Rive Gauche: Corbyn in “The Thick Of It? drama…

The Labour party’s week descended even further into The Thick of It territory on Friday afternoon in an encounter between Jeremy Corbyn and a Sky News journalist.

Following the suspension of Ken Livingstone on Thursday, which at one point involved the veteran politician hiding in a disable loo while assorted British news media asked if he supported Hitler, the Labour leader – clearly wanting to avoid any further questions about antisemitism in his party – tried to dodge the reporter and make his way into the nearby building.

The only trouble was.. he couldn’t open the door.

Taxi for Mr Corbyn time?

It just gets more bizarre… wonderful nonsense from veteran old geezer politicos

And this…

Is Corbyn just taking the piss now with this unfortunate greeting?

And finally…

But…this is more like an old Morecambe & Wise show… but almost as amusing

Does Your Contract Need Wriggle Room?

Does Your Contract Need Wriggle Room?
Sarah Fox
Author of the 500-Word ContractTM

w: http://www.500words.co.uk/

The saga of 123-reg has highlighted the role of ‘wriggle room’ in contracts.

Wriggling in Court

Before specialising in advising on contract strategy and writing/negotiating contracts, I had the pleasure of winning a case in the Court of Appeal.  It involved what I call ‘advanced wriggling.’

My clients’ insurers were relying on wriggling out of their obligation to compensate my clients for their insured losses. The insurance company pointed to a term requiring its insured (my clients) to have a working burglar alarm at all times. Although the printing factory did have a burglar alarm, it had been disabled temporarily to allow renovation works to take place.

I vividly recall an Appeal Court judge asking the barrister (who was representing the insurance company) whether he was really suggesting that if the judge ‘popped out for a sandwich’ and failed to turn on his own burglar alarm, the insurance company would not compensate him for any insured risk that happened in the meantime?  The barrister ‘wriggled’, rather uncomfortably, when he confirmed that was precisely the insurer’s position. They were sticking to the terms of the insurance contract.

The Appeal Court judges showed their displeasure and their astonishment. They decided not to strictly enforce the terms of the small print in the insurance contract, and not to allow the insurance company to ‘wriggle’ out of its obligations.

Wriggling before Court

Back to 123-reg… Many disgruntled companies are now contemplating bringing court proceedings against 123-reg seeking compensation for breaching their website-hosting contract.

123-reg is acting in a classically defensive and adversarial manner. Rather than

  • creating trust with its clients (which it admits may have taken a knock)
  • being open about its failings from the start (it took several days to come clean)
  • being generous with its clients (six months free hosting anyone?)

it is relying on (and hiding behind) its terms and conditions. It is wriggling like a worm on a hook! This position may be within its contractual rights, but its response will irreversibly damage its reputation and its brand.

Would you rather work with a company who uses its contracts to wriggle out of its responsibilities to you, or who goes the extra mile?

My case: Printpak v AGF Insurance [1999] EWCA Civ 683

Rive Gauche: The Law Society is being sued for monopolising legal training.

The Law Society is being sued for monopolising legal training.

“An online training provider called Socrates Training has accused the Law Society of abusing its dominant position in the market and has filed a claim for undisclosed damages with the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
Both Socrates and the Law Society offer online training covering mortgage fraud, financial crime and money laundering, which conveyancing firms are under a statutory duty to provide to staff. However, in 2015 the Law Society ruled that as a condition of law firms maintaining accreditation with its Conveyancing Quality Scheme, they could only purchase their training from it.”

RollonFriday has the story

Drink driving charge? Here’s how to keep your license…

Drink driving charge? Here’s how to keep your license…
By Jack Bani

You may think that if you get a charge for drink driving that it’s the end of the world. You’ll be banned from driving and you’ll no longer be able to get to work, to take your children to school and so on. The important thing to do though, is not to panic.

