RIP Andrew Keogh, Barrister, law blogger and friend

I am very sorry to learn of the death of another very good friend of mine in recent weeks.  Andrew Keogh helped me greatly when I was very ill some time ago and was a very amusing and kind man.  He was also a fine lawyer.

The Guardian Obituary in full
Andrew Milner

“My friend Andrew Keogh, who has died of lung cancer aged 66, was a barrister, blogger, writer and political activist.

He was called to the bar in 1978 and, starting out in law in London in the 1980s, was committed to the legal aid system and to resisting the then often transparent racism of the Brixton police. A friend recalls being astonished at how elegant Andrew looked in pinstripe suit, wig and gown. Andrew explained that “if you’re a poor, black kid being fitted up by the Brixton nick, that’s how you want your brief to look”.

He joined No5 chambers, and became a widely respected jury advocate, known for his integrity and his willingness to devote time to helping younger members of his profession. He was also a writer, author of the longstanding White Rabbit blog, of two published novels, twentytwelve (2006), and The Killing Room (2013), and of the unfinished Diary of a Jobbing Barrister.

Andrew was born in Leeds, son of Austin, a headteacher, and Hilda, a district nurse. He was brought up a Roman Catholic, and was educated at St Michael’s college, a Catholic grammar school, but later converted to Anglicanism. He went on to the London School of Economics, where he studied political science and then law, and to the Inns of Court.

Despite living and working in London, he thought of himself as a Yorkshireman, and was a loyal supporter of Leeds United and Yorkshire county cricket club. Probably cricket mattered the most to him: his parents had lived within easy walking distance of Headingley cricket ground and he regularly went with his father to watch both Yorkshire and England. He inherited a magnificent collection of Wisden from his father, which has now been bequeathed to his sons.

YUU is backing better backs with the launch of their new ergonomic school bag

YUU is backing better backs with the launch of their new ergonomic school bag

With the summer holidays in full swing it won’t be long before parents start thinking about kitting out their child ready for the new school year.  The spotlight has been firmly on school bags in recent years with vast research urging parents to think carefully about their child’s school bag and posture in relation to back health.  In response to this, the leading children’s backpack brand YUU are launching their new ergonomically-designed school backpack, YUUschool, along with their ‘backing better backs’ campaign to encourage parents to reassess their child’s backpack and posture to avoid any unnecessary backpain in the future.

Worryingly, according to research carried out by the British Chiropractic Association

, a third of parents have reported that their child has suffered from some form of back or neck pain in the past.  Whilst backpain can be caused by a number of factors, unsuitable school bags are widely accepted as a common cause.   Studies have shown that up to 4 million children in the UK are walking with school bags that are too heavy for them and could potentially be harming their spines.  Experts have stated that a child should be able to carry up to 10% of their own bodyweight without causing any damage but a survey by charity BackCare UK

highlighted that this is often exceeded, with 11-12 year olds being the highest risk group found to be carrying on average 13% of their body weight (in some cases children were carrying up to 60%!).         

Rachael Withe, marketing manager of YUU comments “Any parent would be alarmed to learn of the unseen damage their child’s backpack could be causing.  Going to school brings with it a need to carry certain items and although we don’t always have control over the weight of those items, we do have control over the way in which that weight is carried.  This is exactly why we have designed the new YUUschool according to ergonomic principals so that weight is distributed evenly and symmetrically over the child’s body.”   

Paediatric Osteopath Annie Khenian adds “Children’s spines grow and develop rapidly, especially in adolescence, and it’s imperative that correct posture is maintained and care is taken in these formative years to avoid problems later in life.  Many children carry substantial weight to, from and around school on a daily basis. Often the weight of the rucksack pulls children backwards which in turn prompts them to lean forward or arch their backs to keep the weight centred.  Over time this position can compress the spine causing pain and discomfort.  We would always advise parents to invest in a supportive backpack”

