No5 barristers ready to rumble in memory of former chambers head

Ten barristers from No5 Chambers are to trade blows with each other and a number of private practice solicitors in a bout to honour the memory of former chambers head Ralph Lewis QC.

Ralph Lewis QC
Ralph Lewis QC

Lewis, who had cancer, died in July 2010. The Ralph Lewis QC Memorial Cup will see the barristers take on 10 other professionals, including solicitors from Irwin Mitchell and HBJ GateleyWareing, in the 8 July fight night. All proceeds from the event, which will be hed at the Burlington Hotel in Birmingham, will go to the Marie Curie Cancer Trust.

One person who has volunteered to hang up his suit in favour of shorts and boxing gloves is criminal defence barrister Earl Pinnock. Although he boxed in his youth, the barrister admits that he was put off the sport after sustaining injuries as a 17-year-old and watching his semi-professional boxer brother.

Pinnock said all those taking part in the Ralph Lewis QC Memorial Cup were viewing the event with both “trepidation and excitement”.

“Barristers are highly competitive in their day jobs, and as competitive beings they’re all training very hard and keenly focused on the fight,” he added. “The bar is the ultimate adversarial profession, competing in the ultimate adversarial sport. 

“I’m not confident, but I’m not worried. On the basis of what I’ve seen of my opponent, I think it’s a 50/50 contest. He does have a very strong right hand, but as long as I dance around it, I should be okay. A broken nose or broken finger doesn’t worry me, as long as my brains are in tack, that’s all that matters.”

The white collar boxing event was devised by No5 barrister Brian Dean and practice director Tony McDaid.

McDaid explained that Lewis was a promising boxer while at Oxford University. His friends and colleagues at No5 decided a charity boxing event would therefore be a fitting memorial.

He said: “Ralph’s death was a shock to all of us. He was 54-year-old man who’d everything to live for. The group of chambers and legal profession generally is the poorer for his absence.”

Tickets for the event have sold out, with 320 people attending. The set hopes to raise between £15,000 and £20,000.