Archive for May, 2011

Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons, 30th May 2011


This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including Lawyers Uncovered. He also does the cartoons for BabyBarista and has had two more excellent books published recently: 101 Ways to Leave the Law and 101 Uses for a Useless Banker. 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.

May 30, 2011 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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The end is nigh

“It’ll the end of the world as we know it,” said TheCreep today.

“I think that was earlier in the week, CreepyWeepy,” said TheVamp, “and we all seem to have survived.”

“It’s this Jackson reform stuff,” he continued. “I was chatting to a solicitor yesterday and he was saying that if claimants can’t recover the after the event insurance premium from the other side then no case will ever get to court again.”

“Why’s that?” asked BusyBody.

“Because most clients are hardly going to pay it themselves and I don’t see solicitors stepping into the breach. Well, not the one I was talking to anyway. He just said that cases will simply under-settle well before they even get near to a court room.”

“Hardly increasing access to justice,” said BusyBody.

“Or access to barristers, for that matter,” said TheBusker.

“Maybe the bar could start stumping up for the insurance premiums?” said TheCreep.

“Yeh, right,” said TheVamp, “and whilst we’re at it, we may as well cough up for our own fees too.”

“Maybe the end of the world really is nigh,” said TheCreep.

“You joke,” said OldSmoothie, “but if my income stopped tomorrow even for six months, I’d be done for. My cash flow situation looks worse than the worst of the Ponzi schemes.”

“I know what you mean,” said UpTights. “Sometimes I feel I’m only working so hard just to stave off next year’s huge tax bill.”

“But what about your aged-debt?” said BusyBody.

“It’s all very well in theory but if solicitors suddenly experience a drop in work, we all know that the first debts which they’ll fail to pay will be ours.”

“So we’ll just have to hope and pray that once these reforms come in, the world keeps on turning just as it has done for generations of lawyers before you,” said OldRuin with a smile.

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister practising at the English Bar, written by barrister and writer Tim Kevan. For more information and to read posts from the last few years visit babybarista.com. Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

May 27, 2011 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Upholding the rule of law

“Is it just me or has the whole legal world just been turned upside down by the press?” said TheBusker. “I mean, I don’t give a fig about the privacy issue. But when there’s a court order in place, surely that should mean something?”

“And instead it’s undermined by the use of parliamentary privilege right under the nose of the attorney general, the very person responsible for enforcing that order,” said BusyBody.

“But what’s he meant to do. He can hardly start proceedings against every over-excited user of Twitter who forwarded it on,” said TheVamp.

“So, what? That’s it. Laws now count for nothing? Judges are powerless to enforce their own judgments? Come on,” sad BusyBody.

“I don’t know what you’re all so worried about,” said OldSmoothie. “We spend our lives trying to twist and turn judges and orders in our clients’ favour. We can hardly now start carping on about the sanctity of justice and all.”

“I’d be extremely disappointed if I thought that my barristers weren’t prepared to stand up to the judiciary,” said HeadClerk.

“Yes, but there are ways to do that and ways not to,” said BusyBody.

“What you really mean,” said OldSmoothie, “is that there are very expensive ways to bend the law through hiring the services of a lawyer and then there are much cheaper ones which bypass them altogether.”

“Which is exactly why we all need to uphold the rule of law,” said HeadClerk.

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister practising at the English Bar, written by barrister and writer Tim Kevan. For more information and to read posts from the last few years visit babybarista.com. Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

May 24, 2011 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons, 23rd May 2011


This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including Lawyers Uncovered. He also does the cartoons for BabyBarista and has had two more excellent books published recently: 101 Ways to Leave the Law and 101 Uses for a Useless Banker. 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.

May 23, 2011 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Sponsored blog post: National College of Legal Training competition

The National College of Legal Training (NCLT) are giving potential students the chance to cut a huge chunk off their course fees, with their £10,000 online sweepstake. 

