Weekend video: An Interview with John Grisham about Sycamore Row

April 19, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Spring Forward in Your Career

Brought to you by our friends at the Sellick Partnership

Friday 21st March sees a new season arriving and the country saying goodbye to a cold, wet winter. Although it can be tempting to forget all of the career analysis you’ve been doing on the dreary commute home and replace it with weekends in the sun and spring walks, the upcoming season can be a great time to focus on your career.

The initial rush of January may be over, but this in no way means competition for roles has lessened. The job market is looking increasingly positive – so it’s time to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.

Inspect that CV

Your CV is arguably the most important tool at your disposal during your job search, so give it a spring clean. Check your contact details first as these impact whether a potential employer will be able to get in touch; your e-mail, postal address and telephone number all need to be up to date. Make sure you have included projects from your current or most recent position – we all fall into the trap of neglecting our CV whilst in a role, so don’t forgot to include tangible details!

Supercharge your social media

If your LinkedIn profile is gathering dust in the corner of the Internet it’s not going to leave a lasting impression. Take the time to upload a photo, add your last three professional positions and responsibilities, and include your education background. Join relevant groups and be an active contributor – anything from asking questions to posting news materials will provoke conversations, and you never know who might see them.

Want to be more active on Twitter but not sure where to start? Look at creating yourself a schedule for the week – for example, sending business news on a Monday and taking part in #FF at the end of the week – and build it in to your current to-do list. Chances are, once you start you won’t be able to stop.

Wardrobe refresh

Take advantage of the positive spring feelings and apply them to your professional work wear. Understandably, black becomes the failsafe for many of us during the winter months, so use the new season for inspiration; look for a pop of colour with your accessories such as ties and bags, or invest in coloured shirts. Simply wearing a bright colour can improve your mood and that of the individuals around you.

Analyse your interview techniques

This may be one of the harder tasks as you’ll need someone else to be involved, but it’s worth it – with recruitment trends constantly changing and a new emphasis being placed on competency based interview questions, it pays to be prepared. Ask someone to run through potential questions with you and analyse everything from your body language to your actual answers; having another point of view can be priceless in any situation.

The presence of the sun and lighter morning are sure to have you feeling full of energy and ready to take on newer, bigger challenges. Use the tips above to make sure you’re ready for what’s to come and can spring forward in your career.

By Sellick Partnership

April 16, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Justice for sale

OldSmoothie was looking particularly smug today, even for him. “Yes, I’ve just got £10,000 on the brief for tomorrow’s one day trial,” he mentioned at least twice just when I was within hearing.

“Why on earth would someone pay that much when they could get the junior tenant I shadowed today for £350?” asked a mini-pupil.

“Because I’m worth it,” said OldSmoothie as if he were some kind of a barrister supermodel.

“Well, that’s highly debatable,” said TheVamp. “In all senses.”

“But why would anyone pay anyone that much?” said the mini-pupil.

“To help them win of course,” said HeadClerk.

“You mean that the more you pay, the better chance you have of winning?”
Everyone looked at the mini-pupil as if he was from another planet. “Er, yes,” said TheVamp raising her eyes in exasperation. “That’s the whole point of coming to barristers in the first place.”

“What, like justice is for sale? As if there’s a price on the right result?”

“Precisely so,” said HeadClerk. “Got it in one.”

“What was it a judge once said?” said OldSmoothie. “Justice is open to everyone. Like the Ritz.”

“But what if both sides then go to top barristers and splash the cash?” he persisted. “Wouldn’t that then cancel out the advantage?”

“Well, maybe, to some extent,” said HeadClerk. “But the standard of argument would certainly be a lot higher.”

“But even so, if by spending all that money you simply encourage the other side to do the same, why don’t both sides just agree to limit their spending to say, £500 a day and be done with it. Then both sides would have a level playing field, costs would be kept low and, er, justice might even be done.”

From the silence which followed this impeccable line of reasoning, I’m afraid to say that I wouldn’t fancy the mini-pupil’s chances if he ever decides to apply to this chambers in a year or two.

