With his mop of blond hair, clownish features, booming voice and ability to draw a crowd, Boris Johnson makes an ideal circus master.
And this week he has been encouraging defamed oligarchs and their divorce-hunting spouses to roll up, roll up and bring their high-net-worth public spectacles to the UK courts.
This is a welcome message for litigators, as the Government’s Defamation Bill is aimed at ensuring non-UK claimants seek action in this jurisdiction only if appropriate, thus limiting the trend for forum shopping for the best potential payout.
Boris made his comments at the CBI’s annual conference – an audience that Prime Minister David Cameron chose as a litmus test for his ‘war footing’ speech on overhauling the judicial review system to boost the economy.
In what is becoming a familiar pattern between the two Tories, the PM’s proposals were met with far greater disdain, particularly among lawyers, who claimed he had ‘missed the point’ in talking about clogged-up courts.
Poor PM. His mates Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson were also back in the news this week too, with litigators from Kingsley Napley and DLA Piper accompanying them as they faced charges over phone hacking.
Elsewhere in litigation this week:
- Get some boundary dispute advice with your bottle of lukewarm Pinot Grigio with Local Law’s plans to market legal services in corner shops
- Yes, we’ve used that picture of the bearded Santa look-a-like Rangers FC fan again, but we make no apologies for it. Read about the significant tax win for Pump Court Tax Chambers and HBJ Gateley against HMRC
- And, here’s a case about a journalist being extorted – and we’re not talking about poorly paid hacks: a claim against London Evening Standard is thrown out by High Court