Purnell: 'no chance' of disciplinary rap

Archer silk confident after Potts evidence snub over Peppiatt credit

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
A crime and commercial crime expert at Michael Lawson's 23 Essex Street, Purnell was chair of the Criminal Bar Association in 1990-1991. Before taking silk in 1985, he was a junior Treasury counsel.

Stephen Pollard
Kingsley Napley criminal law specialist Pollard advised Lord Archer's former secretary Angela Peppiatt. Pollard has extensive experience representing clients in the fields of serious fraud and white collar crime, usually acting for the defendant.

Nick Atkins
Lovells has been instructed by Express Newspapers to sue Lord Archer for more than £2m. Partners Jennifer McDermott and Atkins and senior assistant David Attfield will lead the team in the civil proceedings. Lovells also acted for The Daily Star in the 1987 libel trial.

Justin Walford
Walford is legal adviser at Express Newspapers, The Daily Star owner. He has instructed Lovells to serve a writ for £2.13m against Lord Archer. Walford was a junior member of The Daily Express in-house legal team during the 1987 libel trial.

Roy Amlot QC
Representing Ted Francis in the Lord Archer case took Amlot away from his responsibilities as chairman of the Bar Council of England and Wales. Since taking silk in 1989 he has appeared in the Blue Arrow, Barlow Clowes and Brent Walker cases.

David Waters QC
Waters is a major prosecutor of criminal cases who was given silk just two years ago after 16 years as a junior. Previous major cases include prosecuting Jonathan Aitken and Colin Stagg.

Tony Morton-Hooper
Mishcon de Reya litigation partner Hooper led the team advising Lord Archer on his criminal defence in the Old Bailey trial. Hooper is experienced in shipping and insurance litigation and is also an expert in sports law. Mishcon de Reya also advised Archer in the 1987 libel trial against The Daily Star newspaper.

Tom Crone
After the 1987 libel trial, the News of the World was also forced to pay Archer damages over stories in the newspaper. Crone is the legal manager at News International, publisher of News of the World. As Archer gained the damages as a result of perverting the course of justice, News International is planning to sue Archer for £500,000.