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 ÂŁ120 for originals and ÂŁ40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email info@qccartoon.com.

June 23, 2014 ¡ Tim Kevan ¡ Comments Closed
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Weekend video: Lord Bingham – The Rule of Law

June 21, 2014 ¡ Tim Kevan ¡ Comments Closed
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Book recommendation: Letters to a Law Student: A Guide to Studying Law at University by Nicholas J McBride

Letters to a Law Student relays all that a prospective law student needs to know before embarking on their studies. It provides a useful guide to those considering a law degree or conversion course and helps students prepare for what can be a daunting first year of study.

Available from Amazon.

June 18, 2014 ¡ Tim Kevan ¡ Comments Closed
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The modernisers are revolting

The other day we all went to the celebration party of a barrister in chambers who has just been made a QC. Actually, he’s only just been made a tenant in chambers as well, having joined from another set where it was said that he didn’t feel he was getting quite the attention he deserved. Though word has it that he stood unsuccessfully for head of chambers and then left in a huff to find another home for his thwarted ambitions.

He’s about fifty-five with the usual middle-aged spread and thinning hair. The difference is that Slick (it just seems appropriate) is a ‘moderniser’. Not really in the sense of being rebellious or anti-establishment (sadly). Far from it.

Rather he represents a corporate view of life that he thinks should be the new establishment, even at the Bar. But above all what defines him is a leathery perma-tan and slicked-back hair. Oh, and the mini-me he brought with him from his other chambers who I’ll call Slicklet but who also reminded me of C3PO playing up to his beloved ‘Master Luke’.

After the champagne had been served, Slicklet stood to introduce Slick to the masses and then the oily one started his speech. “In these fine surroundings, it is an honour and a privilege…” We were already switching off when suddenly he suddenly announced, “…and I therefore intend to stand for head of chambers…” Everyone’s attention was certainly taken with that one, particularly when he also went on to mention “…the appointment of a commercial director…”

Everyone turned to look at HeadClerk who at present is in charge of anything and everything that is in the slightest bit both commercial or indeed uncommercial. He raised a glass of champagne to the speaker and with a broad smile toasted him with the words, “Over my dead body.” Slicklet gasped but everyone else in chambers fell silent.

War, they knew, had officially been declared.

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.

June 17, 2014 ¡ Tim Kevan ¡ No Comments
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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 ÂŁ120 for originals and ÂŁ40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email info@qccartoon.com.

June 16, 2014 ¡ Tim Kevan ¡ Comments Closed
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Weekend video: Stephen Burt: Why people need poetry

June 14, 2014 ¡ Tim Kevan ¡ Comments Closed
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Book recommendation: A Good Man in Africa by William Boyd

Winner of the Whitbread Award and the Somerset Maugham Prize. Escapee from suburbia, overweight, oversexed … Morgan Leafy isn’t overburdened with worldly success. Actually, he is refreshingly free from it. But then, as a representative of Her Britannic Majesty in tropical Kinjanja, it was not very constructive of him to get involved in wholesale bribery. Nor was it exactly oiling his way up the ladder to hunt down the improbably pointed breasts of his boss’s daughter when officially banned from horizontal delights by a nasty dose … Falling back on his deep-laid reserves of misanthropy and guile, Morgan has to fight off the sea of humiliation, betrayal and ju-ju that threatens to wash over him. A Good Man in Africa is one of the greatest comic novels of recent times and will be loved by fansof Any Human Heart, as well as readers of Ben Macintyre, SebastianFaulks, Nick Hornby and Hilary Mantel.

Available from Amazon.

June 11, 2014 ¡ Tim Kevan ¡ Comments Closed
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The legal credit crunch

Chambers called an emergency chambers meeting yesterday.

HeadofChambers explained why in his opening. “It has come to my attention that a number of solicitors’ firms have been selling off their future earnings to loan sharks.”

“What’s the problem with that?” asked OldSmoothie. “It’s common business practice to factor the debts you’re owed at a discount so why not do the same thing with legal costs?”

“The problem is that I hear they are factoring all of their costs, even for the cases in which they’re unlikely ever to be recovered. Some of them are even selling off phantom cases I hear.”

“I’ve also heard that a few are selling at a huge discount as well, sometimes for as little as 30% of the supposed value,” said BusyBody.

“That’s because some firms are completely desperate at the moment,” said TheVamp. “Their businesses are collapsing and they’re taking from Peter to pay Paul.”

“Sounds like some sort of a legal Ponzi scheme, if you ask me,” said UpTights.”
“Illegal, more like,” said BusyBody, “and as soon as those buying the bad debts realise what’s going on the whole house of cards will come tumbling down.”

“It’s like some kind of a terrible game of pass the parcel and when the music stops, whoever is left holding the toxic debts goes under.”

“And we all know who are some of solicitors’ biggest creditors.”

“Me for a start,” said UpTights. “My aged debt has gone up from ÂŁ200,000 a few years ago to nearer ÂŁ700,000 at the moment.”

“Which should already have raised just a fewed just a few alarm bells,” said OldSmoothie.

“And it amounts to a significant amount of credit if you add in the rest of chambers,” said TheCreep almost standing on his tip-toes as he said it.

“Oh, CreepyWeepy,” said TheVamp patting him on the head. “I hardly think the size of your own, er, aged debt is going to make any sort of a splash in this particular sea.”

“So how do we know which ones are up to their ears in it?” asked TheBusker.

“That’s just the problem,” said HeadofChambers. “We have absolutely no idea which firms are healthy and which ones are mired in mountains of their own, er, debt. Even identifying that they’re factoring doesn’t in itself indicate that they’re in trouble and we can hardly go around doing a detailed due diligence exercise on every one of our instructing solicitors.”

“Which puts us in about the same position as a major creditor of a bank in 2008,” said UpTights.

“Well, it’s certainly far too late to batten down the hatches or take any other precautionary measures. We’re already in too deep as it is. So when the storm hits we’ll just have to hold on tight and hope that it doesn’t take the whole of chambers with it. But mark my words: some members of chambers could be in serious trouble within the next year or two.”

“It’s a shame we can’t do what the government does in these situations,” said TheVamp, “and simply print more money.”

“Now there’s an idea,” said OldSmoothie. “Perhaps it’s time to start taking lessons from SlipperySlope in the art of creative billing.”

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

June 10, 2014 ¡ Tim Kevan ¡ No Comments
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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 ÂŁ120 for originals and ÂŁ40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email info@qccartoon.com.

June 9, 2014 ¡ Tim Kevan ¡ Comments Closed
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Book recommendation: Scoop by Evelyn Waugh

Lord Copper, newspaper magnate and proprietor of the Daily Beast, has always prided himself on his intuitive flair for spotting ace reporters. That is not to say he has not made the odd blunder, however, and may in a moment of weakness make another.Acting on a dinner-party tip from Mrs Algernon Smith, he feels convinced that he has hit on just the chap to cover a promising little war in the African Republic of Ishmaelia. One of Waugh’s most exuberant comedies, Scoop is a brilliantly irreverentsatire of Fleet Street and its hectic pursuit of hot news.

Available from Amazon.

June 4, 2014 ¡ Tim Kevan ¡ Comments Closed
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