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Hi I’m Kate Hudson and I am a lawyer – a barrister. Most people I meet claim to be fascinated by the law and many tell me of their dream to have become a barrister. Most people then, as now, seem to think that barristers are far more intelligent than solicitors. Whilst it would be in my interests to promote that misunderstanding, I have to come clean and say that that is not so. I used to explain that solicitors were a bit like GP’s as being the first port of call for problems: if you had a legal problem, you would go to your solicitor and most of the time, like GPs with medical problems, they would be able to sort it out for you. They would deal with your conveyancing and wills and other everyday problems. If the problem required a more specialist approach, then the barrister, like a medical consultant would be called in. If the matter had to go to court, although solicitors could represent clients in the magistrates’ court, they had no rights of audience i.e. could not appear in higher courts, that was the territory of the barristers, so a barrister would be instructed. Also, there may be times when the legal issue was complex and even though it wasn’t necessarily going to court a barrister would be instructed to advise on the law.
I could never say the law isn’t interesting. Almost every day there is a story in the news that is based on legal issues, whether it’s a criminal case or some other type of dispute. The story is reported specifically because it is interesting. I thought it may be useful to just look at some of those stories, particularly those that may have a relevance to all of our lives. I do have to make it clear that I’m not going to be offering any specific advice, and I certainly won’t be advising anyone on an individual basis; instead by drawing your attention to those issues that may be relevant to your own lives or the lives of those close to you, it will, I hope, alert you to potential problems so that you can decide if you need to take further action. I hope it will be fun and informative.
Many people regard the law as something that doesn’t really affect them. They may have a curiosity about some of the more salacious cases in the press, but otherwise, they don’t see it as of any real relevance to their everyday lives. I’m sure that there will be some...