There are many variables with a charge like this, and it could even be the case that you were not at fault. Here are two of the main reasons for a prosecution, and how hiring an experienced solicitor could help to defend you from a license ban. If you’d like a full list of potential penalties to help with your research, click here.

  1. A high alcohol reading

First and foremost, the most likely reason why you have been charged is that you have provided a high reading of alcoholic consumption on a breathalyser test. However, if you think it’s faulty then you could well have a case to defend yourself.

The heavy reliance these days on electronic equipment can often mean that mistakes are made due to a faulty machine. Inaccurate readings do occur, so if you’ve been surprised by a reading when you know that you’ve had little or no alcohol, the reliability of the analysis used as evidence can be challenged.

Secondly, there could have been a delay between the alleged drunken driving incident and the time of arrest. In cases where you have consumed alcohol after the incident but before the test, this could well produce an inaccurate record and this is known as the “hip flask defence”.

  1. Failure to provide samples

According to the government website, a failure to provide samples under suspicion of drink driving could lead to six month’s imprisonment, an unlimited fine and a ban from driving for at least one year. Those consequences sound pretty scary, but it could be the case that there are legitimate reasons why you were not able to give a sample, and in those instances there could well be a different.

For example, you may have a medical condition that affects your lung capacity meaning that you were unable to satisfy the needs of the analysis. Or, the police could have been unclear on how to use the machine. There are three types of machine used in the UK, and although instructions that work for one machine may not work for another, officers are told to instruct people in the same way for all three.

Finally, if you were involved in an accident and were taken to hospital, blood and urine tests are not always required, as testing there differs from a police station. In this way, it could be a simple procedural error on behalf of the police. These are all instances where you can put forward a defence against a conviction, but make sure that you have the best representation possible. Going to someone like http://drinkdrivesolicitor.com will ensure that you have 25 years’ worth of motor charges defense on your side.

I hope you found this article useful – if you have anything to add, please feel free to leave a comment.

Police Scotland searching for driver who didn’t wave

Police Scotland have launched a manhunt across the Highlands and Islands after “some bastard” forgot to wave on a single track road.

“They just drove straight past me like I wasn’t even there” said Norma Harris. “I didn’t lose control or anything but I felt the only decent thing to do was to crash into a fence to show how shocked I was.”

Reports on the culprit are conflicting but Police Scotland have instructed residents to be on the look out for a man, or possibly woman under the age of 100, who may or may not have hands.

“I have lost all faith in humanity” said Chief Superintendent Julian Innes. “We might as well hand give back all the poppers and heroin we had been saving for the Christmas party and watch while Inverness is burnt to the ground”.

The incident is widely regarded as the worst thing to happen since the infamous “Allan” left the pub before getting his round in, resulting in a fourteen year stint behind bars, followed by deportation.

A Nigerian citizen born in 1953 entered the UK on 4th September 2008 as a visitor and has remained in the UK ever since

This post first appeared on daniellecohenimmigration.com

A Nigerian citizen born in 1953 entered the UK on 4th September 2008 as a visitor and has remained in the UK ever since. She has three adult children, two of whom are British nationals and the third has leave to remain in the UK as a partner under Appendix FM and is on a ten year route to settlement. There are also two grandchildren.

In October 2008 before instructing Danielle Cohen, she applied for indefinite leave to remain as a dependent relative. That application was refused and her appeal was dismissed on 10th May 2010. She made a further application as a dependent relative and under the Private and Family Life Immigration Rules, the application was refused and the appeal was dismissed in March 2014. Permission to appeal was granted and the Upper Tribunal found an error of law by the Second Tribunal. The appeal was remitted to the First Tier Tribunal for hearing denovo. Again a determination was made on 15th January 2015 and the appeal was dismissed under the Immigration Rules but allowed under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act on the basis of the client’s family and private life with her three daughters and two grandchildren in the UK.

