Framed By The Frogs
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 LET THE PUNISHMENT FIT THE CRIME (BUT WHICH CRIME WOULD THAT BE?) 

' ... if the time you'll not begrudge,
     I'll tell you how I came to be a Judge'

From 'Trial by Jury' by Gilbert & Sullivan

Ever stood in awe of the legal profession and its ability to talk and write in mumbo jumbo that defies comprehension in return for astonishing fees that defy explanation?

Well, Renault's law suit pitched me against solicitor Paul Kite of IBB Law and barrister (also Deputy District Court Judge) Andrew Bruce of Serle Court Chambers.

Head-to-head with Renault's lawyers for over a year. It felt like I was being punished before we even got to Court.

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I have 20 years' experience working in taxation, probably the most convoluted area of law in the country's entire collection of statue books.

Sadly, though, nothing in those 20 years could prepare me for dealing with solicitor Paul Kite of IBB Law and barrister Andrew Bruce of Serle Court Chambers .....

And here are some examples of why. After all, they have out-takes of bloomers on TV, so why not in a Court case? Let's see just what Renault's lawyers got up to that they would probably rather forget about.

As this extract shows, the Claim lodged with the Court is quite possibly the most boring document ever, but Renault's lawyers started their bungling right there.

Just think how many lawyers must have drafted, reviewed, revised and polished this document, after which it was then read and signed by Renault's own in-house lawyer Simon Tippet before being filed at the High Court.

Yet every one of those lawyers missed a simple mistake. Don't bother to read the whole extract - just click here to see the schoolboy error.

So, off to a great start then! But this was just a foretaste of what was to come.


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Move on to the Pre-Trial Hearings where, just as I was being annihilated by Renault's barrister Andrew Bruce, I was saved by another legal cock-up.

Renault's barrister and Deputy District Court Judge, Andrew Bruce, both shot himself in the foot and gave me a fighting chance with a few randomly chosen yet totally misplaced words. Read more ...

But no individual screw up by a lawyer can compete with what happens when they collaborate to make a mess of things.

Consider this. Your client has charged you with preparing a claim for damages.  It's one of the most straightforward concepts in law. You suffer a loss because of someone else and you sue them to recover that loss. Simple, yes?

Well, not quite. At least not for solicitor Paul Kite of IBB Law and barrister Andrew Bruce of Serle Court Chambers.

Between them they managed to fight a year long legal claim for damages and go through a six day trial without ever showing that their client had actually lost any money.

In fact, between them, Paul Kite and Andrew Bruce managed the case in such a way as to convince the Court that their client had instead actually benefitted financially from what had happened.

And that's not just my view. Read what the Trial Judge said.

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