The new YUUschool backpack is packed full of scientific ergonomic features, including vertical compartmentalisation of the pockets so weight is kept higher up and closer to the spine.  The s-shaped padded straps are sewn close together not just for additional comfort but also to centralise weight to the body.  The deep pockets combined with the secure straps have been thoughtfully designed and positioned to avoid weight falling down into the middle of the bag which causes weight to be unevenly distributed and concentrated in one area causing unnecessary pressure and pain.  The full extent of the YUUschool’s ergonomic design and the benefits this brings can be found at https://yuuworld.com/schoolbags/

Kellie Forbes, co-founder of YUU adds “For most parents this time of year is usually a race against the clock to get all the usual supplies of uniform, stationary and books fully stocked.  However, this is also the perfect time to re-assess your child’s backpack and make sure it offers suitable protection for the busy year ahead.  Our 10-step Backing Better Backs checklist offers a simple risk-assessment that parents can follow to help prevent painful back problems in the future.”

The YUUschool is available to buy from www.yuuworld.com for £40.  There is currently a promotion for a “back to school bundle” which includes the YUUschool backpack, a gym bag, a waterbottle, stationary set and notebook for £49.50 (a saving of 25%).   The website also offers advice and support for back care, including a 10-step backing better backs checklist. 

 

Rive Gauche: Pensioner stuffs £10 into Solicitor’s mouth

The full story is here…

A pensioner stuffed a £10 note into a solicitor’s mouth after he was confronted for repeatedly sneaking into first class.

Barrister Dr Peter Ellis became irritated by a 69-year-old passenger who repeatedly came into the first class section of the carriage to help himself to pretzel snacks and wine.

On the fifth occasion Dr Ellis felt compelled to speak to pensioner Leslie Gilmer. A court heard this led Gilmer to return to the carriage and stuff a £10 note into the mouth of the former hospital doctor and personal injury lawyer.

The bizarre events on the rail journey to Exeter one November evening were told to Exeter magistrates court.

Prosecutor Sonia Croft said Gilmer was acting in a ‘rather obnoxious manner’ as he helped himself to snacks on a food and drinks trolley which were complimentary goods just for first class passengers.

When Dr Ellis challenged Gilmer, the Dublin born defendant retorted:”I’m hungry. I will see you in court.”

But the magistrates heard Gilmer then returned to the carriage and forcefully rammed the £10 note into Dr Ellis’ mouth.

Retired engineer Gilmer was spoken to by police at Exeter St David’s railway station and he admitted throwing the tenner but claimed any physical contact was accidental.

Miss Croft said the court had to decide whether the incident was a ‘pure accident or a deliberate or reckless assault’.

Dr Ellis gave evidence and told the JPs that Gilmer was involved in a disturbance with train staff over the state of the toilets when they embarked on the trip saying they were a ‘f***ing disgrace’ and were not working.

He said Gilmer was also involved ‘in a discussion about whether he could have some alcohol and snacks from the first class trolley’ – even though he had bought £47.50p tickets for standard or second class.

 

***

For my part…I have some sympathy for the pensioner.  Lawyers can be rather tedious at times. There does seem to be some confusion in the story above about whether the recipient of the £10 note was a solicitor or barrister…but there we are.

 

Ex MP and Barrister Jerry Hayes writes as no other… Marvellous!

jerryhayes5POLITICS HAS BECOME A SPECTATOR SPORT. MAY HAS GIVEN US A GOVERNMENT OF ALL THE TALONS

 

Politics has become a Spectator sport. A balmy summer’s evening with barmy politicians hoovering up large quantities of acceptable bubbly, spitting venom and bile. There was enough malice aforethought to make it a murder scene. Except that in politics you can die a thousand deaths. What doesn’t kill you makes you stranger.

At this stage I would usually write, ‘if only I was a fly on the wall….’ But I didn’t need to be. Every wonderful, excruciating and joyously embarrassing detail has been lovingly salacioused into the press. Of course, there were cameos from the arachnidian Priti Patel (God, that woman scares me) and other minor players like Loathesome, Moggy and a few Westminster Disneyland delusionists who honestly believe that one day they will be Prime Minister. Even Madame, like Banquo’s ghost, briefly ectoplasmed an appearance. But the poor thing has a horror of meeting people who are not police and fireman and a suffers from a crippling phobia of journalists. I am told that she was devastated and shed a tear. But only a small one. Not to worry though, she is off on a walking holiday with Philip. What could possibly go wrong?

