31.12.14

Book recommendation: Us by David Nicholls

Douglas Petersen understands his wife's need to 'rediscover herself' now that their son is leaving home. He just thought they'd be doing their rediscovering together. So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again. The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed. What could possibly go wrong? Available from Amazon.

24.12.14

Book recommendation: Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin

You're either a Purple Cow or you're not. You're either remarkable or invisible. Make your choice. What do Apple, Starbucks, Dyson and Pret a Manger have in common? How do they achieve spectacular growth, leaving behind former tried-and-true brands to gasp their last? The old checklist of P's used by marketers - Pricing, Promotion, Publicity - aren't working anymore. The golden age of advertising is over. It's time to add a new P - the Purple Cow. Purple Cow describes something phenomenal, something counterintuitive and exciting and flat-out unbelievable. In his new bestseller, Seth Godin urges you to put a Purple Cow into everything you build, and everything you do, to create something truly noticeable. It's a manifesto for anyone who wants to help create products and services that are worth marketing in the first place. Available from Amazon.

17.12.14

Book recommendation: The Common Lawyer by Mark Gimenez

Andy Prescott is the most laid-back young lawyer in Austin, Texas. Specialising in traffic law, he operates from a small room above a ramshackle tattoo parlour. He rides a trail bike and spends way too much time drinking beer in the sunshine. Ambition has never been Andy's strong point - he prefers to take it easy. That is, until one of Texas's wealthiest men walks into his office. On the spot, billionaire Russell Reeves retains Andy as his lawyer and, in exchange for some easy legal work, pays him more money than he has ever earned before. Andy's life is transformed. But nothing comes for free. Russell is a desperate man whose sole aim is to save his eight-year-old son, Zach, who is dying from leukemia. He is prepared to do anything - even if it means putting Andy's life in danger... Available from Amazon.

10.12.14

Book recommendation: More Uncommon - by A.P. Herbert

The second of two volumes which explore the humorous side of English law, written by a former lawyer and independent MP. Whether writing about the possibility of Brigitte Bardot becoming an MP, or whether a cheque can be written on an egg, the author describes the absurdities of the legal system. Available from Amazon.

3.12.14

Book recommendation: Moriarty Hardcover by Anthony Horowitz

Sherlock Holmes is dead. Days after Holmes and his arch-enemy Moriarty fall to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls, Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase arrives in Europe from New York. The death of Moriarty has created a poisonous vacuum which has been swiftly filled by a fiendish new criminal mastermind who has risen to take his place. Ably assisted by Inspector Athelney Jones of Scotland Yard, a devoted student of Holmes's methods of investigation and deduction, Frederick Chase must forge a path through the darkest corners of the capital to shine light on this shadowy figure, a man much feared but seldom seen, a man determined to engulf London in a tide of murder and menace. Author of the global bestseller THE HOUSE OF SILK, Anthony Horowitz once more breathes life into the world created by Arthur Conan Doyle. With pitch-perfect characterisation and breath-taking pace, Horowitz weaves a relentlessly thrilling tale which teases and delights by the turn of each page. The game is afoot... Available from Amazon.

26.11.14

Book recommendation: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

In 1982, having sold his jazz bar to devote himself to writing, Murakami began running to keep fit. A year later, he'd completed a solo course from Athens to Marathon, and now, after dozens of such races, he reflects upon the influence the sport has had on his life and on his writing. Equal parts travelogue, training log, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers his four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon and settings ranging from Tokyo's Jingu Gaien gardens, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston. By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, this is a must-read for fans of this masterful yet private writer as well as for the exploding population of athletes who find similar satisfaction in distance running. Available from Amazon.

19.11.14

Book recommendation: Rumpole at Christmas by John Mortimer

Horace Rumpole is not overfond of the rituals of Christmas: turkey, tinsel and the like. But happily the festive season is not one respected by the criminal fraternity; meaning that celebrations in the Rumpole household are frequently disturbed in most-welcome ways. There's the suspicious Father Christmas at Equity's Court's festive party. The actor who goes missing from the panto on the night of a major crime. As well as the body cluttering up the health farm (where the great barrister is gloomily restricted to a diet of yak's milk and steamed spinach to please She Who Must Be Obeyed). Available from Amazon.

