Sir Keir Joining Mishcon: Paid £18,000 For 24 Hours Work

The Lawyer reports Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer is joining Mishcon de Reya as a legal adviser. Mishcon are ultra Remainers – they were behind a big business legal challenge to Brexit and they of course represent Gina Miller. Will be slightly awkward in the office given the Shadow Cabinet’s position on the single market and customs union. In truth this is Sir Keir making his relationship with Mishcon official: last year they paid him £18,000 for 24 hours work. Kerching…

Mrs Milne Lawyers Up

Seumas Milne’s wife Cristina Montanari has taken legal advice – Guido’s betting she didn’t ask hubby if he knew anyone who could help. The Milnes are threatening the press with legal action if they attempt to contact them:

We have been contacted by Howe & Co on behalf of Cristina Montanari & Family.

They say their client will not be making any comments or statements in relation to matters that are currently circulating about her and her family in the press and media. No other member of her family will be making any comments or statements. They ask that press desist from asking questions and refrain from entering onto their client’s property.

They ask that media refrain from calling to the door of the family home (including knocking at the family’s door or ringing the doorbell), as all licences to enter onto the property have been revoked. Any distress caused to their client will result in legal proceedings being issued for damages against those individuals and press or media outlets involved.

They say the attempts by members of the press and media, including repeated attempts, to contact their client and/or members of her family are unwanted. Their client considers the media’s presence outside her family home, despite requests to leave is intimidating and harassing. Media must cease all attempts to contact Cristina Montanari and/or member of her family and must leave the vicinity of her family home.

Notable that Seumas isn’t actually mentioned in the legal threat. A situation where the press aren’t allowed to phone up a Director of Communications would be somewhat unorthodox…

Assange Lawyer Named as Milne’s Mystery Blonde

Seumas Milne’s mystery blonde is Julian Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson, according to The Times. 36 year-old Australian Robinson has represented the Wikileaks founder since 2010. A source told The Times Seumas has visited Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in the last 16 months. Jen’s tweets show her public support for Seumas and Corbyn:

Robinson didn’t respond to requests for comment. The identity of the lady canoodling with Milne at the plush Courthouse Hotel was the subject of fevered speculation yesterday, with Labour colleagues pointing the finger of suspicion at each other. From Twitter it looks like Jen has been a fan of Seumas’ column for years…

Gary Lineker Tax Scheme Loses Court Bid

Gary Lineker is among a group of celebrities who have lost a court bid to overturn a £700 million tax bill. The achingly right-on footballer turned self-appointed current affairs expert claimed the press were pursuing a “vendetta” against him over his involvement in the Ingenious film investment scheme, where tax reliefs were claimed on artificial movie losses. It was all media lies, Gary insisted…

Seems the courts do not agree. HMRC argued that the scheme was an aggressive kind of tax avoidance and yesterday a tax tribunal judge ruled the tax relief claims were not “allowable deductions”. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke.

Brexit Challenge Struck Out in Irish High Court

Jolyon Maugham’s Quixotic challenge to the progress of Brexit in the High Court in Dublin has been struck out. Jolyon’s plan was hard to comprehend, he was seeking a ruling from an Irish High Court Judge to refer issues in the case for determination by the Court of Justice of the EU. Why in Ireland? Because he knew he had not a hope in the English Courts.

He was seeking a reference on the grounds that his rights under the Anglo-Irish Common Travel Area Agreement and the Belfast Agreement were being compromised.*  In addition the “Irish people, and, in particular, in so much as the provisions of the Belfast Agreement and Common Travel Area will be affected and does so without seeking the views of the Irish citizens by way of referendum.” He was arguing that Irish voters somehow had a veto on the sovereign right of the British people expressed by the referendum. There was more of this nonsense line of argument in his claim

Guido understands from his sources in Dublin legal circles that the consensus view was that he was “p***ing in the wind”. This did not stop Jolyon crowdfunding £70,000 in fees, then dropping the fight as soon the Irish Attorney General indicated she would challenge the case on the grounds of jurisdiction. Jolyon folded claiming it would be too expensive to fight the matter. So the £70,000 of donor’s funds will be wasted without even a proper fight…

*The only people who claim there will be a hard border are remainiacs. No Irish party wants a hard border, not Sinn Fein not the Ulster Unionists. Nobody in the Dublin or Westminster governments wants or expects a hard border. There will not be a hard border. It is a figment of extreme remainers’ imaginations.

