18.2.10

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."

17.2.10

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.




16.2.10

BabyB reviewed mid-Atlantic!

Award for the most extreme review of BabyBarista and the Art of War goes to adventurer Dr Rob Casserley, five times Everest summiteer and currently on a mission to become the first man to row the Atlantic followed by climbing Everest once more. So, mid-Atlantic, being battered by winds driving him South towards Venezuela, he just sent out the following two tweets (click on left to enlarge): "On brighter note, just finished BabyBarista,a witty hard 2 put down book about the shenanigans going on in a firm of barristers...By some bloke Tim Kevan. Makes me glad 2 b of the fairer profession! Highly recommend it!" To follow Rob's progress, click here.

6.2.10

BabyBarista arrives Down Under

I'm really delighted that BabyBarista and the Art of War has just received a very nice review in The Journal of the New South Wales Bar Association called 'Bar News' which you can read by clicking here or on the picture of the left. I'm even more pleased by the fact that the review is by Richard Beasley who is not only a practising barrister (and a qualified solicitor) but also the author of one of my very favourite legal novels ever Hell Has Harbour Views which is both extremely funny and also a fantastic page turner of a read which I couldn't recommend more highly. It is available direct from Australian bookshops such as SeekBooks.com.au and also on amazon.co.uk.

1.2.10

Sponsored guest post: What will Jackson mean for Personal Injury compensation claims in future?

The release of the highly anticipated review of civil litigation by Lord Jackson has thrown up several issues for law firms specializing in personal injury litigation. The review proposes several changes to the way civil legal cases are currently funded in an effort to cut costs. But how will Jackson LJ’s vision achieve a civil litigation process that doesn’t rely on No-Win No-Fee agreements, without preventing legitimate claimants from pursuing their accident compensation claims for fear of hefty legal bills?

Key proposals in the report include capping the bonus lawyers receive for winning a case (know as a success fee) to 25 per cent of the damages awarded to their client and restricting the use of insurance to cover legal costs if an accident claim is unsuccessful (using special after-the-event insurance policies). Jackson LJ also recommends that the general damages paid out to claimants in personal injury claims should be increased by 10%.

Whether an end to the after-the-event insurance policies that are used in most if not all No-Win No-Fee claims will mean legitimate claimants with lower value claims are unable to take their case to court remains to be seen. It might prove to be uneconomic for solicitors and personal injury law firms to act in low value claims where they will only receive a fixed level of costs at the end of the case.

On the other hand, scrapping the case referral fees paid by law firms to claims management companies, coupled with reforms to speed up the process of negotiation between solicitor and insurer, might lead to a leaner, sustainable civil legal sector. With many of the proposals in the report requiring new legislation, it is likely to be some time before the future of personal injury solicitors becomes clear.

Author: Neil Worrall