12.11.14

Book recommendation: Shark by Will Self

4 May 1970. A week earlier President Nixon has ordered American ground forces into Cambodia to pursue the Vietcong. By the end of the day four students will be lying in the grounds of Kent State University, shot dead by the National Guard. On the other side of the Atlantic, it's a brilliant sunny morning after an April of heavy rain, and at the Concept House therapeutic community he has set up in the London suburb of Willesden, maverick psychiatrist Dr Zack Busner has been tricked into joining a decidedly ill-advised LSD trip with several of its disturbed residents. Five years later, sitting in a nearby cinema watching Steven Spielberg's Jaws with his young son, Busner realizes the true nature of the events that transpired on that dread-soaked day, when a survivor of the worst disaster in the US Navy's history - the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in the shark-infested south Pacific - came face-to-face with the British Royal Air Force observer on the Enola Gay's mission to Hiroshima. Set a year before the action of his Booker-shortlisted Umbrella, Will Self's new novel continues its exploration of the complex relationship between human psychopathology and human technological progress; and like Umbrella, weaves together multiple narratives across several decades of the twentieth century to produce a fiendish tapestry depicting the state we're enmeshed in. Available from Amazon.

29.10.14

Book recommendation: Tomorrow's Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future by Richard Susskind

Tomorrow's Lawyers predicts fundamental and irreversible changes in the world of law. For Richard Susskind, best-selling author of The End of Lawyers?, the future of legal service will be neither Grisham nor Rumpole. Instead, it will be a world of virtual courts, Internet-based global legal businesses, online document production, commoditized service, legal process outsourcing, and web-based simulated practice. Legal markets will be liberalized, with new jobs for lawyers and new employers too. This book is a definitive guide to this future - for young and aspiring lawyers, and for all who want to modernize our legal and justice systems. It introduces the new legal landscape and offers practical guidance for those who intend to build careers and businesses in law. Available from Amazon.

22.10.14

Book recommendation: Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders by John Mortimer

Horace Rumpole - cigar-smoking, claret-drinking, Wordsworth-spouting defender of some unlikely clients - often speaks of the great murder trial which revealed his talents as an advocate and made his reputation down at the Bailey when he was still a young man. Now, for the first time, the sensational story of the Penge Bungalow Murders case is told in full: how, shortly after the war, Rumpole took on the seemingly impossible task of defending young Simon Jerold, accused of murdering his father and his father's friend with a German officer's gun. And how the inexperienced young brief was left alone to pursue the path of justice, in a case that was to echo through the Bailey for years to come. John Mortimer's hilarious Rumpole, which fans of Sherlock Holmes and P.G. Wodehouse will love, sees the magician of the Old Bailey at his unpredictable and brilliant best. Available from Amazon.

15.10.14

Book recommendation: Just Law by Helena Kennedy QC

Acute, questioning, humane and passionately concerned for justice, Helena Kennedy is one of the most powerful voices in legal circles in Britain today. Here she roundly challenges the record of modern governments over the fundamental values of equality, fairness and respect for human dignity. She argues that in the last twenty years we have seen a steady erosion of civil liberties, culminating today in extraordinary legislation, which undermines long established freedoms. Are these moves a crude political response to demands for law and order? Or is the relationship between citizens and the state being covertly reframed and redefined? Available from Amazon.

8.10.14

Book recommendation: The Children Act by Ian McEwan

Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judge, presiding over cases in the family court. She is renowned for her fierce intelligence, exactitude and sensitivity. But her professional success belies private sorrow and domestic strife. There is the lingering regret of her childlessness, and now, her marriage of thirty years is in crisis. At the same time, she is called on to try an urgent case: for religious reasons, a beautiful seventeen-year-old boy, Adam, is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life, and his devout parents share his wishes. Time is running out. Should the secular court overrule sincerely held faith? In the course of reaching a decision Fiona visits Adam in hospital - an encounter which stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. Her judgment has momentous consequences for them both. Available from Amazon.

