarian recipe for chicken goulash starts, “First, steal a chicken”…Well, in this story there was no chicken but what there was was an Arab Gypsy woman in East London who was expecting a baby. Well, a baby needs all kinds of things and especially clothing, so the family of that woman– a man, a boy of 14, the pregnant woman, our defendant (an exceptionally beautiful girl aged about 18 who was a cousin of the pregnant woman), and another woman– set out one fine morning to steal the requisites. Their chosen emporium was British Home Stores, Ilford, part of East London.

The aforesaid shopping expedition was initially successful, but came to an abrupt end when the “shoppers” were arrested by police as they were getting into their car, laden with their “acquisitions”. A woman store detective had noticed them and had alerted her colleagues and the police.

It is at this point that the story becomes interesting from the “crime and punishment” point of view. The man arrested was not charged, on the basis that he had not entered the store, not handled the goods and had not admitted knowing anything of the thefts. The 14 year old boy, having admitted acting as a look-out (a pretty poor one, as it turned out), received a police caution. The other women admitted theft in the magistrates’ court and were fined £50 each. So that left our defendant, who was called something like Maroush or Marousha.

Now it transpired that Maroush was also going to be sentenced for being part of a gang which had visited towns in Dorset and Somerset and had stolen quite large amounts from shops by distracting the cashiers while the tills were open (in fact, they could somehow get them open, silently and in seconds, even when the tills were closed). Maroush was a minor player in that game but would be sentenced with several others, they like her having pleaded to those offences, after the conclusion of her shoplifting trial.

Now the point was that theft is an either-way offence and Maroush could have pleaded guilty in the “mags”, in which case she would no doubt have received a £50 fine like the others. Why she had decided to elect Crown Court trial, God knows. We only got her case at the Crown Court stage.

So it was that we all appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court one day. Snaresbrook is a large rambling building near the end of the Central Line in Essex, and which even then had, I believe, 26 courtrooms (Wikipedia says 20, but that was in 1988; trial was in 1992; it’s pretty big, anyway…). One thing that struck me was when pupilmaster and I were provided (by the Crown Counsel) with a copy of a short Home Office report marked “Restricted”, all about Maroush’s clan origins.

It seems that Maroush came out of a clan of Arab Gypsies who lived (no doubt in poverty and on the margins of Arab society) in pre-WW2 Libya. The Second World War dislocated the states and colonies around the Mediterranean. The clan took the opportunity, after the war finished, somehow to get to Italy. They were eventually granted residency, and some, citizenship. The EEC/EC/EU arrived, with its “free movement” provisions. The clan then moved to somewhere where they could live off the host population more easily– the UK. The Home Office report was fairly direct, which perhaps was why it was “Restricted”: one would not want the British people or Press to see the truth…In fact, the report made it clear that few if any of the 5,000 Arab Gypsies of that clan then living in and around London had remunerative work. They all lived from theft, begging and State benefits.

The trial itself should have taken a day, but in fact took three, to the irritation of the judge. Pupilmaster was usually extremely long-winded, almost absurdly so. In fact, because the trial only ended late on the third day, sentence had to be put off to a fourth, because the other “£50 note trick” defs would be sentenced alongside Maroush. In the event, she was –almost inevitably– convicted of the Ilford shoplifting, and was sentenced to, if memory serves, 22 months’ imprisonment, though most of that was for the Dorset/Somerset offences. Still, she would have been better off pleading to the shoplifting, in the mags. She cried in the dock. I felt sad (I was younger and perhaps more sensitive then).

Not sure why that trial has stuck in my mind: the Home Office report? The youth and beauty of the defendant? The manifest silliness of her decision both to fight the shoplifting charge and, far worse, to do so in the Crown Court? All was put to one side over a few beers in the nearby Spread Eagle pub (if I recall the name aright) not long after. Life went on.

Note:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snaresbrook_Crown_Court

 

Paid Bar Pupillages

There is, currently, discussion yet again at the Bar of England and Wales about whether all sets of chambers should “tax” their members in order to pay pupils (i.e. trainee barristers) a certain minimum during their year of pupillage. The figure mooted has been put by some at £25,000; others put it at £12,000, i.e. about where the present legal “minimum wage” is set. Not all barristers agree. I saw a contrary-leaning article by Jew-Zionist silk Simon Myerson QC. I expect that this is the only issue on which I would ever agree with him (I attach his views at the bottom of this blog post).

I understand that chambers are currently not forced to have pupils, but if they have them they must be paid £12,000 p.a. Apologies if that misrepresents the current position; I have little contact now with affairs at the Bar. [update: see below]

Many who know me or of me may wonder why I am bothering to write about this. After all, I ceased Bar practice in 2008, and was actually disbarred –for political reasons– in 2016, after a pack of malicious Jews cobbled together a complaint to the Bar Standards Board about my socio-political tweets. My answer to such a query would be that I have a view and the time in which to express it. Simply that. I can revisit Memory Lane, too.

The idea that all chambers must fund at least one pupil has superficial appeal to many. Poorer people of merit would be assisted etc. The problem with that is that most young (as most are) Bar pupils are not very poor anyway, and many come from families with considerable incomes and capital. In short, from affluent families. No-one forces chambers to take poor pupils rather than rich ones. In other words, chambers might be forced to pay for pupils who do not even need the money.