The legal training organisation have launched a competition on social networking site facebook, where they are offering two prizes of £5,000 off course fees in an online prize draw.This latest promotion ties in with NCLT’s commitment to using social media to keep in touch with potential and existing students, as well as making the courses even more accessible for the 2 students who win the prizes, with Paul Whitehouse, Commercial Director at NCLT, saying ‘We’re committed to offering something better for less with our legal training options, and this competition allows us to help students take their legal training further, at a greatly reduced cost’.

The two courses the prizes apply to are the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and the Legal Practice Course (LPC), which NCLT deliver on a full or part time basis, both of which are under £7,500 meaning the £5,000 prize would account for most of the fees, making this an un-missable opportunity.

The simple sweepstake closes June 30th and to enter visit http://www.facebook.com/nationalcollegeoflegaltraining?sk=app_28134323652 Good Luck!

May 19, 2011 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Hush hush…

“I’ve just bought myself a copy of the brand new edition of Tugendhat and Christie on The Law of Privacy and The Media,” said OldSmoothie today. “I’m thinking of putting myself out as a privacy expert.”

“But you’re not,” said BusyBody.

“Ah, but that’s not a problem where everything’s secret,” he replied. “Who’s to know that I haven’t been involved in any number of top secret cases when even the existence of the injunctions can’t be reported?”

“We’ll know.”

“And the very fact that no-one’s heard of me in that particular area of law could even be taken as evidence of quite how successful I’ve been at keeping things hush hush.”

“Except it isn’t,” persisted BusyBody.

“I’d pay for a superinjunction on OldSmoothie,” said UpTights. “Imagine if we could somehow zap him out of existence just through a tiddly little matter of a court order.”

“Now there’s a thought,” said BusyBody.

“I’d happily have a superinjunction against all mention of West Ham’s results at the moment,” said Teflon.

“Maybe we could all just vote on Twitter as to who and what is to be injuncted. Kind of a new Super Press Complaints Commission that might actually work,” said TheBusker.

“It’s the name that gets me,” said BusyBody. “Like it’s some kind of super-hero of an injunction.”

“Whose Kryptonite is Twitter,” said TheBusker.

“It always sounds to me like it was invented by HeadofChambers’s wife at one of her little get-togethers for ladies who lunch inside the gin belt,” said TheVamp. “You know, all jolly hockey sticks, cucumber sandwiches and super-duper inunctions, don’t you know.”

“Bit like Weston-Super-Duper-Mare,” said TheBusker.

“What I find funny,” said Teflon, “is that all the media organisations are now sent the secret equivalent of press releases by the high court telling them not to print this or that story which otherwise would have been forgotten about and greasy chip paper within a couple of days.”

“Yes, and telling someone not to think something is so going to work,” said BusyBody. “I think they call it the Streisand effect, where it does exactly the opposite of what was intended. Anyway, it’s all so pointless these days when any old lie can be around the world before the truth’s even thought of reaching for an enforcement order, never mind it’s trousers.”

“You know, it might be exhilarating with everyone doing the ‘I am Spartacus’ type of routine with these injunctions, but there does seem to be something terribly undemocratic about the whole thing,” said OldRuin. “It’s as if the rule of law means nothing if a group of people on The Twitter shout loud enough.”

“With all that’s going on,” said BusyBody, “I’ve heard that some PRs are already telling their clients to make up allegations and then take out injunctions just to help publicise their latest movie or TV programme.”

“It’s like privacy-injunctions are the new sleb fashion accessory,” said TheBusker. “Quite the must-have item.”

“Or privacy lawyers, at least,” said UpTights. “Though they’re a little more expensive than a pair of Jimmy Choos.”

“Except you can’t get Jimmy Choos on a no-win no-fee basis,” said TheBusker.
“More’s the pity,” came the reply.

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister practising at the English Bar, written by barrister and writer Tim Kevan. For more information and to read posts from the last few years visit babybarista.com. Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

May 17, 2011 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Broadcaster Jeremy Vine praises ‘Law and Peace’

Thanks to broadcaster Jeremy Vine for the following comment on my new book Law and Peace which is available on amazon.