1.10.14

Book recommendation: The Law Machine by Marcel Berlins and Clare Dyer

The authors explain and discuss how the justice system evolved, the way it operates - including vivid descriptions of the trial process - and how lawyers work. Revised and updated throughout for this fifth edition, THE LAW MACHINE surveys recent developments in the workings of justice and the outlook for the future. Available from Amazon.

24.9.14

Book recommendation: Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience by Shaun Usher

Letters of Note is a collection of over one hundred of the world's most entertaining, inspiring and unusual letters, based on the seismically popular website of the same name - an online museum of correspondence visited by over 70 million people. From Virginia Woolf's heart-breaking suicide letter, to Queen Elizabeth II's recipe for drop scones sent to President Eisenhower; from the first recorded use of the expression 'OMG' in a letter to Winston Churchill, to Gandhi's appeal for calm to Hitler; and from Iggy Pop's beautiful letter of advice to a troubled young fan, to Leonardo da Vinci's remarkable job application letter, Letters of Note is a celebration of the power of written correspondence which captures the humour, seriousness, sadness and brilliance that make up all of our lives. Including letters from: Zelda Fitzgerald, Iggy Pop, Fidel Castro, Leonardo da Vinci, Bill Hicks, Anaïs Nin, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Amelia Earhart, Charles Darwin, Roald Dahl, Albert Einstein, Elvis Presley, Dorothy Parker, John F. Kennedy, Groucho Marx, Charles Dickens, Katharine Hepburn, Kurt Vonnegut, Mick Jagger, Steve Martin, Emily Dickinson and many more. Available from Amazon.

17.9.14

Book recommendation: Power of Attorney by Dexter Dias

With a $15 million super-yacht ablaze on the Thames and a tortured body upon it, young lawyer David Kilkenny, run out of the police force for exposing corruption, has the chance to make his name. Surprisingly, the main opposition comes from his enigmatic client, Sebastian Santos. Mercurial entrepreneur, money launderer or the most softly spoken, coldly cruel murderer to come before the courts? But to take down his client, he must also take down Santos' financier - David's own brother, Francis. Available from Amazon.

10.9.14

Book recommendation: Scalia and Garner's Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges by Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner

In their professional lives, courtroom lawyers must do these two things: speak persuasively and write persuasively. In this noteworthy book, two of the most noted legal writers of our day - Justice Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner - systematically present every important idea about judicial persuasion in a fresh, entertaining way. Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges is a guide for novice and experienced litigators alike. It covers the essentials of sound legal reasoning, including how to develop the syllogism that underlies any argument. From there the authors explain the art of brief writing, especially what to include and what to omit, so that you can induce the judge to focus closely on your arguments. Finally they show what it takes to succeed in oral argument. Available from Amazon.

3.9.14

Book recommendation: The Stay-Behind Cave by Boris Starling

Lord Of The Flies meets Flowers In The Attic. December 1940. As the German army closes in on Gibraltar, 16-year-old Rassie Elder and five friends stumble across the most secret place on the Rock. They were never supposed to know about this place, let alone find it. And now they're trapped inside, Gibraltar has fallen, and they'll stay alive only as long as they can remain undetected. But danger is not just outside the cave. It's in there with them too. For there is no darkness greater than that of the human heart. And the terror is just beginning.... The greatest World War Two story never told. Until now. Available from Amazon.

27.8.14

Book recommendation: Gray Mountain by John Grisham

One week ago, Samantha Kofer was a third year associate at New York City's largest law firm. Now she is an unpaid intern in a legal aid clinic deep in small town Appalachia. When Lehman Brothers collapsed, she lost her job, her security, her future. As she confronts real clients with real problems, she finds herself a world away from her past life of corporate fat cats and fatter bonuses. This is coal country. Meth country. The law is different here. And standing up for the truth means putting your life on the line. Available from Amazon.

