26.4.11

Family Lore Blog reviews 'Law and Peace'


Very many thanks to John Bolch at the Family Lore Blog for reviewing my new book Law and Peace. You can read the review here or below. You can buy the book on amazon.

'Law and Peace is the sequel to Tim's first BabyBarista novel Law and Disorder, which I reviewed (under its original title BabyBarista and The Art of War), here.

At the end of Law and Disorder our hero had managed, by hook or (more likely) by crook, to secure a precious tenancy. Law and Peace takes up the story as BabyBarista begins his first year practising on his own account. His past is not entirely behind him, however, with the continuing worry of the huge debts that his mother ran up to get him through Oxford, and the continuing threat of dire retribution from his arch-enemy, TopFirst.

A possible solution to the debt problem presents itself when SlipperySlope, that fine example of the other side of the profession, makes BabyB an offer he can't refuse. Needless to say, this involves BabyB getting mixed up in all sorts of skullduggery and shenanigans, as every means at his disposal are used to win an important case involving the 'Moldies', a delightful cast of ASBO-attracting geriatrics.

And who is on the other side of the Moldy litigation? Why, TopFirst of course, and for him it's personal. To add spice to the rivalry, the two of them enter into a wager as to who will be the first to get a coveted 'red bag', awarded to a junior barrister by a leader in their case if they do a particularly good job, with the loser having to act for the winner as a mini-pupil (read: dogsbody), for a week.

As with Law and Disorder, what follows is a romp through the all the dark corners of the legal profession: we have a judge with a fetish for 'ladies in particular attire', barristers who will stop at nothing to further their career and solicitors who employ various dubious persons to obtain the evidence needed to win the case. All of our favourite characters from the first book are there, together with one or two new ones, such as Smutton, a glamorous partner in SlipperySlope's firm whose every word drips with innuendo, much to BabyB's embarrassment.

On the subject of favourite characters, BabyB is once again guided through his adventure by the wise and gentle hand of OldRuin, who provides sage advice and assistance, both in respect of BabyB's professional and his personal life.

But, as with the first book, Law and Peace is not just a story. The narrative is liberally interspersed with amusing anecdotes and interludes, in particular describing the, ahem, camaraderie and friendly banter between fellow members of the Bar. There are even some moments when characters dare to contemplate that there may be more to life than the ruthless struggle up the ladder to the top of the profession.

As you may have gathered, Law and Peace is more of the same, but that is no bad thing at all. It provides the same highly entertaining read for lawyers and non-lawyers alike. If you loved Law and Disorder, you'll love this. If you haven't read either, read Law and Disorder, and I guarantee that you'll then want to read Law and Peace.'

10.4.11

First review of 'Law and Peace'


The first review of my new book Law and Peace has arrived and it comes from top legal blogger Law Minx to whom I send very many thanks indeed. You can read the review here or below. You can buy the book on amazon.

"I do hope, dear blogwatchers, that I have not given you cause to be in any way concerned regarding the general health of our erstwhile hero by dint of the title of this post, for, while it may be entirely the case that he has recently had cause to swallow enough sea water while learning to surf so as to place him in line for the title of honorary president/chief executive/trustee/counsel and general poster child for that fine and UPSTANDING organisation,Surfers Against Sewage, I refer in fact to the forthcoming publication of book two of his adventures at the bar, as dictated to Mr Tim Kevan ( Barrister of the Middle Templeand latently a tenant of 1 Temple Gardens) entitled 'Law and Peace'.

Following his successful campaign to secure tenancy ( at the expense of every other pupil in his set) Baby B sets out to build himself a practice by as many conventional and, indeed deeply unconventional means as is possible, whilst doing continual battle with his arch enemy, TopFirst, in their intensely competitive quest to be first to attain a coveted Red Bag. The battle lines are drawn, and played out with considerableauteur, in a cause of action lodged by a group of retired persons, affectionately known to Baby B as the Moldies, wherein their eccentric behaviour is attributed to a local mobile phone mast, and for which substantial damages are sought.

Being fortunate enough to have been given a copy to read in advance of publication, I must say that I found it extremely enjoyable. Tim is highly adept at weaving the main thread of the book - the moldy litigation- in and out of Baby B's dodgy dealings, court pranks, and relations with his friends and family with a subtle, underlying premise, to wit, the importance of living life in the moment, and savouring it, a premise which speaks to me following last year's Gharstlie Lergification. You simply never know what's around the corner.

Factor into the mix the wonderfully eccentric characters of B's chambers, who load their conversations with all manner of saucy innuendo and general one upmanship, while now and again giving small insights into the fact that their lives never truly reflect the importance of taking pleasure in the present, then you have a book that is fast paced, and punchy filled with rich characters who's machinations are really easy to follow ( even if you haven't read the first book ' Law and Disorder') whilst reflecting the droll humor that is beloved of many a lawyer without making it an entirely gnostic exercise.

In short, then, dear blogwatchers, I STRONGLY commend this book to you as anessential part of your summer reading - trust me, once you pick it up, you wont be able to put it down! ( I certainly couldn't - I finished it in a DAY!!!)

As with 'Law and Disorder', 'Law And Peace' is published by the House of Potter, and is presently available for pre order via that fine interweb bookseller, Amazon. Following its publication on the 3rd of May, it will then be available in all good bookshops nationwide.There's even a very nice launch party to celebrate the fact on the 11th of the same month, at the Old Bank of England Pub on Fleet Street - go along and say hi!

G'WAN - You know you want to!!!!!"

3.4.11

Sponsored guest post: Changes to No-Win No-Fee law announced by government

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has announced plans by the government to make large changes to the way personal injury claims made in England and Wales are funded. Speaking to the House of Commons earlier this week, Mr Clarke said that the current No-Win No-Fee agreements which are used by hundreds of thousands of claimants each year would be changed to restore “proportion and fairness” to the claims process.

Under the proposals he announced, personal injury solicitors costs would now have to be paid out of the money they win for their clients, with the amount they could charge being capped at 25% of the damages awarded. Solicitors would also have to recover their success fee – an extra bonus paid for claims which they win, from their client, rather than from the losing side as at present. In order to help those bringing claims to afford their legal costs, a small increase in the limits to the damages that can be awarded in compensation claims will be applied, in the region of 10% for general damages.

Critics of the plans to reform No-Win No-Fee claims have argued that by forcing people who wish to make a claim to fund the case themselves, access to justice is being restricted. Many lawyers, it is argued, will be unwilling to take on more marginal claims as they will be unable to recover their costs if the claim is unsuccessful. Shadow Justice Secretary Sadique Khan was one of those who spoke about his concerns over the planned reforms, saying that; “There's a fear that these plans go so far in trying to keep down costs that some claimants with meritorious cases will find it difficult, if not impossible, to find a lawyer to take their case."

Neil Worrall