Nadhim Zahawi Wins £338,000 Libel Payout From Press TV

Guido can reveal Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi has been awarded a stunning £338,000 payout after winning a libel case against Iranian state television channel Press TV. The channel had falsely accused Zahawi, who is of Kurdish background and was born in Iraq, of facilitating the trade of oil between ISIS and Israel. Press TV has been ordered to pay Zahawi £200,000 in damages and over £138,000 in costs after the judge described the defamatory allegations as “exceptionally grave”. The fake news story was shared by Tommy Robinson, who tweeted “Another bent Muslim politician??”, and Labour parliamentary candidate John Clarke.

Zahawi says in a statement:

“The ludicrous allegation that I, while a Member of Parliament, had firstly betrayed all of my deepest held moral principles, and secondly had somehow managed to avoid international security services, and the law, to personally trade oil with Daesh was of course completely untrue…

In my role as a member the Foreign Affairs Committee, I have often spoken out against the malign influence Iran has so often chosen to exercise in international affairs. It was of particular note that the libellous article was published on the exact same day that I had publicly criticised Iran in Parliament.

I hope that this libel judgment can draw a line under this episode and deter outlets such as Press TV, and by extension states such as Iran, from attempting this sort of attack on anyone again.”

Jeremy Corbyn no longer the MP who will have received the most cash from the Iranian state. Slightly different circumstances though. 

Buzzfeed Go to Court to Demand Journalist Reveals Communications With Sources

Buzzfeed has gone to court in the US to attempt to force the editor of British media trade website Press Gazette to reveal his journalistic sources. A motion filed by Buzzfeed in a New York court seeks to compel Press Gazette’s editor, Dominic Ponsford, to provide material in relation to this article he published in April 2015, a report about a Buzzfeed investigation doing in one of its rivals. Buzzfeed’s court application seeks to force Ponsford to reveal:

  • The research and production of the the 24 April Press Gazette report
  • Communications prior and post publication of the article between Press Gazette and the alleged source

Ponsford says:

“Why is Buzzfeed interested in my emails and any other documents I may hold? As a journalistic organisation does it not understand the dangerous ethical territory it is entering here?”

Remarkable behaviour for a news organisation employing journalists. What are Buzzfeed thinking?

Jolyon Maugham v Danny Finkelstein

Twitter’s most irritating lawyer Jolyon Maugham outdid himself on pomposity this morning during a spat with the Times‘ genial Danny Finkelstein. Jolyon began by sending Fink a link to his blog claiming the UK can still revoke Article 50 and Remain in the EU. When Danny pointed out the weakness of his argument, Jolyon responded with a level of arrogant sneering impressive even by his standards of hubris.

Non or very junior lawyers think as you do. That the law is an intellectual creature existing only in the abstract… you are not a lawyer.” 

Eeesh.

The even-tempered Fink calmly won the day, tweeting:

“He argues in an intolerable way and I can’t stick it for long. I end up thinking life is too short to be talked to like that. So  I go away but always come back later because he has arguments you need to grasp and consider. Only then he does it again and off I go. It’s quite dispiriting because it is so unnecessary.”

Even by the stuffed-shirt standards of the English Bar Jolyon is an über-arse. Danny speaks for everyone – including judges and fellow barristers – who has had the misfortune of engaging with Jolyon on Twitter or in court…

Taxpayer Billed £100 Million After Government Breached EU Procurement Rules

The taxpayer has been hit with a £100 million bill after the government breached EU procurement rules over a contract to decommission nuclear power plants. Business Secretary Greg Clark today confirmed the compensation will be paid to American companies Energy Solutions and Bechtel after the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority awarded the £6 billion contract to Cavendish Fluor Group. Energy Solutions argued the decision breached the EU’s public procurement rules as the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority did not “award the contract to the most economically advantageous tenderer”. This went against the EU’s Public Sector Directive, and therefore Energy Solutions were qualified for a remedy under the Remedies Directive. A giant cock-up by the government, but it’s EU law that has cost the taxpayer the equivalent of the salaries of 4,500 NHS nurses…