20.8.14

Book recommendation: Personal (Jack Reacher 19) by Lee Child

ack Reacher walks alone. Once a go-to hard man in the US military police, now he's a drifter of no fixed abode. But the army tracks him down. Because someone has taken a long-range shot at the French president. Only one man could have done it. And Reacher is the one man who can find him. This new heartstopping, nailbiting book in Lee Child's number-one bestselling series takes Reacher across the Atlantic to Paris - and then to London. The stakes have never been higher - because this time, it's personal. Available from Amazon.

13.8.14

Book recommendation: 21st Century Solicitor: How to Make a Real Impact as a Junior Commercial Lawyer by Steve Weiner

This might be news: success as a twenty-first century solicitor is not dependent on your technical aptitude alone. Sorry. As well as the basic requirements of understanding and applying the law superbly, you are also now expected to master a whole suite of so-called soft skills -- communicating empathetically, acting commercially, writing carefully, presenting brilliantly, networking sensibly and building relationships enthusiastically. These skills might be called soft by our industry, but the reality is that they are both incredibly hard and vitally important -- especially as a junior commercial lawyer keen to make a likeable, professional, commercial and lasting positive impression on those in control of your embryonic career. Written by a lawyer with unique experience as a commercial practitioner, trainer and law-firm voyeur, this no-nonsense how to guide is an honest, punchy and modern look at all the skills you don t get taught at law school, yet are absolutely critical to achieving success from day one of your life as a twenty-first century solicitor. Available from Amazon.

6.8.14

Book recommendation: Sober as a Judge (Roger Thursby) by Henry Cecil

Roger Thursby, the hero of Brothers in Law and Friends at Court, continues his career as a High Court judge. He presides over a series of unusual cases, including a professional debtor and an action about a consignment of oranges which turned to juice before delivery. There is a delightful succession of eccentric witnesses as the reader views proceedings from the bench. Available from Amazon.

30.7.14

Book recommendation: The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike) by Robert Galbraith


When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case. Strike is a war veteran - wounded both physically and psychologically - and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model's complex world, the darker things get - and the closer he gets to terrible danger . . . A gripping, elegant mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London - from the hushed streets of Mayfair to the backstreet pubs of the East End to the bustle of Soho - The Cuckoo's Calling is a remarkable book. Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Available from Amazon.

23.7.14

Book recommendation: The Business of Judging: Selected Essays and Speeches: 1985-1999 by Tom (later Lord) Lord Bingham

This classic account of how the judiciary cannot act neutrally, but must act politically, now in its fifth edition. John Griffith’s controversial book has been fully revised and updated to consider the latest developments in relations between politicians and the judiciary: Michael Howard’s conflict with the judges, miscarriages of justice, the Criminal Justice Act, the increased use of Judicial Review, the effects of anti-trade union legislation of the 1980s, and so on. Available from Amazon.

16.7.14

Book recommendation: Politics of the Judiciary by J. A. G. Griffith

This classic account of how the judiciary cannot act neutrally, but must act politically, now in its fifth edition. John Griffith’s controversial book has been fully revised and updated to consider the latest developments in relations between politicians and the judiciary: Michael Howard’s conflict with the judges, miscarriages of justice, the Criminal Justice Act, the increased use of Judicial Review, the effects of anti-trade union legislation of the 1980s, and so on. Available from Amazon.

9.7.14

Book recommendation: Politics of the Judiciary by J. A. G. Griffith


This classic account of how the judiciary cannot act neutrally, but must act politically, now in its fifth edition. John Griffith’s controversial book has been fully revised and updated to consider the latest developments in relations between politicians and the judiciary: Michael Howard’s conflict with the judges, miscarriages of justice, the Criminal Justice Act, the increased use of Judicial Review, the effects of anti-trade union legislation of the 1980s, and so on. Available from Amazon.

2.7.14

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.

