Speak up, Lord Thomas

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Jul 06, 2017
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Punters turned up en masse yesterday for the feature attraction at the High Court in in London, where the lord chief justice was hearing an application to overturn the ban on prosecuting Tony Blair over the Iraq war.

The public gallery at court 3 in the Royal Courts of Justice was packed, and the punters were having difficulty hearing Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd as he summarised the issues around the controversial case involving the former prime minister. Could the lord chief please either speak up or turn up the microphones, shouted a man from the gallery.

Sorry, came the reply from the bench, but there was no facility to increase the volume. Much grumbling as the crowd cupped its collective ear. Clearly the most senior judge in England and Wales needs some lessons in voice projection.

University of Law to scoop rival’s ex-dean?

Rumours are swirling in the top echelons of legal education that Peter Crisp, the barrister who recently left his role as chief executive a dean of BBP University law school, will not be fading into the sunset.

Sources tell The Brief that Crisp – a keen tweeter of art galleries and classical concerts from venues around the world – will land at BPP’s arch rival, the University of Law. The university has been struggling since it was sold two years ago to the education conglomerate Global University Systems, with City of London law firms moving to BPP their bulk contracts for legal practice course provision for their trainees.

The Brief hears suggestions that Crisp will be brought in to reinvigorate ULaw’s appeal in the Square Mile. But if that does happen, it is not likely to be soon. Crisp is thought to be contractually obliged by BPP to stay in his garden for at least a year.

Clifford Chance up, Herbies down in latest financials

Financial results keep on flowing from the top firms in the City of London as Clifford Chance and Herbert Smith Freehills both unveiled figures yesterday.

CC went to the top of the class of recent results, clocking up an 11 per cent rise in revenue to £1.54 billion. On average, senior equity partners at the “magic circle” firm took drawings of £1.375 million, making them 12 per cent richer than last year and 23 per cent better off than two years ago.

The “magic circle” pretender HSF clocked up an almost equivalent percentage rise in revenue, but that equated to a much lower annual cash figure of £920.5 million.

Herbies put its hands up to flat profits over the last year, with the overall figure actually slipping by 1 per cent. The firm did not release an average profit per equity partner figure, but The Lawyer magazine said that that fell even more – by 2.5 per cent to £760,000.

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