Barrister proud to be a tacky tweeter

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Jun 27, 2017
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John Cooper, QC, is one of a growing band of lawyers who appears capable of tweeting in their sleep. The 25 Bedford Row criminal law specialist is all over social media – not least when he has a big case on the go.

And he seems to have triggered what would be a welcome trend if others followed. Having been instructed to appear in a high profile judicial review challenge to the legality of the government’s deal with the Democratic Unionist Party, struck yesterday, Cooper flouted Bar convention and publicly thanked the solicitor responsible – on Twitter, of course.

Cooper went on to tell the Brief that when he first started tweeting (when he was in short trousers) “the legal profession thought it was tacky”. 

Imagine that. Cooper also relates that when he first suggested to Bar supremos in the 1980s that business cards might be jolly handy, he was told: “We are gentlemen, not businessmen.”

The Brief has a sneaking suspicion that attitudes in some quarters have not completely changed – despite Twitter.

A fidgeting lord chief justice

To Gray’s Inn last night, where Sir David Bean, the chairman of the Law Commission, entertained a Scarman Lecture audience with an anecdote about the lord chief justice.

Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd is soon to retire from the bench, Sir David reminded the gathering. When it was proposed some time ago that Gray’s Inn should commission a portrait of the “doughty defender of the independence of the judiciary”, said the commission leader, the then-treasurer, Lord Justice Kay, told his fellow Benchers: “Don’t worry about the cost. The artist charges by the hour and the subject has never been known to sit still for longer than five minutes.”

Sir David went on to describe the portrait as “a very fine one. But the point which Sir Maurice was making was that the Lord Chief’s energy and dynamism are remarkable, indeed legendary”.

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