25.6.14

Book recommendation: The Strange Laws Of Old England by Nigel Cawthorne


Did you know that: It's against the law to check into a hotel in London under assumed names for the purpose of lovemaking? Under a statute of Edwards II all whales washed up on the shore belong to the monarch? Under a Tudor law Welshmen are not allowed into the city of Chester after dark? In THE STRANGE LAWS OF OLD ENGLAND, Nigel Cawthorne unearths an extraordinary collection of the most bizarre and arcane laws that have been enacted over the centuries. Some of the laws, incredibly, are still in force. It is still illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament in a suit of armour . . . This elegant and amusing book is perfect for everyone fascinated by the eccentric history of these islands. Available from Amazon.

18.6.14

Book recommendation: The Murder Bag by Tony Parsons


The gripping first novel in an explosive new crime series by Tony Parsons, bestselling author of Man and Boy. If you like crime-novels by Ian Rankin and Peter James, you will love this. Twenty years ago seven rich, privileged students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter's Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable. Detective Max Wolfe has recently arrived in the Homicide division of London's West End Central, 27 Savile Row. Soon he is following the bloody trail from the backstreets and bright lights of the city, to the darkest corners of the internet and all the way to the corridors of power. As the bodies pile up, Max finds the killer's reach getting closer to everything - and everyone - he loves. Soon he is fighting not only for justice, but for his own life ... Available from Amazon.

11.6.14

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.

4.6.14

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.

28.5.14

Book recommendation: A Certain Justice by PD James


Venetia Aldridge QC is a distinguished barrister. When she agrees to defend Garry Ashe, accused of the brutal murder of his aunt, it is one more opportunity to triumph in her career as a criminal lawyer. But just four weeks later, Miss Aldridge is found dead. Commander Adam Dalgliesh, called in to investigate, finds motives for murder among the clients Venetia has defended, her professional colleagues, her family - even her lover. As Dalgliesh narrows the field of suspects, a second brutal murder draws them into greater complexities of intrigue and evil. Available from Amazon.

21.5.14

Book recommendation: The Queen's Counsel Lawyer's Omnibus by Alex Williams


In 1993 the Queen's Counsel cartoon strip first appeared in the law pages of The Times. The authors were Alex Williams and Graham Defries, two young lawyers determined to make fun of the legal profession even as they attempted to climb its greasy pole. The strip soon settled on a handful of key characters: Sir Geoffrey Bentwood QC, Head of Chambers at 4 Lawn Buildings, a study in pomposity and all-round Master of the Legal Universe; Richard Loophole, ambulance chaser and senior partner at Filibuster and Loophole; and Rachel Underwood, oppressed associate who never quite makes partner no matter how good her work is. The strip has been published continuously in The Times ever since. Collected here for the first time is the author's personal selection of the very best cartoons over the past 20 years, showing that, despite all the changes in the legal profession in over two decades - nothing much has really changed. These cartoons show Britain's best-loved legal cartoon satire maturing into ripe middle-age; good-natured, funny, and a bit flabby around the middle. Available from Amazon.

10.5.14

7.5.14

Book recommendation: The Due Process of Law by Lord Denning


Two central themes run through The Due Process of Law. The first is the workings of the various "measures authorised by the law so as to keep the streams of justice pure"-that is to say, contempt of court, judicial inquiries, and powers of arrest and search. The second is the recent development of family law, focusing particularly on Lord Denning's contribution to the law of husband and wife. These broad themes are elaborated through a discussion of Lord Denning's own judgments and opinions on a wide range of topics. Available from Amazon.

