Monday, 10 June 2013

Harry Mount versus Jerry Hayes and the Rest of the World

Right. There was a big kerfuffle in the British legal community last week (June 3 - June 9 2013). Why? Because an ex-pupil barrister, Bullingdon Club member and current Spectator columnist, Harry Mount wrote a piece in said magazine entitled, 'Chris Grayling is right to reform legal aid', published June 8 2013.

(Above right is Jerry Hayes, a former MP and now practicising barrister. On the above right is ex-pupil barrister and Spectator columnist, Harry Mount.)

Read Harry Mount's piece in full here. His essay is basically the hurling of 1000 words or so at the legal trade. Good old fashioned mudslinging. Saying that legal is the last bastion and last unreformed profession, doing his best to suggest in all but expression, that the legal industry is one giant racket. Made for humorous reading but raised my eyebrows and also those of a great many more.

Including Simon Myerson QC who leaped onto the out of control wagon and was first to put down his opinion in the Spectator comment section. He asked also if the Spectator would publish a full rebuttal; though this was more rhetorical because he also said that they wouldn't. And so he went over to Legal Cheek to do his business in throwing a few digs for the anti-cuts cause.

Read the 9 point Harry Mount rebuttal brought to the table by Simon Myerson QC on Legal Cheek here.

Simon Myerson QC also penned a comprehensive overview of the cuts for the Voices section of the Independent, 'Six reasons the cuts to legal aid will ruin our justice system' published June 8 2013. In this essay Simon Myerson QC also took a shot at Tory MP and former barrister Bob Neil, another voice on the pro-legal aid cuts camp.

Hear Bob Neil slog it out with former Court of Appeal judge, Sir Anthony Hooper in an argument for and against legal aid here. Read more on Sir Anthony Hooper's concerns here.

David Pannick also added his two cents to the debate:

Any way, despite Simon Myerson's conjectures that the Spectator wouldn't publish a full rebuttal, they did. Enter Jerry Hayes (@jerryhayes1) and his smackdown against Harry Mount in an essay entitled, 'Harry Mount is wrong: Chris Grayling's legal aid reforms will damage justice', published June 9 2013.

Generally Jerry's response was received with a resounding round of applause:

Mark Nayler in the New Statesman also put together a rebuttal against the Harry Mount piece entitled, 'Harry Mount's attack on barristers is shot through with personal loathing', published June 10.      

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