A Christmas card from BabyBarista!

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.

Buy the first book of the BabyBarista Files which is published by Bloomsbury and called Law and Disorder.


'Law and Disorder' on audiobook

I recently went to London and recorded a reading of the whole of Law and Disorder which is Book 1 of The BabyBarista Files. It took three whole days of reading and is now available on both cassette and audiobook from W.F. Howes. You can hear an extract here.


Coming soon: 'Law and Peace'...

I have now finished the second novel in The BabyBarista Files and it will be published by Bloomsbury in May. it is available for pre-order on  amazon at £11.99.


Review of 'Law and Disorder' at DefrostingColdCases.Com

Nice review of Law and Disorder at DefrostingColdCases.Com. He says in particular:

"British humour, subtle power play, plots and intrigue…Vidocq was sold! I cannot wait to read more about this barrister."


Sponsored blog post: Lord Young would be Wrong to Restrict Personal Injury Advertising & Referral Schemes

David Cameron’s Adviser of Health and Safety Law and Practice, Lord Young has recently reviewed the health and safety laws following on from recent concerns expressed over the rise in the ‘compensation culture’ in Britain; for which Lord Young holds the media largely responsible.

These recommendations have come about as Lord Young takes the view that “businesses now operate their health and safety policies in a climate of fear. The advent of ‘no win, no fee’ claims and the all-persuasive advertising by claims management companies have significantly added to the belief that there is a nationwide compensation culture.”

The report, titled “Common Sense, Common Safety” was published on the 15th of October and in brief contains suggestions such as restricting “the operation of referral agencies and personal injury lawyers and control the volume and type of advertising.”

Michael Jefferies, Managing Partner of First Personal Injury solicitors, says “I think that it is a good that advertising is monitored to stop clients being misled, however this is already strictly controlled by the Advertising Standards Authority. They have been appointed to fulfil this roll and do a good job, so I don’t think the government should interfere.”

Michael Jefferies also puts forward a much more positive argument for personal injury advertising and referral schemes. He believes that as these are both methods of gaining more business for accident claim firms, clients benefit from a firm’s increased expertise and knowledge as a result of the increased business gained.

Jefferies added: “Certainly the ability to advertise and pay referral fees has allowed us to specialise due to increased work volumes, and thereby invest in technology which improves the firm’s expertise and therefore quality of advice to the client.”

About First Personal Injury

First Personal Injury is a trading name of Jefferies LLP one of the UK's leading personal injury law firms.  Jefferies LLP has over 16 years experience in personal injury claims.  They have won justice and personal injury compensation for tens of thousands of people all over the country from its base in Altrincham, South Manchester. The firm deals with all levels of personal injury claims - from minor to catastrophic.


Legal Week reviews the Law Blogs

Nice article by Alex Aldridge in Legal Week in which he reviews the UK's law blogs. You can read the full text here. He says the following about the BabyBarista Blog:

"Individual blogs like BabyBarista, Charon QC, Head of Legal and Geeklawyer led the way...

BabyBarista - Fictional insider account of life at the Bar, running since 2006 and made into a book, Law and Disorder, last year. In adapting a Bridget Jones-style comical account to the law, author Tim Kevan arguably invented a new sub-genre that has sparked a number of imitators. The blog is now hosted by The Guardian website."


Review of ‘Law and Disorder’ by Charles Courtley

Nice review of Law and Disorder by Charles Courtley, the pen-name for the author of the excellent Wig Begone. You can read the article here or below.

I’m delighted to state that my book now appears on the Lovereading website and so I  join a pantheon of other legal humorists – a bunch of writers all dedicated to treating the Law as a bit of a joke.
So, if you’re tired of serious coutroom novels, lighten up a little with a toddle through our pretend world.
Henry Cecil’s ” Brothers in Law” series will take you right back to the career of a rather prim barrister of the 1950s, whilst John Mortimer’s immortal “Rumpole of the Bailey” books examine the legal scene from the other side of the age spectrum.
Tim Kevan will bring you bang up to date with his witty book “Law and Disorder”  – a  brilliant parody of the modern profession and I trust that my own, more traditional tale, “Wig Begone by Charles Courtley” , the nostalgic story of a young barrister’s shenanigans in the 1970s will raise a laugh too!