Arron Banks Sues Over Russia Claims

Arron Banks is suing Washington-based think tank the Atlantic Council, which accused him of serving as a “key pro-Russian actor in the UK”. He’s unhappy with their report “The Kremlin’s Trojans”, which describes Banks and Leave.EU / Grassroots Out as having links with “pro-Russian figures”, namely UKIP and George Galloway. Banks says the report accuses him of being a “Russian agent” who is “clandestinely working for Russia”. Guido has had a quick read – the bit specifically about Banks doesn’t seem to make those claims, though the introduction does talk about “Trojan horses” working for the Kremlin. Banks is also suing 3 British MPs though his spinner says he cannot name them for legal reasons. Remember Banks himself wound the rumours up by claiming a “KGB man” took him to the Russian Embassy. Expect they will settle quickly…

Vaz Sets Carter Ruck on Andrew Pierce

Keith Vaz is very unhappy with the Daily Mail’s Andrew Pierce over an article published last week in which Pierce reported Vaz had paid rent boys for their services. Vaz has instructed £500-an-hour Carter Ruck to insist he has “never had ‘sex’ with any ‘rent boys'”.

We have been contacted by Carter-Ruck on behalf of Keith Vaz in connection with an article in the Daily Mail dated 8 February 2017, pages 6 and 7, headed “How the king of the freebies splashes your cash” and on Mail Online headed “Chauffeur-driven cars, taxpayer-funded suits and hospitality at the tennis and Arsenal matches: How the king of freebies John Bercow splashes your cash”

Carter-Ruck say their client has never ‘paid rent boys for sex’ and never had ‘sex’ with any ‘rent boys’. They also say there was never a Police investigation in relation to this.

Vaz told the rent boys in the Sunday Mirror sting “Try and pick up some poppers” and asked “How will this work, do you want me to f*** him first or all together”. Reportedly talking about an encounter with another escort, Vaz said “He was OK. He forgot the condom though. I had to f*** him without a condom”. Yet “Carter-Ruck say their client has never ‘paid rent boys for sex’ and never had ‘sex’ with any ‘rent boys'”. What about Jim the washing machine salesman?

UKIP MEP Ordered to Pay £160,000 to Rotherham MPs

UKIP MEP Jane Collins has been ordered to pay over £160,000 to the three Rotherham Labour MPs she libelled about the town’s child abuse scandal. The MPs had wanted £150,000 each, though a court today ruled Collins must may £54,000 to Kevin Barron, John Healey and Sarah Champion. Collins will also have to pay significant costs. A very expensive party conference speech.

How Shami Supported Shiner

The downfall of disgraced tank chasing lawyer Phil Shiner is particularly awkward for one hard-left Labour comrade. Shiner is close friends with Shami Chakrabarti, the pair collaborated extensively when she was director at Liberty.

In 2007 Shami and Shiner worked together on cases of Iraqi abuse allegations, telling the media that abuse by British troops was not a case of a “few bad apples” but “systemic”.

In 2008 Shami lavished praise on Shiner:

“His relentless work on behalf of the families of British soldiers and Iraqi civilians demonstrates the even-handedness of human rights.”

In 2011, at the conclusion of the Baha Mousa inquiry, Shami said that Shiner and his team of lawyers had

“brought honour to their profession”

Shami’s support for Shiner continued well after the allegations against him came to light. In 2015 Shami suggested Shiner was the victim of a witch hunt by the government:

“I know the dangers of governments threatening human rights lawyers for their work. It happens in dark parts of the world and is not good for the rule of law.”

Shiner has now admitted encouraging vexatious claims against British troops and been found guilty of five counts of dishonesty, and has been struck off the roll. “Brought honour to his profession” according to the Shadow Attorney General…

Tory MP Wins Defamation Case Against Press TV

Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi has won his defamation case against Press TV, the fake news channel affiliated to the Iranian state broadcaster. Zahawi is of Kurdish background and was born in Iraq, before coming to the UK when he was a young boy. In July 2015 it implied he facilitated the trade of oil between ISIL and the State of Israel. The story was picked up and repeated by left-wingers on social media.

The Iranian broadcaster did not defend the libel action. The High Court in London will rule on damages and costs at a later hearing. Nadhim Zahawi says:

“The ludicrous allegation that I, while a Member of Parliament, had firstly betrayed all of my deepest held moral principles, and secondly had somehow managed to avoid international security services, and the law, to personally trade oil with ISIL was seemingly unbelievable. The accusation was clearly calculated to be as damaging as possible to someone from my background.