But all eyes were on the two feuding families the Johnsons and the Davis mob. It would have been like watching that menacing part of Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet when the Capulets and the Montagues strut their stuff. But that’s probably too dignified. More like the rival street gangs the Sharks and the Jets.

My old chum David Davis is the master of the wind up and exudes a genuine charm that Johnson merely fabricates. He know just the right scab to pick and the put down that will send Bozo into a frenzied sulk. Firstly, Davis charmed and kissed sister Rachel. Boasting that he is wooing her back into the Conservative fold. Then he taunts that our Foreign Secretary is a failure. Bozo’s mob then threaten to ‘kick him in the bollocks’. It was all wonderfully grown up. Herogram for Tim Shipman for reporting it all.

Yet it has been a weird week. Not unlike those balloon debates we used to have at school. You had to give a reasoned debate about whom you will chuck out. May has gone but is still clinging onto the the basket with her finger tips. But at the moment it is Hammond whooshing through the air. There has been a concerted and successful effort to smear him. Firstly, the cabinet leak, from more than one source, about his ‘sexist’ remark that driving a train is so easy even women could do it. This shows a terrible lack of judgement. Would you feel comfortable with Patel, Loathesome or Greening driving a packed commuter train? I’d feel safer if Richard Hammond were at the controls.

And then there is the ‘let’s end austerity and make ourselves popular with public sector workers by chucking them some dosh,’ brigade which is apparently let by my cousin (I doubt whether she realises it) Justin Greening. This is quite bonkers. Have they all forgotten the wage inflation of the sixties and seventies that made us the Sick Man of Europe? Apparently so. And they do so at their peril. So now it is Hammond who is the dead man walking. He is the one oozing common sense. Bizarre.

But the Bozo star appears to be on the wane. Judging by Fraser Nelson’s last piece, the Speccie (or rather the splendid Andrew Neil who has an attic full of Johnsonian broken promises) has taken against him. The gist was that the shagathon that has added to the gaity of political life could become a serious turn off for voters. I am inclined to agree.

Many years ago when I was writing for Punch we had a front page predicting that Davis would one day lead the Conservative party. We were about twenty years out of date. Oh, and have you noticed his uncanny resemblance between Davis and Martin Shaw of the Professionals and Judge Deed?

May is now at her most vulnerable. MP’s are away. Mobiles will be throbbing. She has created a government of all the talons.

***

Always a pleasure to publish Jerry’s writing on my blog.  A good friend to me of quite a few years now – and helped me greatly when I needed assistance. .

Law Review: The end of an era, the beginning of a new era.

Report 

“The UK Supreme Court have published Lord Neuberger’s and Lord Clarke’s valedictory remarks.

Lady Hale, Deputy President of the Supreme Court, Sir David Steel, James Eadie QC, Karon Monoghan QC, Robert Bourns (Law Society) and Andrew Langdon QC all give valedictory remarks on the occasion of Lord Neuberger, president of the Supreme Court, and Lord Clarke’s final sitting in the UK Supreme Court.

Lord Neuberger was made a QC in 1987 and appointed Lord Justice of Appeal in 2004. On 1 October 2009 he became Master of the Rolls before being appointed President of the Supreme Court in 2012. Lord Clarke spent 27 years at the bar specialising in maritime and commercial law and was appointed Master of the Rolls and Head of Civil Justice in 2005….”

Rive Gauche: A restaurant review done several years ago

Some years ago I did a few restaurant reviews for an excellent website,  Here is  a ‘review’ I wrote some years back in the good old days when one could smoke as one ate and drank vino rosso. 

A Bar & Dining Room
Somewhere in London

Meal for two with wine: £90
Nil points

Charon goes to a restaurant run by East European border guards?

