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Legal Minds

22 January 2016 / by / in ,

TV in the bath

2016 it set to be a depressing time of civil litigation.

Lord Thomas, the Lord Chief Justice, has highlighted that the morale of Judges is low, with an increasing tendency for High Court judges to take early retirement. The UK’s justice system, Lord Thomas warns, is “unaffordable to most”. However, this does not stop lawyers from being innovative in their billing practices.

Many years ago, Mr Justice Walton remarked that a professional does not cease working when they take their umbrella from the stand at the end of a working day, acknowledging that some of his best ideas came to him when he was watching TV or taking a bath. This resulted in a surveyor commenting that “solicitors are now trying to charge clients for watching TV in the bath.”

A less lenient approach was recently taken by the Tennessee Supreme Court which suspended Ms Yarboro Sallee from practising law for a year after she billed clients for the time she spent watching true crime TV shows as ‘research’. This comes as a major disappointment to those solicitors who were intending to pass on to their clients the cost of their time spent watching ‘Making a Murderer’ or the box set of ‘Suits‘ on Netflix.

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John specialises in commercial and civil fraud litigation. Admitted as a solicitor in 1983, John worked in private practice and in-house for a leading life assurance company before establishing Bivonas with Antony Brown in 1997. John has extensive experience in a wide range of courts and tribunals including the UK Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the Divisional Court. He has been involved in a number of important reported cases.