When I myself was looking for pupillage in the late 1980s and then early 1990s (interrupted by my going to live in the USA and travelling back and forth in those years), I had handicaps: apart from lack of money, I was, having been born in 1956, about a decade older than most candidates, and (worse) until late 1988 had a beard. That last might seem a small matter, but at least two barristers who interviewed me mentioned it…

I found that, at that time, the Bar was even less well-run than most things in the UK. We (students at the Inns of Court School of Law, at the time the only place where the Bar Finals course was offered) were told by some stuffy blue-stocking administratrix that we should write our applications by hand and preferably in ink, using a fountain pen (though CVs could be typed)! By some miracle, quill pens and parchment had been superseded. Well, I laboured to write maybe a hundred applications (though not with a fountain pen). Most went unanswered. Imagine that… that a letter written in good faith on a quite usual subject (after all, it happens at least annually that people apply to such places) will simply be ignored. Arrogant. Rude.

Of the interviews I had, a few stand out: there was one at a leading commercial set, in which interview I was interviewed by one Christian du Cann and some young woman who was obviously very junior. Du Cann was the son of perhaps the best Bar advocate I ever heard, Richard du Cann QC, who wrote one of the best books on the subject, The Art of the Advocate (highly recommended, by the way, if any Bar students are reading this). Du Cann junior was OK, even pleasant, but the young woman was unpleasant, scornful, contemptuous. Huge chip on shoulder from somewhere. I think that she felt inferior, so abused her half hour of power. Fortunately for her, I have forgotten her name.

Then there was the interview elsewhere, which obviously was not going very well, though in a low-intensity way. One barrister saw me out and made two suggestions: one, never shake hands with another barrister; two, beards are usually unacceptable.

Another interview that was (perhaps on purpose, to put one on one’s mettle) very hostile was with three then fairly well-known people, often in the newspapers: Michael Worsley QC [https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/12118332/Michael-Worsley-barrister-obituary.html], who died in 2016; Roy Amlot (later QC) who was often seen prosecuting IRA bombers etc (and, later, defending in huge fraud trials such as Blue Arrow), now 75 and retired from the Bar; a blonde woman smoking like a chimney (I cannot quite recall after more than a quarter-century whether that was Joanna Korner, now QC and a judge, or Ann Curnow QC, now deceased). All in a room got up to look like a cross between a country sitting-room and a study: panelling, soft-ish lighting, leather sofa etc and a couple of desks. In summary, Worsley appeared to be a stuffed shirt (very different from the figure portrayed in the Daily Telegraph obit), Amlot a funereally-serious and hugely self-important little man, and the blonde woman someone whose interview style seemed to rely on ill-bred mockery.

I did have one interview which was almost Kafka-esque. At that time, my mother and brother were both Members at Ascot (my brother also owned a racehorse at the time). One frequently-encountered fellow-member was a woman whose son happened to be a head of chambers in the Temple. The two ladies arranged an interview for me. I was loath to go for interview under such conditions, but went out of politeness.

In those pre-Internet days, it was not always easy to find out what a particular set did in detail. I went thinking that it was a general Common Law set. On my arrival, on a Friday early evening, about 1800, the members were all enjoying glasses of champagne; bottles of Bollinger were everywhere. I was given a glass. Turned out that they did this every Friday at sundown. The head of chambers, obviously talking to me because his mother had asked him to do so, was not very pleasant and asked me what I knew of family law. I replied not much, never having studied it. He said “We only do family…” End of “interview”.

In the end, I went back to the USA, though I did get a pupillage in London in the end, in 1992, unfunded and making the first six months (when you are forbidden to accept fees) a trial of strength.

In my last few years at the practising Bar, I was based in Exeter. The head of those chambers decided that we should take pupils and (a year or two later) also fund them. At least one per year. Everyone would be “taxed” for this. I think that my share was about £50 a month, something like that. I thought that absurd. Those funded were not in real need of money (as I had been when a pupil) and I saw no need for us to have pupils in chambers anyway. I was there to make a living, not to provide the English middle classes with career or CV opportunities. My Head of Chambers disagreed though. He no doubt wanted to keep in with the the Bar Council etc, and I note that he has since then (in recent years) sat as a Recorder in civil cases.

Thus it is that, for once, I find myself in agreement with Myerson QC, whose view is linked hereinbelow:

https://www.legalcheek.com/2012/02/simon-myerson-qc-12k-minimum-pupillage-award-is-fair/

Update (July 2018)

My one-time Head of Chambers has, since I penned the above, been elevated to the Bench as a Circuit Judge, I read somewhere or other. May he temper the law (of which he has an impressive grasp) with not only justice but also mercy…

Update, 23 August 2019

I saw this:

So those fortunate enough to find a pupillage at all (only about 1 in 10) will be paid the above sums per year (or pro rata— many pupils are in two different sets for the two halves of their pupillage year). Nice for them.

My objection to the above is not merely (in fact scarcely at all) that “I had to struggle; they should also struggle”, because in any case most Bar pupils are from relatively affluent (sometimes very wealthy) backgrounds. They do not really need the money.

There is another point: a Bar pupil is almost useless in the first 6 months. Barristers in chambers are therefore not only subsidizing people most of whom do not really require subsidy, but paying out for nothing (unless you regard it as akin to noblesse oblige). A Bar pupil may be helpful in terms of research etc, but the barrister who is pupilmaster has to be pretty sure of the pupil to rely on the results. In other words, the pupillage award is not quasi-pay for work done by the pupil, but a kind of de haut en bas largesse. Oh well, not my problem now!