Sponsored guest post: Low velocity road accident compensation claims

To an outside observer, looking at the aftermath of a low velocity collision between two vehicles, it might not look like anyone was injured. After all, in a sizeable proportion of road accidents that happen at velocities of less than 10mph, neither vehicle receives any damage. However, for the passengers, it might be a different story. Just because the outsides of their vehicles show little or no signs of damage, it does not mean that they themselves have escaped unscathed. A whiplash injury is one of the most common injuries people suffer in a low velocity road accident and can happen even in accidents where there doesn’t appear to be any external damage to your vehicle.

The majority of collisions that happen on roads in this country involve low velocities. Shunts and bumps between vehicles in slow moving traffic, or on the approach to roundabouts or other junctions, are far more common than high velocity smashes. At these low velocities, the durability of most modern vehicles means that no repairs are necessary. After all, it would be extremely inconvenient to have to take your car to a garage for repairs every time another motorist bumped into it.

But although a modern vehicle can stand up to a low velocity collision without anything to show for it, the same doesn’t always apply when it comes to the occupants of that vehicle. Whiplash is a type of soft tissue injury caused by the acceleration and deceleration experienced by someone involved in a low velocity road accident. Whiplash injuries are amongst the most common injuries suffered by someone who has been involved in a low velocity collision.

Claiming compensation after suffering a whiplash injury in an accident that wasn’t your fault need not be hard work.

A specialist personal injury solicitor, such as Camps Solicitors, can take care of the claims process for you, whilst you get on with your life. Our road accident claims department will work to recover you the injury compensation you deserve.

Author: Neil Worrall


Law and Disorder reviewed in The Solicitors Journal

Great review of Law and Disorder in The Solicitors Journal by Martha Swann. You can read it here or see below.

Law and Disorder - Confessions of a Pupil
26 September 2010 Tim Kevan Bloomsbury

When I landed my training contract I was so enthused that I went through a stage of purchasing a library of legal books off the internet, as you do.
One of the books was BabyBarista and the Art of War. This has now been republished under the title Law and Disorder – The BabyBarista Files with a funky new cover to appeal to the masses ahead of a second book set to be published next year.
It was definitely one of my better purchases – as a trainee solicitor I quite like getting a glimpse of what life might be like in chambers as it seems much more… how shall I say this… exciting than my life behind a desk building forts out of files. I therefore cannot vouch for the book’s accuracy, but I can vouch for its humour, wit and brilliant plot.
If you’ve ever read the BabyBarista blog, formerly in The Times and now featured in The Guardian, you’ll know that it has sharply drawn characters with appropriate monikers. BusyBody and OldRuin are two examples – guess what those characters are like. They all work together (or at odds with each other) in a London chambers.
The book focuses on BabyBarista’s pupillage year and the fiercely competitive nature of the pupils as they try and learn their trade while simultaneously battling it out against each other to try and get tenancy.
This brings me to the rather obvious book review question of whether or not I would recommend this book to my friends, my colleagues and to you, dear Young Lawyer readers. I would.
I suspect I am biased as I love the blog (I even am sad enough to follow BabyBarista on Twitter) and I found the book hilarious.
When I enjoy a book I tend to read it in one fell swoop, as I did with this one. So, go and buy it. Even if you’re not familiar with the blog this is a brilliant introduction to it. I just hope you’ve got a spare moment to read it in between job applications and all that photocopying you’ve been asked to do...

Martha Swann is a trainee at Stone Rowe Brewer


Has The Times' paywall started leaking?

Having blogged for The Times for three years, I resigned several months ago due to their introduction of a paywall. My reason was simple: less people would now be able to view my blog. I concluded that 'inside the paywall no-one can hear you scream'. Given that Rupert Murdoch apparently sees the iPad as the saviour of newspapers I was therefore fascinated to find that The Times' blogs are not even included in the content provided. I was also interested to discover today that unlike the other blogs Mary Beard's excellent A Don's Life continues to appear outside the paywall but on a Times-branded site. Is this the first leak from the paywall? You can read her blog here.