“Have you booked?” asked the black silk shirted Maitre D’ guarding the entrance. The abruptness of the greeting took me by surprise.

“I have not booked. Do you have a table?” Blackshirt’s eyes narrowed as he flicked open the diary. The page had one entry. Blackshirt looked up, eyes darting. “How many of you are there?” It may seem to the casual observer that I suffer from dissociative identity disorder, but I was alone. I heard Sir Alec Guinness in the recess of my mind: “Charon” he said, “Use the Force….”

“I am one.”

The Maitre D’ surveyed the dining room. It was that sort of place… Not a restaurant, but a Bar and Dining Room. It was 12.30. Only two tables were occupied. “Do you smoke?” Blackshirt snapped.

“For England.” I replied.

I was escorted to a table in the corner of the room – a table for two. An East European border guard, dressed as a waitress, appeared with a menu. I selected a bottle of Claret and asked for two espressos and a glass of tap water, no ice. “You want espresso?” the waitress asked, unsmiling. “Now?”

“Yes please.” I watched her walk towards the bar. Well it was more of a march… more Red Square than Sandhurst. I was not invited to taste the wine when it arrived.

The menu was fairly typical of many gastros – a mix of “Confu**tion cooking” with a bit of thai/vietnamese nonsense thrown in. I enjoy reading Anthony Bourdain… but his books, do on occasion, get into the wrong hands… and so it was, today. Couscous and polenta featured heavily. One day I am sure that I will find a gastro pub with a dish called “Irish tagine”.

A couple were seated at a table nearby – both late twenties, both City professionals. I know this because they managed to tell me, indirectly, by relating events to each other of their successes during the week. They talked at each other; he admiring himself repeatedly in the mirrors lining the walls on our side of the restaurant. They obviously knew each other well – at least one assumes so, because, later, declining the offer of pudding, they started eating each other.

I have no idea why nutters on trains, tubes, buses and restaurants gravitate towards me – but it happend again today. The East European border guard escorted another customer to the adjacent table – a man in his early sixties, blazered, highly polished Oxford shoes, grey trousers, Turnbull & Asser shirt, silk tie and a traditional ‘British’ haircut. One could almost smell the George Trumper cologne.

“Good day to you.”

“And to you.” I replied.

“Writer?” the man asked, pointing at my laptop. I learned long ago not to answer that question.

“Just doing a bit of surfing.”

“Surfing Eh?…. yes… I used to surf when I was a junior partner with X&Y in Hong Kong…. on trips to Australia…. tied up a few M&A deals, I can tell you… out there…. those were the days…”

God in heaven. I know I drank a bottle of cider in Church once when I was at Prep school… but I had no idea, then, that I would continue to be punished for that sin nearly 40 odd years later on Easter Sunday 2007… in the form of a retired City lawyer, from the days of Tai Pan, sitting at the next table.

“Really…? good stuff.. ” I replied, affably, but with what I hoped was the correct tone to indicate that I wished ‘to be alone’. It was too late to pretend I was Bulgarian and could not speak English.

So there I was… a couple of young professionals, but a few tables away, talking at each other and Mr Drone, to my right.

“Been to Church?”

I was looking intently at my laptop screen. The words appeared to come from above. I looked at the ceiling. I looked at my bottle of Claret. I had only had one glass.

“The Vicar had a few of us back for a glass of sherry after the service”

“Really…?”

“Yes… quite a few actually. Have to splice the mainbrace after sitting through all that without being able to charge fees at the end of it! ” a statement which provoked so much laughter from the speaker that I was concerned I may have to do a Heimlich manoeuvre on him.

“Oh Yes… Vicar did us a good sermon today…”

Mr Drone told me at length that he would have been in New York to advise on a merger but the US firm had ‘cocked up’ on timing… adding that he liked to take on important cases on a consultancy basis from time to time…

“Ah….”

I drained my glass, re-filled and lit a cigarette.

