Nicholas Purnell QC, who defended Lord Archer in the recent Old Bailey trial, has quashed speculation that he may be subject to Bar Council scrutiny over his conduct.
His approach to London Recorder Michael Hyam QC in an unlisted hearing, rather than to Mr Justice Potts, to get permission to obtain credit card statements belonging to Archer's former secretary, Angela Peppiatt, caused controversy. Purnell reportedly claimed that Potts was unavailable. According to one
trial source, Potts was having lunch. However, Purnell told The Lawyer on Friday (20 July): “I asked Potts at the end of the proceedings whether there'd be anything else on the matter. He said no.”
David Corker, a criminal fraud lawyer and an expert on disclosure, said: “I imagine Purnell was afraid that if he went to Potts for the evidence it would leak to the prosecution. His motivation was to guarantee secrecy. I applaud his ingenuity in persuading Hyam to obtain the documents for him.”
|Key players in the Archer trial|
| Henri Brandman
Ted Francis, who provided Archer with a false alibi in 1987, was advised by sole criminal practitioner Brandman. He was instructed on a recommendation by the News of The World. He also advised Gary Glitter in 1999.
Nicholas Purnell QC
Roy Amlot QC
David Waters QC