Interview on Law Actually

Law Actually have just published an interview with me here.


Independent on Sunday gives ‘Law and Disorder’ four stars!

The Independent on Sunday today gave Law and Disorder four stars in a book review by Inbali Iserles. To read it click here or see below:

"Litigation is like war." So BabyBarista is told on being presented with a copy of Sun Tzu's The Art of War during his first day in chambers. BabyB is about to find out that the battle lines are drawn not only in the courtroom but between the barristers who will be his neighbours for the next year of continual assessment. It is a lesson he is quick to learn – if fraud, philandering and a string of transgressions are to dictate which of the aspiring pupils make tenancy, BabyB plans to give as good as he gets.

Law and Disorder started life as an anonymous blog and its appeal as a novel is obvious. Tim Kevan, a former barrister himself, has a sharp eye for detail. While his cast tends toward caricature, one suspects that there is more than a kernel of truth to the pompous, sexist HeadofChambers, BabyB's conceited peer TopFirst and SlipperySlope, a solicitor "skilled in the creative art of billing".


'Law and Disorder' now available as an e-book

I'm really pleased to say that Law and Disorder has now been made available as an e-book. It's available at Amazon's Kindle store and can be read not only on their own Kindle device but also for example on iPhones and iPads using the Kindle app. You can buy it here at a reduced price of £6.53.


Article at Online Journalism Blog

Thanks to Paul Bradshaw for allowing me to do a guest post at the Online Journalism Blog entitled 'Why I escaped The Times' paywall'.


Sponsored guest post: Rehabilitation after a road traffic accident

Being injured in a road traffic accident can mean anything from some minor soft tissue damage or a whiplash injury, to a serious life-changing injury that may leave you unable to care for yourself.  In many cases, the injuries suffered will be somewhere between these two extremes, possibly with a lengthy recovery period, which may extend to many months or even years after the accident.  In a situation like this, many accident victims find they benefit from rehabilitation therapy, designed shorten the recovery period, facilitate a more complete recovery and enable them to get back into their daily routine more quickly than they might otherwise have been able to.

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Deciding which form of rehabilitation therapy is most appropriate requires an assessment of your injuries by an independent medical expert, which can be arranged as part of any personal injury claim.  It may be that an injury requires a package of different treatments to improve the recovery time and to increase the chance that a complete recovery will be made.

Specialist post accident recovery services as part of your compensation claim

As part of any car accident compensation claim you make, Camps Solicitors can arrange for you to receive the post accident rehabilitation you need to help you get your life back on track as quickly as possible.  Our expert road traffic accident lawyers will look at all the evidence in your claim, including witness statements, photographic evidence, reports from the police and other evidence from the scene to make sure nothing that relates to your claim is missed.  If it is possible to claim the costs of your medical treatment as part of your accident claim, our solicitors will include this as part of your claim so you will not have to pay out for these treatments.

To find out more about Camps Solicitors, and how our service could help you to access rehabilitation therapy after an accident that wasn’t your fault, visit the Camps website or call 0800 092 8586 now to speak with one of our claims advisors.

Author: Neil Worrall


Law and Disorder: coming soon...

Advance copies of Law and Disorder: Confessions of Pupil Barrister have just arrived. This is the mass market edition of BabyBarista and the Art of War 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". It follow's BabyBarista's fight for tenancy during his first year in chambers. It is officially released on 2 August and can be pre-ordered at www.amazon.co.uk.


BabyB hits the front page of The Guardian Online (click to enlarge)

BabyBarista moves to The Guardian!