The Tribunal found the evidence from the claimant and her three daughters to be credible. It found that she faced a risk of assault and intimidation from her step son in the event of her return to her former home in Nigeria. A reference was made to the period of time when the claimant lived in the UK without leave and considered whether or not weight should be given to her private life established in the UK when she had a precarious immigration status. In considering the best interests of her grandchildren, the Tribunal found that she played a significant part in the life of her grandchildren and that her absence was likely to have an emotional impact on them despite their young age. It was also noted that the fact that she provided childcare for her children enabled them to accommodate and provide for her in the UK.

After the victory in Court, in 2015, the Secretary of State sought permission to appeal the decision on the grounds that the Tribunal materially misdirected itself in law by failing to engage with the findings of the Tribunal in 2010. The permission to appeal was granted to the Home Office on the grounds that it was arguable that the First Tier Tribunal erred in following a case called Tevaseelan. The case continued and an error of law hearing took place. The case was won again and the client was granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK because the Tribunal found that the First Tier Tribunal was fully aware of the findings of fact made by the Tribunal in 2010 and there was no error of law.

The importance of this case and many people in her position is that when the Home Office looks at the family life of a person in her position and the engagement of Article 8 they have to pay careful attention to what is meant by the term “exceptional circumstances” justifying the grant of leave outside the immigration Rules. The guidance on exceptional circumstances to cases that fall to be determined outside the Immigration Rules have been considered in a number of cases and the Judge and the Home Office need to employ an objective approach and should avoid a tick box exercise. The use of the phrase “exceptional circumstances” means that the weighing exercise contemplated by the Rules is to be carried out compatibly with the Convention.

In the context of the client, “exceptional” meant circumstances in which the removal would result in unjustifiably harsh consequences for the individual and the family. Furthermore, in another case it was interpreted to mean circumstances which evoke compassion in the mind of the decision maker.

This case also asks us to consider the concept of “family life” within the meaning of Article 8. Rather than applying a blanket rule with regard to adult children each case needs to be analysed on its own facts and to decide whether or not family life exists within the meaning of Article 8(1). Generally the protection of family life under Article 8 involves cohabiting dependents such as parents and the dependents’ minor children. Whether it extends to other relationships depends on the circumstances of a particular case. A number of cases have concluded that the existence or non-existence of family life for the purposes of Article 8 is essentially a question of fact depending on the real existence in practice of close personal ties. The argument was that the client developed a significant private life in the UK and that Article 8 also protects the right to establish and develop relationships with other human beings and can sometimes embrace aspects of the individual’s social identity. The case demonstrated the totality of social ties between the client and her community private life within the meaning of Article 8. And further argued that this case engaged Section 55 of the Borders Citizenship & Immigration Act 2009 and therefore the grandchildren’s best interests were a primary consideration.

The best interests of the grandchildren became an integral part of the proportionality assessment under Article 8.

In addition it was submitted that refusal will have a significantly adverse effect on the UK family member and such an effect is a relevant consideration in this appeal. The success was a great relief to all the family members and all involved are delighted in their happiness.



“What a disgrace that the Prime Minister is a wealthy man. How disgusting that his mother gifted him £200,000. And what a dodge if she has the audacity to live a few more years allowing him to escape paying tax. Whipping, flogging and decapitation is too good for him. Let’s hound him out of office. Let’s eradicate from history all mention of his name and wicked works. And (this is when the Cameron haters become particularly tumnescent) let’s install a true Conservative as leader. Sadly, the Amish wing of the party cheered on by the tax havened right wing press, have pressed the self destruct button.