“The legal world is laid bare in a novel bursting with invention. What a cast of characters Tim Kevan has assembled -drawn so acutely that I almost worry they might be real”
Jeremy Vine, Broadcaster

May 14, 2011 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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‘Law and Peace’ covered in EX33 and EX34 Magazines

Very many thanks EX33 and EX34 Magazines for mentioning my new book Law and Peace in the following article (below is the EX33 version) which you can also read here. You can buy the book on amazon.

Local writer publishes his second novel

Braunton resident Tim Kevan will have his second novel published by Harry Potter’s publisher Bloomsbury in May. It’s called Law and Peace and is a sequel to his first book, Law and Disorder, which was described by broadcaster Jeremy Vine as ‘a wonderful, racing read – well-drawn, smartly plotted and laugh out loud’ and by The Times as ‘a cross between The Talented Mr Ripley, Rumpole and Bridget Jones’s Diary’. That book was a comedy about life as a barrister and centred around BabyBarista’s first year in chambers. It included characters that probably exist in most workplaces such as UpTights, OldRuin, BusyBody and Worrier. Alongside the pupillage race was an altogether different battle with BabyB’s corrupt pupilmaster TheBoss whose dishonest fiddling of chambers’ records to avoid a negligence action all started to unravel and threatened to embroil BabyB’s entire career.

The second book carries on where the first left off and BabyBarista must face down old enemies, try to win compensation for a group of ASBO-attracting pensioners and unravel the complicated knots of his love life – not to mention his mother’s finances. Under the wise and watchful eye of OldRuin, he tries to keep his nose (and his wig) clean, but when SlipperySlope, an unscrupulous solicitor, offers him a quick way out of his financial difficulties he soon becomes embroiled in blackmail, dodgy share-dealing and the dark arts of litigation. With his old adversary TopFirst out for revenge and the chance to be awarded a coveted ‘red bag’ at stake, BabyB has to use all the tricks of his trade to extricate himself from his legal quagmire, win the case for his mad old clients, and somehow convince his best friend Claire to fall in love with him. There’s Machiavellian plotting galore but tempered with a real sense of pathos for the characters and their plight. What’s more, the fictional BabyBarista even takes a trip to North Devon and finds that surfing helps him to discover what’s really important in life.

Brought up in Minehead, Tim moved to Braunton a few years ago after a career as a barrister in London. These days, aside from writing his novels and a blog for The Guardian, he can otherwise be found surfing or jogging on the beach with his border terrier Jack as well as occasionally supping the odd pint of Doom Bar in the Black Horse pub in Braunton.

May 14, 2011 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Review of ‘Law and Peace’ in Manchester Uni Law Soc Magazine

Very many thanks to Sophie Taylor of the Manchester University Law Society Magazine ‘Mandatory’ for the following review of my new book Law and Peace. You can buy the book on amazon.

Review of the Baby Barista Files. Book: Baby Barista Files:  ‘Law and Disorder’ and ‘Law and Peace. Author: Tim Kevan. Publisher: Bloomsbury. By Sophie Taylor, 2nd Year LLB

As I’m sure every law student is well aware of: law is NO easy ride. The prospects of being thrust into the legal world are daunting to say the least. No matter how many text books we read, or how much we think we have prepared…the fierce competion that greets us on arrival will undoubtedly be a tremendous shock to the system!

No longer pacified by university comforts, the high stakes and intense nature of crawling up the ladder of the legal profession, may leave some students throwing their toys out of their pram! This is certainly the case in Tim Kevan’s hilarious ‘Baby Barista files’, which follows the journey of ‘Baby Barista’ from his first day as a pupil to his subsequent year of tenancy. Both books provide a riotous account of the backhanded tricks; unscrupulous efforts; and down right outrageous strategies employed by pupils. The frantic attempts of those trying to embark from the nest of academia, into the role of a high flying legal eagle prove to be highly amusing! In Baby Barista’s case it is evidently not a smooth transition. For all those students considering a career at the Bar I would suggest these books to be an essential summer read!

