COURT AVAILABILITY– see www.freelanceadvocacyservices.uk). Book via email@example.com
The CPR Committee (which meets twice yearly) have said that effective engagement works better a local level, and has asked that local courts (those that are left!) reconvene Court User Groups. Make sure the defence is represented at your local court!
FOH- the planned pilot is still in development, and those planning it have done a briefing to the new Justice Secretary. Surely he has other priorities!
The 14.5 hr p/w rule is meaning many freelancers are losing their duty slots, even where covering their duties and doing many more Magistrates Court and Police Station attendances. The “hours per week” on contract work rule means only for the firm with whom the duties are attached, so freelance solicitors who are instructed by several firms potentially lose out, as do part time employees. A particular annoyance is that there is still no guidance from the LAA as to whether Crown Court Advocacy counts, or whether the 14.5hr rule is being enforced- it currently seems to vary depending on the contract manager.
Meanwhile, again in the Gazette, a spotlight is shone on the culture of bullying junior employees in law firms:- https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice/tribunal-shows-mercy-to-junior-who-worked-in-culture-of-fear/5064270.article
The new LC is David Gauke MP. Let’s see if he lasts longer than his predecessor (6 months)
Defendants having to identify their nationality in court -an appeal for a defendant to act as claimant in LIBERTY JR.
(See blog Name Number and Nationality on the provisions and their inherent absurdities)
Sooner or later somebody will be charged and convicted of “failing to identify their nationality”, and let us hope that whoever takes the case stated appeal gets it right. In the meantime, there is an opportunity to JR the provision, but this has to be brought within three months of the November implementation-ie next month. These provisions can be challenged due to the inherently discriminatory nature of this legislation.
The challenge needs to be someone who has had to confirm their nationality in a criminal court as a result of this legislation, irrespective of whether they answered correctly or at all (in other words, no need for them to have been charged) In addition, they need to be eligible for (civil) legal aid. Read more hereDo you have a client who fits these criteria and who may be interested in taking on such a case? Please let me know! Thank you
Music An alternative Valentine’s Day playlist here
Lawyers of the month January Congratulations on silk appointment to:-
Jenny Dempster QC (Red Lion) and
Adrian Eissa QC (25 Bedford Row!)
Congratulations! To Peter and Jessica on the birth of baby Matilda.
Congratulations! To Leigh Webber on securing a great post within the CPS! His departure a sad loss to GT Stewart, and the defence Community.
Congratulations! To Mark Cotter QC on his engagement!
Farewell! To recently engaged Tim Huestis, heading back to Oz after years of great defence work at Shearman Bowen. Good luck We miss you already!
Thank you to Kath Jatter and Verity Fowler (GTS Croydon) for great support during a difficult prison mutiny trial at Winchester. And to Emma Clements (Wiseman Lee) for great work on two cases in which I am currently instructed.