Can’t someone just throw a bucket of cold water on them? Don’t they see that they are making wounds that are so deep and gangrenous that they can never be healed? This ridiculous Camhaven witch hunt has nothing to do with tax and every thing to do with Brexit. It’s the same old playbook. Discredit the man and you discredit his message. Osborne will be next. “There are questions that need to be answered” will become the next line of attack. One by one the Brextards will be picking off each member of the cabinet. This will run and run. What is so revealing is that any sense of reason has been replaced by the red mist of revenge. Any sense of logic has been replaced by the Brextard anthem, IT’S SOUNFAIR. Everything is unfair. That traitor the governor of the Bank of England. The CBI. The finance ministers of the G20. And now that bastard Cameron is using £9 MILLION OFTAXPAYERS MONEY TO PROMOTE HIS FILTHY PROBRUSSELS LIES!!!!!! So let’s vote down the finance bill. Let’s wreck the government. Let’s do ANYTHING TO GET US OUTOF THE VILE UNDEMOCRATIC BLOOD SUCKING EU.

The awful thing is that this is not satire. It is the warped logic of the Brextards. Take Peter Bone. The other day he urged the government to ignore EU law ‘because we’ll be out of it on the 24June’. And the poor old fruit loop actually believes it. So who on the right is going to have the courage to hold up a hand and warn them that this has to stop? Boris won’t; he’s as happy as a pig in shit. May? She is unfairly regarded as a traitor. Probably the only one with the clout and respect is Gove. But he better get a move on. The Conservative party is ablaze and the kids are chucking petrol on it. If this continues for much longer there will be nothing left. These are desperate times.

And who benefits from this self immolation? Probably the the most authoritarian cult of humourless, heartless and dangerous politicians this country has seen in a generation. The Corbynistas. Some will just raise their eyes heavenwards at the thought that they could be in power. That is a colossal arrogance. Don’t these people read the opinion polls or don’t they care? Camhaven is meat and drink for the far left. The Tories are portrayed as filthy rich out of touchers who don’t give a toss about the hard working poor. It’s a lie, but it will stick unless the Cameron haters pull back from the brink. For the first time in my life I am beginning to fear that the Tories will destroy themselves and open the door for an authoritarian socialist government. I hope that I am wrong.”


Jerry Hayes’ blog is always good for a laugh and information from a former MP – well worth regular visiting.


A rather bizarre afternoon in The King’s Road, Chelsea in 2008

I went up to The King’s Road for a coffee after a meeting this afternoon.  I sat outside the cafe so that I could smoke and read my newspaper in peace without the usual background chatter of builders and scaffolders shouting at each other…”Hey, Dave… bleeding hell… have you seen this effing…” etc etc.

The coffee arrived… black and piping hot…. all was good.  I had The Independent open in front of me. Out of the corner of my eye I could see a chap, mid to late fifties, suited and wearing a hat, staggering slightly towards me.

“Good afternoon… fine day is it not?”

I looked up and replied “It is a fine day… good to see the sun out.”


“I said it is good to see the sun out.”

“You read The Sun?”

“No… I said”… pointing to the sky.. “It is good to see the sun is out… shining… in the sky.”

The gentleman looked up and then looked back at me.  By this stage he was standing right opposite my table.  He was mildly over refreshed.

“I’ve had a bit of a lunch. May have overdone it.  Don’t tell the wife.”

I sat back in my chair. Always good to see a gentleman mid-afternoon exercising his liver. He was tapping his nose.

“You don’t know my wife do you?”

“I don’t know your wife, No.” I replied.  It was true and seemed to be a sensible thing to say.  The gentleman smiled in the mysterious way seriously pissed people do when they are  having conversations with themselves.

“Ah… you are reading a newspaper…. bit late for a morning paper isn’t it?”

I tried to explain that I had read two newspapers earlier in the day but… to no avail.

“Always like to get my reading of newspapers out of the way before 9.00.  Sets me up for the rest of the day.”

I smiled.  I had decided that this particular gentlemen did not need to be encouraged.

“Do they serve gin and tonic here?”

“They serve alcohol, but you have to eat?”

“I have to eat? Why do I have to eat?  I’m not hungry.  I just want a G&T.”

“This is a licensed cafe…. it is policy…. you have to have a meal with alcohol.”