Although the files are purely fictional, the author Tim Kevan has experienced his fair share of law and disorder in his previous career as an ex-barrister. He initially wrote the first book as a humorous blog which was later snapped up by Bloomsbury publishers, and released in 2009. Since its publication it has gained mass support. The Times praised the works referring to them as: ‘ A cross between the talented Mr Ripley, Rumpole and Bridget Jones diary’. Such a review draws attention to the side splitting nature of the books as they take an alternative and refreshing outlook on the journey many of us students will soon embark on.

With an array of fantastic self-explanatory characters such as ‘Busy Body’ and ‘Old Smoothie’ the interactions that ensue could be accorded to that of a school playground. The Chambers are symptomatically laced with the scandal and gossip of ‘who has been caught sneaking behind the bike shed’, and the calculated manipulation of classroom bullies! Faced with financial pressures, Baby Barista plunges right into the heart of such school boy tricks, and will not let anything get in his way. The ensuing chaos of juggling mischievous tactics whilst gleaning a squeaky clean façade stimulates much enjoyment. The innocent professional failings in court are also highly engaging and humorous. Highlights include an overzealous sneeze causing his wig not only to fall off but to fly into the judge’s lap, not to mention a brief brush with the law himself! These are merely a snippet of the droll situations this pupil finds himself in. Although fiction – such pandemonium seems out of this world! Pure comic genius!

Moreover the follow on book which is to be published on the 3rd May follows ‘Baby Barista’ into his professional career of first tenancy. It is packed with comical situations including corruption in litigation, revenge from previous competition and the quest for a prestigious red bag!  The web of lies and tricks have certainly not been locked away and are once again causing conflict. As well as career desires Baby Barista also tries to win over the affections of a fellow pupil, but his immersement in work might be set to jeopardise his chances. With tales of ‘Batman boxer shorts, liquid lunches, drunken court hearings, and brushes with the ‘Bar Standards Board’ it is clear that Law and Peace provides an equally entertaining tale.

Both books are captivating and hard to put down. This is mainly due to Tim Kevan’s fantastically contemporary writing style which serves to keep you on your toes and literally laugh out loud. With legal speeches parodying that of Catherine Tate ‘Bovvered’, references to Little Britain, and various unconventional parodies, there is certainly never a dull moment. Such a sense of humour is much needed in the legal world. I would certainly recommend this book as a light-hearted, post exams cathartic wind down, and perhaps even preparation for commencing your pupillages!

Summary Judgement:

After reviewing all the evidence I am pleased to conclude that the Baby Barista files are to be found guilty of being an extremely entertaining, inspiring, and creative account of the legal profession. It shows lawyers at their best and most importantly their worst. I think law students will truly be able to appreciate the humour of these books and so my verdict here would be:

A MUST READ!

No objections here your honour!

 

May 14, 2011 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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A new member of chambers?

BabyBarista fans can now create a new character for the blog Cartoon: Alex Williams

TopFirst, OldRuin, UpTights … Fans of BabyBarista will be familiar with the cast of reprobates, chancers and other exemplary members of the legal profession who appear in the column. Now you have the chance to exercise your imagination by creating a fictional character who will then appear in the blog.

He or she might be a barrister, solicitor, clerk or some other colourful personality that hangs out in the legal world. They might be worried about the modernisation of the bar, or the Jackson reforms and their effect on their income. On the other hand, they might see great opportunities to be had in Tesco law and think the profession badly needs shaking up.

Whoever they are, all you need to do is describe their personality in a paragraph in the comments section on The Guardian’s page this page here, and I will pick the winner and include them in a post. The closing date is 22 May, giving you plenty of time to master the brief.

Naturally, being the sneaky lawyer I am, I’ll also keep the rights to the character – so you might end up discovering him or her in a future BabyBarista book. The winner and three runners-up will also receive a copy of Law and Peace, the second book in the BabyBarista files (Bloomsbury, £11.99).

May 14, 2011 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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