Well, there I was. One minute I was writing for The Times. Then along came a massive gert paywall and having managed to escape in the nick of time I then found myself headhunted by those kindly souls at The Guardian. I mean, what luck! But not only that. It was as if I was in a Carlsberg advert and The Guardian was probably the best newspaper in the world as they said, 'Come work with us, but don't worry, you can keep your own site. Be our partner friendly blogger.' Hmm, not exactly a difficult choice, particularly when their law section is now in my opinion the very best in the country which is freely available to all. So there you go. Obviously, I'd like to think I was like Tevez as he transferred across from Manchester United to Manchester City but as a humble legal blogger I don't intend to get too big for my little horse hair wig. But hey, in my dreams that's the image I've conjured and you'll just have to allow me that. In the meantime, I'm spouting some more thoughts about the paywall in a separate post and then you'll also hear what OldRuin had to say about it all in chambers tea.

So from now on I'm really delighted to say that I'll be partnering with The Guardian and it's exciting to be the pilot scheme in their new online strategy of partnering with bloggers such as myself. What this means in reality is that the main BabyBarista content will appear both at  www.babybarista.com and as a blog at www.guardian.co.uk/babybarista. Meanwhile this site will keep the first six months of archives for the original blog.


BabyBarista says that the paywall will be a disaster for The Times

In his most recent post, BabyBarista says that the paywall will be a disaster for the Law Section of The Times in particular and suggests that The Guardian's Law Section might be about to trump it.

Sponsored blog post: Claiming compensation after a cycling accident

Falling off your bike. It’s the one thing that is almost guaranteed to happen to all cyclists at some point in their lives. Most people remember coming off their bike when they were young, hopefully escaping with no more than scraped knees and a few bruises. But what happens when another road user causes you to come off your bike. Well the results can be a lot more serious.

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Compensation for cycling accidents

If the worst happens and you are knocked off your bike and injured, obviously the most important thing will be that you recover from your injuries. However, when you are on the mend, your thoughts might turn to sorting out your bike, and getting some cycling accident compensation for your injuries and any time you have had to take off work. This is where a service like My Cycling Claim, brought to you by Camps Solicitors, could really help.

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To find out more about how My Cycling Claim is helping cyclists just like you to make a cycling accident claim and get on with their lives after an accident where they were not to blame, call our help line now on 0800 158 2188.

Author: Neil Worrall


Press release: Tim Kevan withdraws his blog from The Times to avoid being associated with their new paywall

For immediate release

Barrister and writer Tim Kevan today withdrew the BabyBarista Blog from The Times in reaction to their plans to hide it away behind a paywall along with their other content. He commented on his new blog:

"Now don’t get me wrong. I have absolutely no problem with the decision to start charging. They can do what they like. But I didn’t start this blog for it to be the exclusive preserve of a limited few subscribers. I wrote it to entertain whosoever wishes to read it. Hence my decision to resign which I made with regret. I remain extremely grateful to The Times for hosting the blog for the last three years and wish them luck with their experiment."

The re-launched site is at www.babybarista.com and includes numerous cartoons of the characters which appear in the blog by Hollywood animator Alex Williams who also draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times.

By way of background, BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister at the English Bar. The stories he tells appeared on The Times for over three years and they also led to him getting two book deals with Harry Potter's publisher Bloomsbury. BabyBarista and the Art of War was published as a trade paperback last year and 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". A mass market edition with the new title Law and Disorder is due out in August. Book Two of the BabyBarista Files will also be published by Bloomsbury. The provisional title is Law and Peace and although a date hasn't been finalised it is likely to be published in 2011.

A request from Tim Kevan

Without the support of a large national newspaper, I would appreciate any help I can get in publicising the new blog site. This might be through forwarding the link to your friends or even more helpfully putting up a link up or posting this press release on your own blog or website.


Sponsored blog post: No-win no-fee cases

Personal injury claims receive plenty of media coverage nowadays, notably in the form of television advertisements. As such, it is arguably the case that the public is now more aware than ever as to the legal rights pertaining to negligence law. The pursuit of personal injury claims has been rendered more cost-effective after the introduction of the so-called no win no fee service, which is officially known as the conditional fee arrangement (CFA). The CFA has improved the general public's access to justice by de-risking the process in the context of potential costs when bringing compensation claims before the courts.