“Bloody ridiculous… I shall find somewhere more sensible.  Good to talk…”

The man shuffled off….  I have no doubt at all that he found a Gin and tonic.  I made a mental note to myself to avoid making eye contact with suited gentlemen wearing hats mid-afternoon.

Muttley Dastardly LLP: Credit-crunch is for wimps….

Matt Muttley, managing partner of leading City boutique law firm Muttley Dastardly LLP, is working late in his office in the City. His PA, Eva Braun, has chosen an elegant pair of Charles Jourdan high heeled shoes for the meeting this evening and is, as always, dressed in a well cut black skirt suit.


“So… I see from the Lawyer that yet more law firms are re-structuring, declaring redundancies and ditching cost centre oriented associates and partners and that there is the usual journo guff about law firm mergers.?”

Eva Braun looked at her notepad and said briskly “Yeah…. Clarke Willmott Chief executive David Sedgwick said in The Lawyer today“These steps are being taken in direct response to lower demand for legal services being felt by all firms at the moment and we don’t take them lightly.” Apparently they are juicing 40 fee earners and support earners.”

“Usual commercial prop or is it wider?” Muttley asked, his eyes flicking between three computer screens on his desk and the bank of CCTV monitors on the wall to his right.

“Wider.” Eva Braun replied “Although the CEO went on to say ‘The numbers of people affected by this programme represent a very small proportion of the firm, and our priority must be to safeguard the long-term interests of Clarke Willmott.’

Matt Muttley sat back in his chair, laughed and said “Hey… at least the guy understands the need to protect the firm.  How many associates are we saying “Ciao” to this week?”

“Two who didn’t make the cut at last review and one guy you felt was not made of the ‘right stuff’ because he was critical of The Bullingdon Club.”

“Ah… yeah… I listened in on one of his calls to a client…. for training purposes, of course, and heard him say that he thought that the guys in the Osborne Bullingdon Club photo were all tossers.  Well I’m sorry, Eva…. six of the eight senior partners on our special executive board are members, as indeed was I, so….. if we’re not good enough for him… he can bugger off and work elsewhere. I’ve half a mind to trash his room with Dastardly later.”

“Yet another of your good ideas, Matt….. save it for your next trip to Corfu…. we don’t need the publicity”

Muttley laughed, lit a cuban cigar, downed a shot of ice cold Absolut vodka and said “Cameron was a member of the club you know. No idea whether he did the drugs.  He never comments on his  post Eton spliffing days…. but, in any event, The Bullingdon didn’t really approve of cannabis and other happy drugs… interfered with the desire of the chaps to trash restaurants….. so not ‘de rigeur’.”

“So… Matt.. how do you think we are shaping up with the credit-crunch?”

“Good, Eva…. good.  We’re picking up CDS stuff, good quality Lehman fallout, a high level of good quality insolvency work, our banking partners are working their associates into the ground….. and we got out of property and low end private client work some time ago.  Need to build up litigation for a few years… but some good lateral hires coming out of New York… so no problem.”

Matt tapped the keyboard for the computer screen on the right, read intently and said “Eva…. this is is great…. Law Schools are being flooded with bankers… and finance people re-qualifying.  Didn’t Dr Strangelove tell us that law schools could be in trouble in the next few years… doesn’t look like it from this.”

“The crazy Dr did say that and he’s right…. this is just the GDL, Matt… the BVC is a different matter altogether… and there is no way the profession can sustain present levels of recruitment in the short to medium term…. so  young lawyers are going to be flipping burgers again soon.”

“Excellent” Muttley shouted…. “Bloody marvellous….. maybe we should look at setting up a law school  ourselves? Some law schools are raking it in.”

“No, Matt… that is another of your not so good ideas…. I’ve already called several law schools to look at their pricing structures.  They seem a bit high to me….. buyer’s market now…. we pay the piper, so they can play our tune… and our tune is “Birdie, birdie, Cheap cheap.”

“Jesus… Eva… you are right.  We should make you a partner.”

