Wednesday, 7 August 2013


After a difficult night i am glad to report that Mike is on the up having had a little chicken soup, a dry cracker and 9 pints of stella. Rejoice . 


Yet not before a final lunch today at Bibendum with John Spencer to whom every injury lawyer should be grateful. His work keeping portal extension under control was enormous.
 George Clooney doppelgänger , Paul Scrutton , was in fine form .Just lovely to natter without an agenda.
Things are looking cautiously optimistic for injury lawyers after the House of Commons report last week which revealed 'compensation culture ' to be as real as ghosts and train timetables. Still no mention of this critical development in 'The Times' which has relentlessly plugged the Jack Straw line that a cabal exists involving crooked claimants , dodgy doctors and sinister solicitors.


Otto at 182 Grays Inn rd is just spendid. It is new and i only learnt about it from arch foodie Stuart Mckechnie . The interior is perhaps quaint but the food , wine and service are faultless.
The eponymous Otto came and modestly introduced himself.Charming.
 Not expensive and a clever wine list.  0207 713 0107. 


It was lovely to be invited for drinks on the rooftop last night.
Here is a set of Chambers that gets it right. It has hosted a series of these  cosy gatherings so that members can actually engage with clients .Again , it was intelligent to serve a decent drink , Laytons Champagne , rather than cava that might cost a little less but just tastes foul.
All credit to Shantanu for picking the wine and Catherine Calder for everything else ( including the loveliest welcome ).

Tuesday, 6 August 2013


The great man is under the weather . I can only assume someone slipped green kryptonite into his drink.  He so strong that he lifted me with one hand when Stuart Mackechnie won barrister of year.
Get well soon.

Monday, 5 August 2013


There has never been such a hectic year. Inter alia , can i say thanks to everyone whom i have encountered .So many good people including  HHJ Simon Brown QC, Paul Scrutton , John Spencer,Adam Manning ,Maria  Kell, Stuart Mackechnie , Mike , Paul Reason , Teresa and her amazing husband , the boys at Neolaw, Mark Field , Dr Friston , Erica , Mark Griffin , Marshal, Matt Gibbons , Sue Bright , Mrs P ,Mike Charnley , Kerry '2 brains 'Underwood, Sara Stanger, Jill Riley are just a few names on my list. Jef Zindani has been magnificent in getting our book published ; a hero.
And congratulations to Roz Steeple who is soon to marry ( with me planning the honeymoon). Oh yes.


It is holiday time. Here are 3 random warnings.
1.The latest blag in big European cities ( particularly Paris and Barcelona ) is the petition. Roma children give innocent tourists a petition and a pen to sign it with.With hands out of the way an accomplice will dip into bags or pockets.
2. French and Italian pharmacies have a monopoly on selling even simple painkillers. 30 p generic paracetomol at Boots is £8 in Venice.Take your own and suntan lotion / deet based insect repellent too.
3. Several shops present the card machine which gives you the option to pay either in euros or pounds.Never pay in pounds. The catch is that the retailer can dictate the rate of exchange as obviously it will collect in euros.You get overcharged due to a dire exchange rate.
Bon voyage.

Sunday, 4 August 2013


No surprise that Jackson in practice , dealing with what has happened since April and correcting some of the big misunderstandings is , by a mile , the hot one.
Interestingly , Part 36 and settlement remains huge and rightly so.


Please , please read the sublime judgment of Sir Rupert in ROBERTS V BANK OF SCOTLAND (2013) EWCA Civ.882.
It marks the return of the PROTECTION FROM HARASSMENT ACT 1997, which was blown off course by a duff decision of The Appeal Court in 20007.
Here , the claimant was bombarded by 547 phone calls from the defendant which had inherited the Halifax. Mrs Roberts was slightly overdrawn. An award of £7,500 was unanimously upheld.
Remember , you have a six year limitation period . I feel so vindicated ; the charm and courtesy and decency of Lord Justice Jackson shines through. Uplifting stuff.
I am writing a full piece for the NLJ.


On a fleeting visit to Bath i noticed that something was missing. The Quality Solicitors stand has disappeared from W H Smith although , poignantly, the hot line remains attached to the wall.

Friday, 2 August 2013


If you want to read a proper legal blog then please turn to Revolution Law, penned by the great young man that is Adam Manning. He kindly wrote up a talk i gave in terms so lucid and exact that i wondered if i had said anything like it. Anyway , a star in the making.


Drop everything .head to Waitrose now. Buy every bottle you can ( i cleared the Bath branch ) of VINALBA 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina. It is on promotion at £6-99 .Normally £8-99 they are putting it up to £9-99 imminently.It tastes better than many a £30 red. Sean Jones  QC and i had a bottle the other night and purred with contentment. I have set mine aside for Christmas day.
Not on the same scale or indeed planet but also promoted at Waitrose is the red and white offerings from La Vielle Ferme , £5-99 so £2 off. It comes from a noble heritage , Beaucastel , makers of awesome Chateauneufs. Fine for the summer as is my last tip here Les Dauphins , Cote Du Rhone for £6-49 , also discounted . very fruity and gluggable.
Aldi has a steal , Italian red , Toscano, for £4-09. Sublime fruit and tasting like something nearer a tenner. I do not drink spirits but their own brand gin under a tenner and whisky for £13 have wiped the floor with big brands in blind tastings.
Finally , if you like elegant Burgundy,  Aaron Rice at Averys  01275 812237 , has a few cases left of stupendous chardonnay for about £100 a case. I bought one 2 days ago. He knows his stuff.


The book , written by Jeff Zindani, with tremendous contributions from HHJ Simon Brown QC, Dr Mark Friston, Nick Jervis, Mark Feeney and myself is out . Sun Legal Publishing . £100. JK Rowling did not write any of it (probably ).

'The Times'

I remember when this paper was the essential read for lawyers. It has gone to the dogs.The opening section of the Law Report today is gibberish
.Yesterday, it ran a hot off the press Court of Appeal decision published on May 23rd. It managed to bury on page 16 the rather more important story that Times Newspapers Ltd had gone down for £180,000 in a libel action brought by Peter Cruddas.
The glaring omission is that the House of Commons rounded on some motor insurers whilst finding that claimant injury practitioners were decent.After devoting pages to the alleged crookery of solicitors and giving a big platform to  the ex -criminal barrister Jack Straw  to denounce injury lawyers , where is the detail of the Commons report?