Despite having no basis in anything close to reality, except for my having been born in Iraq, rumours spread like wildfire on social media and clearly some people believed them. In my role as a member the Foreign Affairs Committee, I have often spoken out against the malign influence Iran has so often chosen to exercise in international affairs. But it was extremely upsetting, worrying and unexpected to have been targeted by a foreign government in this way.”

Zahawi’s lawyers had to serve the writ on the Iranian regime in Tehran. Press TV’s operation in London is claiming it has no funds to pay what will likely be 7-figure costs and damages. So Nadhim may end up bankrupting them or getting payment from the Iranian regime. Strange that Press TV always  had enough money to pay Corbyn, Ken and Galloway’s fees…

Bawdy Brexit Judges’ Supreme Court Smut

A rude moment over at the Supreme Court as Lord Mance cannot resist a “withdrawal” pun. Filth.

Brooks Newmark Still Trying To Hide Shame

brooks-newmark-carter-ruck

This morning Guido got a notice from Google at the behest of Carter Ruck telling us they were going to take the links to Newmark’s selfies out of the Google search index. This is counter-productive because it just gives Guido an excuse to put the images up again and back into the Google search index.

Brooks Newmark

What is the point after being splashed all over the Sunday front pages week after week? If you want to see the futility of Newmark wasting his money on Carter-Ruck look at this list of sites hosting the images. Brooks, we know you read Guido, please Google “Streisand effect” and save your money.

Legal Luvvies Forget Achievement of Notable Female Tory Barrister

thatcher-missing

A Law Society backed initiative called ‘The First 100 Years’  has published a timeline celebrating the achievements of women connected to the law profession. Certainly a noble project, or so you might think. Former solicitor Nicola Sturgeon is a deserved inclusion, Baroness Scotland makes the cut and so does Shami Chakrabarti, though for some reason they neglect to mention her more recent work. Curiously there is a gap between 1977 and 1980. The lefty legal establishment must have forgotten the achievement of a certain female Tory barrister in that time…

H/T Law Gazette

Mad Professor Wants to Prosecute Vote Leave Boss

mad-professor

Professor bob Watt, an expert in electoral law from the University of Buckingham, has made a complaint about “undue influence” to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Under electoral law “undue influence” includes the use of “a fraudulent device or contrivance” to “impede or prevent or intend to impede or prevent the free exercise of the franchise”. The eccentric Professor “bob” – he insists on the lower case ‘b’ –  claims there were “instances where the leave campaigns continued to make assertions of fact that were knowingly misleading”. In particular the famous £350 million claim.

He says his “primary aim in seeking prosecution is to try to restore some integrity to our democratic processes.” Good luck with that…

This is beyond quixotic, Vote Leave CEO Matthew Ellliott will simply explain that £350 million is equivalent to the gross weekly payment, not the net weekly payment once the rebate and other transfers are taken into account. Therefore the headline figure is true before those qualifications. Any reasonable person examining the claim – which was widely contested – would understand how the figure was arrived at. In the debates Michael Gove and others conceded that the net figure was less.

Professor “bob” has had success before – he was one of the people behind the election petition against Lutfur Rahman cronies. In that case there was out and out political corruption. Are we seriously expecting judges to rule on the phrasing of political slogans?

UPDATE:

High Court Rules Parliament WILL Vote on Article 50

rcj

No news as yet as to if the government will appeal. Ironically this presents a big problem for Corbyn. Many on his backbenches will vote against triggering Article 50. Against the will of the voters…

UPDATE: Read the full ruling here.

UPDATE II: Government statement:

“The Government is disappointed by the Court’s judgment. The country voted to leave the European Union in a referendum approved by Act of Parliament. And the Government is determined to respect the result of the referendum. We will appeal this judgment.”

Remain Oaf’s Pompous Brexit Whinge

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-16-11-18

On Sunday Theresa May warned that city law firms seeking to block Brexit through the courts are “not standing up for democracy, they’re trying to subvert it”. The original letter sent around Europhile lawyers was pompous enough. But check this out from Edwin Coe LLP, who are representing hairdresser Deir Santos in his sad attempt to JR Article 50:

“Mr Santos is asserting his constitutional right to challenge the authority of the Government to exercise a right to serve the Article 50 notice.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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