Aitken keeps his books after all

As you may be aware this firm represents Jonathan Aitken. In the edition of The Lawyer dated 13 September 1999 you identified that it had been a good week for him as he had been granted Emergency Legal Aid in respect of his battle to stop the sale of his private letters.

I am writing to let you know that the hearing concerning that matter took place on 9 and 10 September 1999 and also encompassed the issue of the sale of his book collection.

On the morning of 9 September 1999, the parties agreed that the Trustee in Bankruptcy could sell Mr Aitken's most valuable books and an agreement has been reached as to what those books should be. This has allowed Mr Aitken to retain the vast majority of his books, and accordingly, no finding was required on this point, although Mr Justice Rattee indicated without any submissions having been made, that he felt the books would be considered to be tools of the trade. A compromise was reached in order to avoid both parties incurring unnecessary costs.

As to the sale of the private letters, Mr Aitken was entirely successful in this battle and is not only delighted but relieved with this result. When he telephoned after the hearing, he also mentioned that he thought this would be a milestone for all bankrupts and not just for himself.

The legal team from this firm was headed by senior partner, Michael Coleman, who oversaw the day-to-day conduct of this matter, which was handled by myself. I recieved a great deal of assistance from many colleagues.

Rashelle Preston, senior assistant solicitor, Harkavys Solicitors.