2.5.14

30.4.14

Book recommendation: Identical by Scott Turow


Two families entangled in a long and complex history of love and deceit . . . Twenty five years ago, after a society picnic held by businessman and politician Zeus Kronon, Zeus’ headstrong daughter Dita was found murdered. Her boyfriend, Cass Gianis, confessed to the crime. Now Cass has been released from prison into the care of his twin, Mayoral candidate Paul Gianis, who is in the middle of a high profile political campaign. But Dita’s brother Hal is convinced there is information surrounding his sister’s death that remains buried – and he won’t rest until he’s discovered the truth. Hal’s employee, former FBI Special Agent Evon Miller, teams up with Tim Brodie, a retired police officer, to investigate. After all this time, can they find evidence to place Paul Gianis, the ‘innocent’ twin, at the scene of the crime? Soon Paul will find himself struggling to hold his campaign together amidst Hal’s increasingly damning allegations. But what does the mayoral candidate really have to hide? And why has Cass Gianis vanished? A gripping masterpiece of dark family rivalries, shadowy politics and hidden secrets, Identical is the stunning new thriller from bestselling author Scott Turow, writing at the height of his powers. Available from Amazon.

23.4.14

Book recommendation: The Verdict by Nick Stone


Terry Flynt is a struggling legal clerk, desperately trying to get promoted. And then he is given the biggest opportunity of his career: to help defend a millionaire accused of murdering a woman in his hotel suite. The only problem is that the accused man, Vernon James, turns out to be not only someone he knows, but someone he loathes. This case could potentially make Terry's career, but how can he defend a former friend who betrayed him so badly? With the trial date looming, Terry delves deeper into Vernon's life and is forced to confront secrets from their shared past that could have devastating consequences for them both. For years he has wanted to witness Vernon's downfall, but with so much at stake, how can Terry be sure that he is guilty? And what choices must he make to ensure that justice is done? Packed with twists, turns and an unforgettable trial scene, The Verdict is the most page-turning British legal thriller in many years. Available from Amazon.

16.4.14

Book recommendation: Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders by John Mortimer


Horace Rumpole - cigar-smoking, claret-drinking, Wordsworth-spouting defender of some unlikely clients - often speaks of the great murder trial which revealed his talents as an advocate and made his reputation down at the Bailey when he was still a young man. Now, for the first time, the sensational story of the Penge Bungalow Murders case is told in full: how, shortly after the war, Rumpole took on the seemingly impossible task of defending young Simon Jerold, accused of murdering his father and his father's friend with a German officer's gun. And how the inexperienced young brief was left alone to pursue the path of justice, in a case that was to echo through the Bailey for years to come. John Mortimer's hilarious Rumpole, which fans of Sherlock Holmes and P.G. Wodehouse will love, sees the magician of the Old Bailey at his unpredictable and brilliant best. Available from Amazon.

14.4.14

Weekend video: An Interview with John Grisham about Sycamore Row

Book recommendation: RTA Allegations of Fraud in a post-Jackson Era: the Handbook by Andrew Mckie


A practical, concise and easy to read handbook dealing with allegations of fraud in personal injury RTA cases. From LVI to alleged staged accidents, this book covers all the main fraud topics including relevant cases, law and practical guidance that can be used by both junior and more senior fee earners in day-to-day practice in this complex and evolving area of law. Andrew Mckie is a Barrister at Clerksroom Manchester specialising in claimant and defendant personal injury, with a particular interest in cases involving alleged fraud and credit hire. He was called to the Bar in 2011 and before that was an Associate Solicitor and Solicitor Advocate. Before qualifying as a barrister, Andrew had over six years of advocacy experience as a Solicitor. He worked for a number of leading firms and dealt with both RTA fraud and credit hire and worked for both claimant and defendant firms. Most recently, he was the Head of Litigation and In-House Solicitor Advocate at a claimant personal injury and credit hire firm. Available from Amazon.

2.4.14

Book recommendation: Solo: A James Bond Novel by William Boyd


 

It is 1969 and James Bond is about to go solo, recklessly motivated by revenge. A seasoned veteran of the service, 007 is sent to single-handedly stop a civil war in the small West African nation of Zanzarim. Aided by a beautiful accomplice and hindered by the local militia, he undergoes a scarring experience which compels him to ignore M's orders in pursuit of his own brand of justice. Bond's renegade action leads him to Washington, D.C., where he discovers a web of geopolitical intrigue and witnesses fresh horrors. Even if Bond succeeds in exacting his revenge, a man with two faces will come to stalk his every waking moment. Available from Amazon.