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister written by Tim Kevan whose new novel is Law and Peace. For more information and to read past posts visit babybarista.com. Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

April 15, 2014 · Tim Kevan · No Comments
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Book recommendation: RTA Allegations of Fraud in a post-Jackson Era: the Handbook by Andrew Mckie

A practical, concise and easy to read handbook dealing with allegations of fraud in personal injury RTA cases. From LVI to alleged staged accidents, this book covers all the main fraud topics including relevant cases, law and practical guidance that can be used by both junior and more senior fee earners in day-to-day practice in this complex and evolving area of law. Andrew Mckie is a Barrister at Clerksroom Manchester specialising in claimant and defendant personal injury, with a particular interest in cases involving alleged fraud and credit hire. He was called to the Bar in 2011 and before that was an Associate Solicitor and Solicitor Advocate. Before qualifying as a barrister, Andrew had over six years of advocacy experience as a Solicitor. He worked for a number of leading firms and dealt with both RTA fraud and credit hire and worked for both claimant and defendant firms. Most recently, he was the Head of Litigation and In-House Solicitor Advocate at a claimant personal injury and credit hire firm.

Available from Amazon.

April 14, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: books

Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons

qccartoon
This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including The Queen’s Counsel Lawyer’s Omnibus. He offers almost all of his cartoons for sale at £120 for originals and £40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email info@qccartoon.com.

April 14, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Weekend video: Pale Blue Dot – Carl Sagan [Original]

April 12, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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The Bar is in managed decline

“You know, whatever they said about Liverpool in the past, there’s one thing that is definitely in managed decline,” said HeadofChambers.

“OldSmoothie?” said UpTights.

“That’s a bit rich coming from the person with a face in such overly managed decline that she can’t even stretch to a smile,” he replied.

“What is it?” asked TheCreep.

“The Bar,” said HeadofChambers. “The end is nigh and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.”

“Yeah, right,” said TheVamp. “There’ll always be a place for the specialist advocate.”

“You’re right,” said HeadofChambers, “and that place is behind a plastic desk on an average salary in one of the shiny new alternative business structures which is about to sweep through the profession.”

“Well it’s certainly nigh for my publicly-funded practice,” said BusyBody. “The game really does appear to be well and truly up.”

“Well I’m not giving in just yet,” said one of the pupils. “I’ve taken on a night shift at a local supermarket to ensure I get a little extra guaranteed income whatever the storm decides to throw at our esteemed profession.”

“Quite right,” said Teflon, “and I’ve been taking on more advices and drafting more claims.”

“Well, I have to admit that I’ve been encouraging a few more claims to fight,” said OldSmoothie.

“And I’ve been advising a few more than usual of those that did fight to appeal.”

“Well, with such positive intentions as those, how can the Bar fail?” smiled TheBusker.

“I really don’t know what you’re all worrying about,” said OldRuin. “I’ve been listening to Jeremiahs harp on about the death knell of the Bar for generations. Rather than running around with the natural paranoia of the self-employed, I’ve always thought it was far more important to count the blessings we do have and take time out to smell the air and watch the cows go by.”

At which point the others shuffled uneasily and the conversation changed to other things.

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister written by Tim Kevan whose new novel is Law and Peace. For more information and to read past posts visit babybarista.com. Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

April 9, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons

qccartoon
This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including The Queen’s Counsel Lawyer’s Omnibus. He offers almost all of his cartoons for sale at £120 for originals and £40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email info@qccartoon.com.

April 7, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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My Foreword to ‘Wig Betrayed’ by Charles Courtley

Below is the Foreword to Wig Betrayed by Charles Courtley that is now available to buy on amazon.co.uk.

I’m delighted and honoured to have been asked to write the foreword to this wonderful novel which follows on from the excellent Wig Begone. The author follows in a rich tradition of fiction-writing from barristers and former barristers, including the great John Mortimer’s creation Rumpole of the Bailey and my own personal favourite Henry Cecil’s Brothers in Law.

In this volume we meet an older and more experienced Charles Courtley whose life seems to be in many ways out of his own control. But as he also starts to lose direction as to what is important to him and his world falls apart around him a tiny light begins to flicker to life offering up the hope of redemption.

I know from my own experience that writing a second novel can be more of a challenge than the first and in doing so the author has produced not only a cracking yarn but also one with real pathos where the strains and responsibilities of legal life can sometimes really take their toll. Added to this is the fact that whilst the story itself is fiction, the details are authentic and open a window for the reader onto the little known world of military justice. All in all a great page-turner of a book that I would heartily recommend.

April 6, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: books

Book recommendation: Just Law by Helena Kennedy

Acute, questioning, humane and passionately concerned for justice, Helena Kennedy is one of the most powerful voices in legal circles in Britain today. Here she roundly challenges the record of modern governments over the fundamental values of equality, fairness and respect for human dignity. She argues that in the last twenty years we have seen a steady erosion of civil liberties, culminating today in extraordinary legislation, which undermines long established freedoms. Are these moves a crude political response to demands for law and order? Or is the relationship between citizens and the state being covertly reframed and redefined?

Available from Amazon.

April 2, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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