Sumption's Supreme Court elevation delayed by oligarch case

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  • let's hope he is more successful than Torres

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  • Assuming the above is accurate (ie Sumption is to be appointed to the SC, but is insisting on delaying the appointment actually taking effect so that he has the chance to cream off a stupendously large brief fee - and refreshers too, of course), this is a disgraceful state of affairs. Mr Sumption either wants to be a judge or he does not. If he does, then he should be expected to front up in May when Lawrence Collins retires and the vacancy arises. Why should the Supreme Court be short-handed for nine months for his convenience and financial benefit?

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  • I agree with "Anonymous @ 2:26". If this story is true then it is a complete disgrace that the deep pockets of Mr Abromovich dictate when appointments are made to the highest court in the land.

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  • Anonymous@3:26
    I have little time for Abramovich, but I doubt this situation (assuming it exists) is his fault. Judging by his absence from the earlier, very heavily constested interlocutory hearings in these proceedings (when Andrew Popplewell QC was leading), it appears as if Sumption may be a comparative latecomer to the case. I doubt this is a case of Abramovich throwing toys from metaphorical prams. Even if it were, Sumption would be entitled to say, six months out from a trial: sorry, mate, I cannot do your trial because I am becoming a judge, you'll have to find someone else. This would not breach the cab rank rule or any other provision of the Bar Code of Conduct. The ball is squarely in Sumption's court (so to speak). If the original story is correct, what we have here is Sumption choosing to try and delay his appointment so that he can receive a massive fee while leaving the Supreme Court short for nine months. That is way out of order and it is astonishing that, assuming the story is correct, the Court appears to have acquiesced.

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  • There is an interesting piece by Joshua Rozenberg on this, in Standpoint Magazine:

    http://standpointmag.co.uk/node/3847

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  • Rule 610(c) of the Bar Code of Conduct folks.

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  • Eh thicks

    If you think rule 610(c) applies here, then no barrister is likely to be able to accept a full-time judicial appointment without breaching it. The clerk of every barrister who is going to the bench ends up having to ring up solicitors to tell them Mr or Miss X is no longer available in Y months time. It happens all the time and no breach of rule 610(c) arises.

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  • Given that Sumption doesn't tend to lose very often and the merits of B's case are such that it has already been subjected to a couple of (albeit unsuccessful) strike outs, I'm not sure I'd fancy being on Addleshaw's CFA very much - unless the uplift/discount was pretty minimal. If it is a full CFA, there must be some very nervous partners at AG...

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  • If the story is true, then surely there is a risk of inadvertent bias on the part of the trial judge, or at least a perception that there will be? Sumption may well be alive to that. But even if he is, I can think of ten million reasons why he doesn't care right now!!

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  • I am viewing this from Australia, but this should not be allowed.

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