Guildhall QC bolsters Vickery defence

Guildhall Chambers silk Richard Smith QC has managed to get England rugby captain Phil Vickery a lenient punishment after his trip on USA centre Paul Emerick.

The International Rugby Board (IRB) disciplinary panel banned Vickery for two matches for the trip.

The full sanction could have been as much as four weeks, but judicial officer Professor Lorne Crerar said mitigating factors had reduced the sentence.

He cited Vickery’s admission of guilt and previous good behaviour. Smith was also counsel to the English rugby team during its victorious Rugby World Cup campaign four years ago in Australia.

Meanwhile, fellow chambers member Chris Quinlan has been appointed by the IRB as a disciplinary panel judicial officer.

Quinlan will oversee disciplinary proceedings for cases that do not involve the England rugby team.

His first act has been to ban Portuguese international Juan Severino Somoza for four weeks for headbutting Scotland player Nathan Hines.

The foul play happened in the match between Scotland and Portugal on 9 September.