26.3.14

Book recommendation: Just Law by Helena Kennedy


 

Acute, questioning, humane and passionately concerned for justice, Helena Kennedy is one of the most powerful voices in legal circles in Britain today. Here she roundly challenges the record of modern governments over the fundamental values of equality, fairness and respect for human dignity. She argues that in the last twenty years we have seen a steady erosion of civil liberties, culminating today in extraordinary legislation, which undermines long established freedoms. Are these moves a crude political response to demands for law and order? Or is the relationship between citizens and the state being covertly reframed and redefined? Available from Amazon.

19.3.14

Book recommendation: What About Law? Studying Law at University by Catherine Barnard (Author, Editor), Janet O'Sullivan (Editor), Graham Virgo


 

Most young people considering studying law, or pursuing a legal career, have very little idea of what learning law involves and how universities teach law to their students. The new edition of this book, which proved very popular when first published in 2007, provides a 'taster' for the study of law; a short, accessible presentation of law as an academic subject, designed to help 17- and 18-year old students and others decide whether law is the right choice for them as a university subject, or, if they have already made the choice, what to expect when they start their law degree. It helps answer the question 'what should I study at university?' and counters the perception that law is a dry, dull subject. "What About Law?" shows how the study of law can be fun, intellectually stimulating, challenging and of direct relevance to students. Using a case study approach, the book introduces prospective law students to the legal system, as well as to legal reasoning, critical thinking and argument. This is a book that should be in the library of every school with a sixth form, every college and every university, and it is one that any student about to embark on the study of law should read before they commence their legal studies. All of the authors have long experience in teaching law at Cambridge and elsewhere and all have also been involved, at various times, in advising prospective law students at open days and admissions conferences. Listed as one of the Six of the best law books that a future law student should read by the Guardian Law Online, 8th August 2012. Available from Amazon.

12.3.14

PTSD Claims

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Visit http://blackwaterlaw.co.uk/ptsd-claims/ for more information about post-traumatic stress disorder.

Book recommendation: Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks


 

A gloriously witty novel from Sebastian Faulks using P.G. Wodehouse's much-loved characters, Jeeves and Wooster, fully authorised by the Wodehouse estate. Bertie Wooster, recently returned from a very pleasurable soujourn in Cannes, finds himself at the stately home of Sir Henry Hackwood in Dorset. Bertie is more than familiar with the country house set-up: he is a veteran of the cocktail hour and, thanks to Jeeves, his gentleman's personal gentleman, is never less than immaculately dressed. On this occasion, however, it is Jeeves who is to be seen in the drawing room while Bertie finds himself below stairs - and he doesn't care for it at all. Love, as so often, is at the root of the confusion. Bertie, you see, has met Georgiana on the Côte d'Azur. And though she is clever and he has a reputation for foolish engagements, it looks as though this could be the real thing. However, Georgiana is the ward of Sir Henry Hackwood and, in order to maintain his beloved Melbury Hall, the impoverished Sir Henry has struck a deal that would see Georgiana becoming Mrs Rupert Venables. Meanwhile, Peregrine 'Woody' Beeching, one of Bertie's oldest chums, is desperate to regain the trust of his fiancée Amelia, Sir Henry's tennis-mad daughter. But why would this necessitate Bertie having to pass himself off as a servant when he has never so much as made a cup of tea? Could it be that the ever-loyal, Spinoza-loving Jeeves has an ulterior motive? Evoking the sunlit days of a time gone by, Jeeves and the Wedding Bells is a delightfully witty story of mistaken identity, a midsummer village festival, a cricket match and love triumphant. Available from Amazon.