The CFA has provided greater financial certainty to those who wish to pursue claims for compensation than had been offered under the old legal system. Where compensation claims are won, CFA solicitors (injury lawyers) would normally recover their costs from the losing parties. In fact, even where cases are lost, claimants are not usually required to pay the costs of their legal advisors under no win no fee arrangements. The CFA does not, however, enable the claimant to avoid all costs.Therefore, most solicitors will take out ATE (after-the-event) policies on their clients' behalf. ATE insurance provides cover in the event that a case is lost, covering the costs of the winning party, which may include court fees and medical expenses.

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Sponsored blog post: Slipping and tripping accidents, a heavy toll on employees and the public

According to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, nearly 11,000 workers in the UK suffered serious injuries from a slip or trip in their workplace, accounting for a third of all reported major work-related injuries. Taken together, slipping and tripping accidents are likely to cost employers over £500 million, from lost revenue coupled with other costs relating to injured workers, including hiring temporary staff and statutory sick pay.

Preventing slips and trips in the workplace can save employers substantial amounts of money from the costs of claims. In many cases simple measures can be taken to reduce the chances of an accident occurring. Probably the most cost-effective way of reducing slipping and tripping accidents is through awareness training of staff members so that they understand the common hazards, and the steps to take to reduce the risk of slips and trips, both for themselves and for their colleagues or members of the public who might be in the same area.

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Slip and Trip Accident Claims

Obviously when it comes to slips and trips, preventing the accident by identifying risks and taking appropriate action is the best policy. But if the worst happens and you are injured in an accident, through no fault of your own, then a specialist personal injury claims solicitor can help to make the process of claiming compensation understandable and stress-free.

Camps Solicitors are a firm of accident claim lawyers who help people who, through no fault of their own, have been injured by slipping on or tripping over a hazard to make claims for compensation on a No-Win No-Fee basis.

Author: Neil Worrall

Review of BabyBarista at The Planet Harris Book Blog

"Expanded from his BabyBarista Times blog, this first novel from Tim Kevan is an uproarious diary of intrigue, backstabbing and dubious moral attitudes, set in the allegedly morally upstanding world of law courts and Chambers. BabyBarista himself is a Machiavellian young pupil barrister whose early claims of naivety are quickly rubbished when it becomes clear that he will stop at nothing to ensure he, and not one of the other four pupils in his chambers, is granted tenancy at the end of the year.

BabyBarista’s first pupilmaster, known simply as TheBoss, hands him a copy of ‘The Art of War’ by Sun Tzu on his first day but it is clear from the off that nobody is going to put Baby in a corner anyway. Without the ancient strategic text, Kevan’s narrator would have been a formidable enough proposition; armed with it he acts out ever-darker and underhand schemes to achieve his ends. Nonetheless, BabyBarista remains charming and entertaining enough throughout to guarantee we’re still rooting for him come the denouement. This is, in part, due to his wry observations on the pomp and circumstance which lays like a veil over British legal proceedings. Why wear 200 year out of date wigs and gowns in court, he wonders, when modern defendants might have more faith in somebody wearing a superhero outfit? Why should prosecution and defence counsels spend hours arguing to and fro to reach an out-of-court settlement when they can decide the matter with a quick game of Battleships and spend the rest of the day drinking champagne?

There are shades of Francis Urquhart, echoes of Yes Minister’s Sir Humphrey and a degree of Iago to this would-be-Rumpole, but many of the external cultural references are actually drawn from television comedy. One of the most entertaining scenes consists of BabyBarista’s pre-courtroom war of words with a more experienced counsel he refers to as TheCreep. TheCreep attempts to undermine Baby’s confidence by haranguing him on the train heading for their court appearance, but is rebuffed at every turn by the Catherine Tate catchphrase ‘Bothered.’ Worryingly, this episode and many others are told so convincingly that I began to pray I never need defending by a junior, or even senior barrister. Some of Kevan’s counsels do not appear to come armed to the battle of wits that is crosscourt debate.

