PLUS: Gloster on resigning
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The Times
Thursday November 28 2019
The Brief
Jonathan Ames
By Jonathan Ames
Good morning.

Thousands of asylum seekers could bring claims for millions of pounds of compensation after the Supreme Court ruled that the Home Office had detained five unlawfully.

Indeed, the country’s top court was busy yesterday, and in a second ruling it said that a Royal Mail whistleblower was unfairly dismissed. Elsewhere, there has been a rise in cross-border probes to fight tax evasion; and a big name white-collar crime firm in London has recruited a heavyweight prosecutor — see the Churn column for details.

And in our Blue Bag diary we hear that the former Lady Justice Gloster resigned after failing to be appointed to the Supreme Court bench.

All that and more in this morning's must-read of all things legal, including news, comment and gossip.

Catherine Baksi, a freelance journalist, contributed to today’s bulletin.

Ex-Met boss blasts officer’s prosecution
Climate protesters could sue police after charges dropped
Comment: Fighting dirty in a digital space
In today’s Times Law
Tweet us @timeslaw with your views.
Story of the Day
Home Office illegally held asylum seekers
The Home Office unlawfully imprisoned five asylum seekers, the Supreme Court has ruled in a judgment that could lead to thousands of compensation claims costing millions of pounds. Judges upheld a ruling that Britain did not have adequate measures to ­determine whether asylum seekers were at risk of absconding. Lord ­Kitchin said that if damages could not be agreed with the Home Office the figure should be set by the county court.
Read the full story >
Fighting dirty in a digital space
Political parties must work together to regulate online campaigns and keep the debate honest, write Joanna Conway and Alex Woolgar

Jeremy Corbyn predicted that this election campaign would be “harder and dirtier” than ever. He might be right.

The Conservative Party changed its Twitter account name to Factcheck UK during the leaders’ debate and registered to host the Tories’ critique of the rival plan. Meanwhile, the campaign group Led By Donkeys registered and offered to sell it for £1 million.

Political advertising rules do not prevent these online shenanigans. Since 1999 the Advertising Standards Authority has not regulated advertisements that are intended to influence voters. But the world has changed since 1999.
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News round-up
Ex-Met boss blasts officer’s prosecution
Senior police figures have condemned Scotland Yard over its decision to press for the prosecution of a highly decorated black female officer. The former Metropolitan Police commissioner Lord Blair of Boughton criticised police and prosecutors for bringing Novlett Robyn Williams before the Old Bailey on a charge of possessing indecent images of children.
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Climate protesters could sue police after charges dropped
More than 100 Extinction Rebellion supporters could sue the police for unlawful arrest after all charges were dropped. The climate change activists were arrested after Scotland Yard issued a controversial London-wide protest ban that a court later ruled to be unlawful. Officials confirmed yesterday that they had dropped the prosecution of “approximately 105” individuals arrested in October during the group’s so-called October Rebellion.
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Royal Mail whistleblower ‘unfairly dismissed’
A Royal Mail employee was unfairly dismissed for raising concerns over alleged regulatory breaches even though the person who sacked her was unaware of the whistleblowing attempts, the Supreme Court has ruled. Employment lawyers welcomed the clarification of the law yesterday in a case that has ricocheted through the courts for several years.
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Boost in cross-border probes to fight tax evasion
Cross-border efforts to tackle tax evasion have led to a jump in the number of requests for help made to British investigators by foreign prosecutors. Requests made to the Home Office from other countries have risen by 44 per cent, from 103 in 2017 to 148 last year, according to figures from Thomson Reuters in response to a Freedom of Information request.
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In Brief
  • £4M recovered, £3M to go in Ince & Co wind-up – Legal Week
  • Calls for root-and-branch review of ‘out-of-date’ legal aid system – Belfast Telegraph
Also in today’s Times Law
Note to new PM: here’s how to revitalise the property market
Reducing stamp duty and building more affordable homes would bring benefits to the wider economy, Helen Marsh writes