“I am a partner, Matt. I do banking work here and that includes our banking. I know every detail of the finances here, as do you.”

” Eva…. only joking…”

“We understand one another, then…” Eva said with an amused smile

“We do.  Fancy dinner in The City…somewhere exuding style, sophistication and dribblingly delicious concoctions?  See if anyone is jumping tonight?”

“Let’s go.”

Lawyer fires gun at Chiswick dinner party

Some years ago, when I was running a law school and living in Chiswick, my then wife and I held a dinner party.  There were eight of us, including a barrister – now a partner in his own law firm.  The wine flowed, as did the conversation.  About half way through dinner, the barrister pulled out a handgun from a concealed carry holster, pointed the gun at the ceiling and fired it.  It was a blank – but the wadding from the cartridge hit the plaster ceiling rose with force and plaster crashed down onto the table. `

My wife, understandably, was rather upset and ran off to the bedroom, crying.  She was not used to lawyers pulling handguns out and firing them at dinner parties – or, indeed, at all.

I went to comfort my wife, who was crying.  Half laughing, half crying, she asked me why my friend needed to come to our dinner armed.  I have to confess that I did not have a suitable reply.  The barrister apologised profusely and sent over some flowers to my wife the next day with an apology.

I’m afraid I found it rather amusing – but I was used to my guests throwing empty wine bottles out of the dining room window onto the lawn two floors below.  One friend even managed to throw an empty bottle through the closed window.  I had forgotten to open the window to enable bottles to be thrown out without harm. We picked all the wine bottles up and put them in the bins which were located on the ground floor at the back of the apartment building.

I miss the good conversation and antics of those dinner parties.

Another ‘Honourable’ Tory MP…hardly…dreadful

These Tory MPs really are unpleasant people…I am just glad I have left England…to a kinder (politically) country   – and, hopefully,  soon to be an  independent country – Scotland.  I will certainly be voting SNP after 40 years as a Labour voter.  Why?  because the SNP get things done..and Scottish Labour did not.  They had their chance.  They blew it under an orgy of Blair-Brownism nonsense. Politicians , hopefully, consigned to the garbage can of political failures and not to be knighted or E-Knob -led  in any way by the ludicrous honours system. Although, I suppose The Queen could show disapproval to them both by putting them in the House of Lords – a spectacularly useless and meaningless organisation in modern Britain.


If I had my time again…would I choose Law as a sensible career? Absolutely NOT….

Would I recommend Law as a career to anyone now?  No. Do something more interesting…. would be my advice.  I think I will give up on commenting on matters law on my blog…not that I waste much time doing so at present… I shall, of course, continue to comment on matters where lawyers don’t do the decent thing and do their jobs properly…. I suspect that I may not be short of posts….


Rive Gauche: John Whittingdale MP being blackmailed by a dominatrix?

It just gets more bizarre.  Surely this can’t be true? No doubt, Whittingdale will sue if it isn’t true. 


Maldon: District’s MPs claim £250,000 in expenses

John Whittingdale accused of misleading parliament over BBC story in Sunday Times


A ‘Command Performance’ from Top Lawyers after ‘well earned drinks’….. I marvel and you will as well!

Top lawyers’ boozy romp in busy train station could be ‘one of the worst legal cover-ups in history’

Female QC admitted romp… then said it was an attack

FOR respected lawyer Graeme Stening, it started with a few well-earned drinks on a summer afternoon.

Little did he know that his seemingly perfect day would end in disaster after a drunken rush-hour romp with another top lawyer at London’s Waterloo station.

The X-rated rendezvous — which saw the woman’s knickers round her ankles in front of an audience of shocked commuters — damaged his reputation and led to him spending time in police cells…”


Read the rest of this remarkable story.  I am assuming that the picture of the top lawyer is not modified in Photoshop to protect identity but to give some idea to the reader of how she looked from the perspective of the other lawyer after the ‘well earned’ drinks on a summer afternoon.