As the novel rattles towards deadline day pretty much every character either falls apart, usually as a result of BabyBarista’s machinations, or reveals themselves to be even more loathsome than they first appeared. With one notable exception. OldRuin is unmistakably the conscience of the piece, full of avuncular advice and driven by an awareness that life is not about avoiding mistakes or behaving perfectly, it is about what we learn from our errors of judgement, morally as well as practically. Without this virtually lone advocate of human decency the novel would be less effective and our sympathies for BabyBarista himself might falter, the more he becomes embroiled in smearing his rivals. What OldRuin allows the reader to understand, however, is that Baby might not need throwing out with the bath water; he just might realise that skulduggery can only get him so far. Is he redeemable? Quite possibly, but then, a rehabilitated BabyBarista would rule out any possibility of a sequel, wouldn’t he?

Tightly written, interspersed with enough out-of-chambers action to keep the layman riveted, peppered with keenly-observed, if rarely likeable characters, and genuinely laugh-out-loud funny in places, Tim Kevan’s debut is an absolute delight."


Review of BabyBarista in 'Pit Pilot Surf Magazine'

"Tim Kevan is a testimony to the importance of surfing in life. He gave up a lucrative job as a barrister to move to the coast, surf and write this novel. Babybarista is a scandalous story of a trainee at the Bar. It’s full of naughty storylines and rips the law trade to pieces. You can fully see why you would want to jack it all in for a few waves, and it’s great fun reading such a damning indictment of the class-riddled world of the Bar. Hilarious and addictive."


Sponsored Guest Post: Spinal Cord Injury Compensation Claims

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The spinal cord is a long thin bundle of nervous tissues that extends from the brain down the first 18 inches of the spinal column. It is the main pathway for the transfer of information between the brain and the peripheral nervous system and any damage to the spinal cord can cause paralysis and other problems with movement or function. A spinal cord injury can be caused in a variety of situations. The force from even a relatively minor impact such as a car accident, an accident at work or a trip or fall can be enough to damage the spinal cord, leaving the unfortunate victim either partially or completely paralyzed.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a spinal cord injury and someone else was to blame, you may be eligible to make an accident claim – provided the accident took place within the last three years.
An expert personal injury solicitor can help to guide you through the complex process of making a claim for spinal injury compensation, focusing on the issues that are important to you – sure as making sure that any claim that is made covers the cost of any specialist medical care that either you or your injured family member might require.
Author: Neil Worrall


Sponsored blog post: “Now is the Spring of our discontent”

More stress and strain has been flowing through the halls of Westminster than usual, especially with the new RTA claims process for accident claims. The RTA process has begun to turn into another embarrassing PR disaster for the government - only months before the next election.

Like most of the Government’s database projects, the concept was sound enough; provide a secure website for accident claim solicitors and motor insurers to communicate efficiently to deal with road traffic accident claims. This would save money for the insurers and time for the accident victims.

However, problems arose when it was realised that the website developers were having trouble getting it to work. Rumour has it that early on in the testing process only four claims were entered into a system designed to handle thousands, causing the whole system to crash.

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The publicity generated if and when the new system fails could not happen at a worse time, as the government and the tax payer will be reminded of the costly errors caused with their previous computer systems – NHS database, ID Cards and the Tax Credits system.

Taken from ‘De Facto’ – The Legal Blog from David Phillips & Partners


Review of BabyBarista in Buzz Magazine

Nice review of BabyBarista and the Art of War in South Wales's cultural Buzz Magazine written by Tom Anderson, author of Grey Skies, Green Waves. It says:
"Written by a former barrister who quit the bar to become a surfer and writer, this is a scandalous story of a trainee at the Bar. From the first page it’s very satisfying to read, knocked together in short, witty episodes. A novel-version of the controversial blog by the same name, BabyBarista is full of naughty storylines and rips the law trade to pieces. ‘BabyB’ narrates his time as a pupil in one of London’s most reputed chambers. As the tale unfolds, his need to secure a job and pay off his mother’s debts means he throws himself in to the dark arts of the courtroom with alarming gusto. Mentored by a range of characters from the chambers in which it’s set, a battle take place for his soul. On one side is the warm and scrupulous ‘OldRuin’, a beacon among an endless roster of shysters and blood-lusting misers – the biggest of which are the arch-villains known as ‘TheBoss’ and ‘TopFirst’. Whatever you think of the law trade, it’s undeniably intriguing to read such a damning indictment of the class-riddled world of the Bar, and there’s even a warm-hearted morality-tale aspect to the story as well. Hilarious, addictive and fulfilling. Well worth a look."