5.3.14

Book recommendation: The Law's Strangest Cases by Peter Seddon


 
Author Peter Seddon gives life to over five centuries of bizarre, macabre and sometimes hilarious criminal cases. You'll be gripped by tales of murder, intrigue, crime, punishment and the pursuit of justice. Despite how unbelievable the stories banged up inside these pages may seem, Law's Strangest Cases promises to tell the truth, the whole truthand nothing but the truth about the most ludicrous criminal cases in legal history. Full of riotous and entertaining stories, this book is perfect for anyone who is doing time on a long stretch. Just don't try to steal it, or you may end up inside! Inside you'll encounter: * The only dead parrot ever to give evidence in a court of law * One of the most indigestible dilemmas - if you'd been shipwrecked 2,000 miles from home, would you have eaten Parker the cabin boy? * The doctor with the worst bedside manner of all time * The murderess who collected money from her mummified victim for 21 years.

Available from Amazon.

26.2.14

Book recommendation: Sober As A Judge by Henry Cecil


 

Roger Thursby, the hero of Brothers in Law and Friends at Court, continues his career as a High Court judge. He presides over a series of unusual cases, including a professional debtor and an action about a consignment of oranges which turned to juice before delivery. There is a delightful succession of eccentric witnesses as the reader views proceedings from the bench. Available from Amazon.

19.2.14

Book recommendation: Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry


 

Twice-widowed, alone, and in her late 70s, Hannah Coulter sorts through her memories and contemplates the deterioration of community. Available from Amazon.

12.2.14

Book recommendation: Glanville Williams: Learning the Law (Fifteenth Edition)


 

First published in 1945, Glanville Williams: Learning the Law has been introducing new and prospective law students to the foundation skills needed to study law effectively for more than sixty years. Presenting an overview of the English Legal System and covering the essential legal skills that students need to master if they want to succeed both in their legal studies and in their future careers, this is a must-have book for all new law students! Available from Amazon.

29.1.14

Book Recommendation: The New Penguin Guide to the Law by John Pritchard


This book is established as the best home reference guide to the law. It covers all aspects of the subject in an easy, accessible style which cuts through the legalease of the normal law guides.
New topics covered in the fifth edition include pensions, child support changes, tax credits, squatters, unmarried fathers and parental responsibility, pre-nuptial contracts, the Adoption and Children Act 2002, commonhold, leasehold enfranchisement, limited liability partnerships and the Enterprise Act. In particular, there have been extensive updates to the employment section of the book, covering new disciplinary and grievance procedures introduced by the Employment Act 2002, new rights for fixed term and part time workers, adoption leave, paternity leave and maternity leave rights and a new right to request flexible working and changes to discrimination law.

Available from Amazon

22.1.14

Book Recommendation: Sycamore Row by John Grisham

For almost a quarter of a century, John Grisham's A Time to Kill has captivated readers with its raw exploration of race, retribution, and justice. Now, its hero, Jake Brigance, returns to the courtroom in a dramatic showdown as Ford County again confronts its tortured history. Filled with the intrigue, suspense and plot twists that are the hallmarks of the world's favourite storyteller, SYCAMORE ROW is the thrilling story of the elusive search for justice in a small American town.

Available from Amazon

15.1.14

Book Recommendation: The Queen's Counsel Lawyer's Omnibus: 20 Years of Cartoons from the Times 1993-2013 by Alex Steuart Williams

In 1993 the Queen's Counsel cartoon strip first appeared in the law pages of The Times. The authors were Alex Williams and Graham Defries, two young lawyers determined to make fun of the legal profession even as they attempted to climb its greasy pole. The strip soon settled on a handful of key characters: Sir Geoffrey Bentwood QC, Head of Chambers at 4 Lawn Buildings, a study in pomposity and all-round Master of the Legal Universe; Richard Loophole, ambulance chaser and senior partner at Filibuster and Loophole; and Rachel Underwood, oppressed associate who never quite makes partner no matter how good her work is. The strip has been published continuously in The Times ever since. Collected here for the first time is the author's personal selection of the very best cartoons over the past 20 years, showing that, despite all the changes in the legal profession in over two decades - nothing much has really changed. These cartoons show Britain's best-loved legal cartoon satire maturing into ripe middle-age; good-natured, funny, and a bit flabby around the middle.

Available from Amazon