“Smoker Eh?…yes… used to smoke until the Doc said to me ‘My dear chap, unless you pack in the gaspers now you won’t be able to get it up when you are 65′.” Another burst of self satisfied laughter, gave me the opportunity to wave at the waitress and explain to the gentleman seated at the next table that I needed to concentrate on my work. He made a curious signal, tapping his finger against his nose and said “Got it…Roger… mustn’t stop a chap from his work “

“You are ready with your orders?”

I smiled at the waitress, trying not to look as if I had something to declare, and ordered a main course. I justified my lack of a first course, when questioned, by explaining that I may have a pudding. She seemed satisfied with my explanation and marched off.

It takes a rare talent to cook roast lamb badly, but only inhalation of super strength cannabis would suggest beetroot risotto and chilli jam is a sensible, or even suitable, accompaniment to lamb. The waitress looked at my plate, barely touched. The lemon meringue pie had the merit of being bought in. The wine was more than drinkable and, after negotiating my release without the aid of the Foreign Office, I returned to familiar surroundings.

Postscript:  What is wrong in the picture of the food and wine glass?

Several things:  1.  The wine glass is absurdly empty. 2.  The Chef may have been smoking the garden again believing that a piece of lamb needs to have grass sprouting out of the bone  3.  The plate is almost empty of sustaining food, although I did detect some mash and a brussell sprout hiding in plain sight with a carrot.

Rive Gauche: Law firm boss suspended for shouting F**k Off at Mediation

RollonFriday story here:

“A solicitor has been suspended for three months and fined £20,000 for a string of professional disgraces.

Michael Horne attracted the complaints while running his Hereford-based firm Kidwells which he set up in 2008 after qualifying as a solicitor in 2006. Horne, whose previous career was as a ‘businessman’, has previously attracted positive press attention for flying around in a helicopter and talking up a gym and massage centre he planned to build alongside his firm’s offices. He is less keen to address allegations that in the 1990s he was convicted of benefit fraud and served time for stealing motor boats, failing to respond to requests for comment from RollOnFriday.

In one incident considered by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, a solicitor named as ‘Ms FS’ resigned as a consultant for Kidwells to work for a rival firm and claimed £341 from Horne in unpaid fees. Horne sued her for £15,000 which he accused her of losing the firm by mishandling matters……”

Inksters sponsor “This is your Trial”

For the 5th successive year Inksters Solicitors are sponsoring ‘This is Your Trial’ at the Edinburgh Fringe. However, this year there is an extra, family friendly, show at 12 nooneach day so that children can join in the court room fun.

 

Top comedians are lawyers, prosecuting and defending cases brought by non-adults against their parents, siblings and friends. The audience is the jury, deciding the verdict in the mock trials.

 

It has been said it is difficult to tell who was more fun, the kids or the parents. ‘Judge’ Tim Fitzhigham however summed it up perfectly when he said: “You know I don’t think it matters? It’s the type of person. It doesn’t really matter how old they are.”

 

There will also be a draw a judge competition with participating children having a chance to win prizes from Inksters.

 

The adult show is on at 7.15pm each night. Last year saw the likes of Clive Anderson, Susan Calman, Andrew Maxwell, Marcus Brigstocke and Josie Long join the regular gang of Thom Tuck, Tim Fitzhigham and Trevor Lock. Expect to see even more comedy superstars this year, as the line-up changes for each and every show.

 

Brian Inkster of Inksters said: “Every year ‘This is Your Trial’ gets bigger and better and we are very pleased to be supporting them again this year as they give children an insight into court room procedure albeit with a comic slant!”

 

‘This is Your Trial (PG)’, the family friendly show, takes place at 12 noon every day during the Edinburgh Fringe from 31 July 2017 at Heroes @ Monkey Barrel (Venue 515). Book your tickets here: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/this-is-your-trial-pg

 

The adult show is on at 7.15pm every night during the Edinburgh Fringe from 2 August 2017 at Gilded Balloon Teviot – Wine Bar (Venue 14). Book your tickets here:https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/this-is-your-trial