India v Pakistan – the test at The Hague

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May 17, 2017
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The two countries are facing off over Kulbhushan Jadhav, who Pakistan has accused of being a spy. The fees for their lawyers, however, stole some of the attention

Channi Anand/AP

India and Pakistan have been taking lumps out of each other, whether along their long border or on the cricket pitch, ever since partition 70 years ago. And now the battlefield has moved to the International Court of Justice, where an English silk has caused something of a stir.

Khawar Qureshi, QC, of Serle Court chambers in Lincoln’s Inn, has been in to bat in the serious dispute between the two countries over Kulbhushan Jadhav. Pakistan believes Jadhav is a spy and a military court has sentenced him to death. India wants him released.

Earlier this week, the English silk – a former treasury counsel, who reckons he was the youngest advocate to appear before the court in The Hague when he did so for the first time in 1993 – spent the best part of an hour trying to knock down the Indians’ case on behalf of the Pakistani government.

Qureshi is up against Harish Salve, a former solicitor-general of India. And what really has social media buzzing as though this were a knife-edge Twenty20 match at Eden Gardens is their rumoured respective fees.

Qureshi, one Indian commentator said, was understood to have billed Islamabad the best part of half a million quid for his appearance. That contrasted sharply with Salve, who, according to local media reports, submitted a bill of 1 rupee. The English QC reported to The Brief on return to Blighty to say that the social media rumour mill had significantly inflated his brief fee.

Irwin Mitchell vies for ‘dementia friend’ crown

Irwin Mitchell, the national law firm, claimed yesterday that it had become the “most dementia-friendly legal business in the UK”.

It is an admirable aspiration, but what does it mean? As part of Dementia Awareness Week, which began on Monday, IM revealed that 424 of its lawyers have taken part in training to become “dementia friends”. That means that around 15.5 per cent of employees at the law firm have learnt how to help people live well with dementia.

The key focus of training sessions, said Ben Saunders, a solicitor with the firm, is that “there is always more to the person than the dementia and that, with an early diagnosis and appropriate support from family, friends and professionals, it is possible for people to live well with dementia for many years”.

It is estimated that 850,000 people in the UK have dementia, and that is expected to rise to more than 2 million by 2051.

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