Whoever the prime minister turns out to be next month will not be short of issues claiming their attention — and somewhere in the in-tray will be the problem of how to revitalise the property market.
Read the full story >
Tweet of the day
Never, ever, ever read a brief immediately after filing it. It's as if the typo that was hidden before is now highlighted in yellow with big flashing arrows pointing to it.
Harry Dunn's parents should start a private prosecution
If an arrest warrant was issued it would be astonishing if President Trump did not extradite the American suspect linked to the teenager's death, Nick Freeman writes

Justice has so far eluded the devastated parents of Harry Dunn. Anne Sacoolas, the wife of the US intelligence officer who allegedly caused the crash that killed their 19-year-old son, has fled the country claiming diplomatic immunity. And it was revealed recently that the Foreign Office would be obliged to seek costs from Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn should they bring a judicial review over ministers’ handling of the case.
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Blue Bag
I didn’t retire, I resigned, says ex-Lady Justice Gloster
Dame Elizabeth Gloster has had an extraordinary legal career since she was called to the bar in 1971.

She established a stellar commercial and chancery practice and took silk in 1989, aged 39, becoming the fortieth woman QC. In 2004, the third time she was offered a post, she took up an appointment as a High Court judge, becoming the first woman to be appointed judge in the commercial court and then the first woman to lead it.

In 2013 she was moved up to the Court of Appeal, becoming vice-president of the civil division in 2016. Last year she stepped down from the court a year before the mandatory judicial retirement age.

The notices announcing her departure billed it as a retirement but this week, at an event as part of the celebrations of the centenary of the legislation that lifted the ban on women becoming lawyers in the UK, Dame Elizabeth put the record straight. “I didn’t retire; I resigned,” she told an audience at the Bristol office of the City law firm Simmons & Simmons — after she was turned down for a post on the Supreme Court. The reason given was that she did not have enough years left to serve before she would have to retire.

The Supreme Court’s undoubted loss is the world of international arbitration’s gain. The former judge has returned to her former chambers at One Essex Court where she has been appointed chairwoman and co-chairwoman in a wide range of international arbitrations.

In a video interview for the First 100 Years project, the redoubtable Dame Elizabeth explained her love of English and Latin. The fact that she was “faintly argumentative and difficult” meant a career in law was the obvious choice.

While she got off on a sartorially good start, attending her pupillage interview in “very fashionable, high, thigh-length PVC white boots”, it took her three years and four pupillages before she acquired tenancy. One set refused to take her “because the wives of members of chambers wouldn’t like it” in case their husband’s made passes at her, which they did, or she seduced them, which she didn’t.

The serious side of the evening in Bristol was broken up with entertaining anecdotes — one concerning Dame Elizabeth’s briefcase containing her case papers and diet powder that was blown up by the bomb squad because of a ticking noise that turned out to be coming from a cassette dictating machine.

She ended the evening by advising the law students present to go to the Bar and resist the “marshmallow and Martini” parties offered by law firms to lure them to the other side of the profession.
The Churn
Kingsley Napley recruits prosecution heavy weight
Kingsley Napley, the white-collar crime specialist practice in London, has recruited Alison Riley from the Crown Prosecution Service. Ms Riley will join its international crime team in a legal counsel role in January.

She will move from the state body’s international justice and organised crime division, where she has spent 29 years dealing with European arrest warrant matters and complex extradition cases involving Russia and the United States.

Elsewhere, another crime-fighting government body is losing a senior figure to private practice. Ben Denison, chief technology officer at the Serious Fraud Office, will join the City law firm RPC in January.

He has been appointed director of information technology, a post held on an interim basis by Craig Hawthorne, who leads the insurance team at the firm’s RPC Consulting division. Mr Denison has worked for the SFO for five years, where he overhauled the agency's IT systems, policies and infrastructure.
Quote mark
Quote of the day
You’d never go to any other form of entertainment and expect these types of things to take place.
Darren Bailey, a lawyer at London firm Charles Russell Speechlys and a former director of governance and regulation at the Football Association, speaking to Times Law about racism in sport
Read the full story >
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