BabyBarista recommended by Dr Michelle Tempest at The Psychiatrist Blog

Thanks to Dr Michelle Tempest for recommending BabyBarista and the Art of War on her excellent Psychiatrist Blog. Michelle was the editor od the ground-breaking book The Future of the NHS and is also the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Conservative Party in the North West Durham constituency at the General Election. You can follow her progress here.

BabyBarista covered at TotallyLegal.com

There's an article at TotallyLegal.com about the making of BabyBarista and the Art of War which you can read here or below.

Writing for Harry Potter’s Publisher

Tim Kevan is barrister-turned-novelist and creator of the infamous BabyBarista. Totallylegal editor Natalie Harris asks him about how he came to write a novel for Harry Potter’s publisher, Bloomsbury.

Back in early 2007 I had been practising as a barrister at 1 Temple Gardens for some nine years and was enjoying the life of a common law practitioner based in London. But I’d always dreamt of living by the sea and the surf and maybe even writing a novel. I just couldn’t quite see how it could be done. At that time I’d just finished co-writing a motivational book entitled ‘Why Lawyers Should Surf’ with Dr Michelle Tempest, a book which encourages people to look for inspiration outside of law and used surfing and the power of the ocean as metaphors for living the day to day. Next I wanted to sit down and write a legal thriller. But instead what popped out was a legal comedy about a fictional young barrister doing pupillage. I called him BabyBarista which was a play on words based on his first impression being that his coffee-making skills were probably as important to that year as any forensic legal abilities he may have. It’s a strange thing to say but I discovered that this bold, irreverent and mischievous voice along with a collection of colourful characters had simply jumped into my head and the words started pouring onto the page.

I wrote it as a
blog and was hopeful it might raise a few smiles but in my wildest dreams I hadn’t imagined quite the extraordinary set of circumstances which then unfolded. First The Lawyer Magazine commented “If this is a fictional account it is genius”. I then emailed a few publishers and started getting interest as well as taking on a literary agent who had approached me direct. In the meantime, I was contacted by Alex Spence of The Times and he very kindly offered to host the blog and finally, I got a book deal with Bloomsbury Publishing of Harry Potter fame - all within the space of less than three months.

Since that hectic start, it’s been a long haul. I’ve finally taken a break from the Bar and moved to North Devon where not only have I been able to go surfing a little more frequently but I also finished the first book in the BabyBarista series as well as continuing to write the blog. The book finally came out last August and does seem to have been well-received with broadcaster Jeremy Vine describing it as “a wonderful, racing read - well-drawn, smartly plotted and laugh out loud” and The Times Law Section calling it as “a gallop of a read” and their Books Section mentioning its “relentlessly racy, rumbustiously Rumpolean humour”.

The book is called BabyBarista and the Art of War and centres around BabyB’s first year in chambers where he is fighting his fellow pupils for the coveted prize of a permanent tenancy. It’s a fictional caricature of life at the Bar and includes characters that probably exist in most workplaces such as UpTights, OldRuin, BusyBody, Worrier and even JudgeJewellery and her penchant for stealing cheap jewellery. Alongside the pupillage race is an altogether different battle with BabyB’s corrupt pupilmaster TheBoss whose dishonest fiddling of chambers’ records to avoid a negligence action all starts to unravel and threatens to embroil BabyB’s entire career.

With the first book finished, I’m continuing to write the blog as well as working on book two in the series. Ultimately I intend to return to the Bar part-time and based in Devon but hopefully through my chambers in London. In the meantime, I continue to enjoy life down here by the sea.

Tim Kevan is the author of ‘BabyBarista and The Art of War’ published by Bloomsbury and available on
amazon. For more information visit The Barrister Blog.