Lawyers walk the walk … again

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May 23, 2017
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Last night would have been a good time to have avoided central London as 12,000 lawyers, judges and others affiliated with the legal profession slipped into garish training outfits and went for a walk.

Yes, it was the annual London Legal Walk for charity, in which thousands of professionals, whose normal idea of exercise is to ask a clerk or trainee solicitor to lift a box of files onto a desk, schlep around the streets of the capital. It may not be the most attractive of sights, but that mass of sprawling lawyer humanity was created for a good cause. Last year’s event raised £740,000 for the London Legal Support Trust. That in turn helps to fund law centres, Citizens Advice offices and other advice agencies.

Before he slipped into his walking kit, Sir Terence Etherton, the Master of the Rolls, said: “The need for these charities has grown over the past few years while resources for their work have diminished. That makes the funds raised by the London Legal Walk more important than ever.”

Vicky Ling, the trust’s chief executive, added: “Free legal advice services change people’s lives, providing them with expert help to reduce debt, poverty and homelessness, and combat discrimination and injustice.”

TV show on trial

That lawyers are picky is not exactly breaking news, but it’s always good to be reminded of just how they love to pluck a few nits.

The Trial: A Murder in the Family, Channel 4’s criminal case drama that is currently gripping the nation’s telly addicts, has had fairly positive notices. The Sunday Times awarded the first instalment three out of five stars.

But you can rely on criminal law specialists to find fault. Enter Matthew Hardcastle, an associate at London law firm Kingsley Napley, who spent yesterday telling journalists that while “the film-makers evidently have taken exhaustive steps to ensure the trial is presented as accurately as possible” and that the programme was “impressively researched”, The Trial was still “a missed opportunity”.

How so? According to Hardcastle, the programme-makers should have “cast a particular light on the often misunderstood legal advice given to a client at the police station”.

The story is an old-fashioned one. Simon Davis is in the frame for potentially having strangled his missus. “The time which Mr Davis spent in custody is at the very limit of the detention clock,” says Hardcastle, who helpful goes on to advise viewers that “inconsistencies in accounts arising from instant, but continued, detention of a suspect unfortunately can be overlooked many months later when forensically tested in cross-examination. Let’s see what impact Mr Davis’ early statements will have as this trial progresses.”

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