Legal Business

Disputes perspectives: Jolyon Maugham QC

Disputes perspectives: Jolyon Maugham QC

One of the things about being a barrister is that you’re independently-minded, which means all the big Remain campaigns find me a mixed blessing. People’s Vote are trying to draw me in, so they said if I wrote something they’ll get it in one of the broadsheets tomorrow.

I am independently-minded but I do like to play nice with others where possible. So I stayed up until about 10pm putting something together. It’s going in The Independent.

Legal Business

Devereux Chambers barrister raises £10,000 in crowdfunder to challenge Brexit article notice

Devereux Chambers barrister raises £10,000 in crowdfunder to challenge Brexit article notice

A high-profile barrister has launched a publicly-funded campaign with human rights firm Bindmans to consider a public law case on the result of the EU referendum.

Jolyon Maugham QC of Devereux Chambers set up the campaign on Crowdjustice.co.uk, raising its target of £10,000 in 12 hours from more than 400 backers.

The money raised will be used to take advice from public and human rights partner John Halford of Bindmans, who will instruct a team of constitutional law barristers.

The campaign questions the premise of the EU referendum held last week: that the vote would be ‘advisory’ to the government. Maugham’s campaign asks who is being advised by the referendum, the prime minister, the government, or parliament.

Maugham (pictured) told Legal Business: ‘The narrow point that we are taking is that parliament enacted an advisory referendum. It could have enacted a referendum that had the effect of triggering article 50 but it didn’t. So who is to take that advice from the voters?

‘If parliament had intended the result of the referendum to be binding it could have done so. But it did not intend that.’

Maugham said the group would confirm a lead counsel by the end of today (30 June) and aimed to send a letter to the government to discover its position next week.

Maugham said if parliament votes on the referendum result MPs would have to consider a number of additional factors, such as the quality of the campaign that Leave fought and the impact of exiting on the UK.

The campaign limited individual donations to £100, but Maugham said he was not surprised they had hit the £10,000 target so quickly, adding there was ‘profound concern’ over the referendum.

Questions have been raised over parliament’s role in leaving the EU, having joined the group after passing the European Communities Act in 1972. Senior lawyers have said the result of the referendum poses a threat to Parliamentary sovereignty, as the vast majority of MPs supported the Remain campaign.

Pump Court Chambers barrister Matthew Scott wrote earlier this week: ‘Referendums have a legitimate place where popular endorsement is sought for a decision that parliament has made. They are far more problematic when they are used as a tool to force parliament to do something that it would not otherwise do.’

Writing in the Times today (30 June) Blackstone Chambers QC David Pannick said triggering the article is a decision for parliament.

‘Whether parliament would enact legislation to allow for an article 50 withdrawal is a matter for it. However without such legislation the prime minister cannot legally give a notification.’

matthew.field@legalease.co.uk

Read more on Brexit in:

‘The Brexit effect: Law Society urges government to delay plans to separate from SRA after EU vote’

‘Brexit fallout: US firms feel the pressure in London but A&O and Freshfields commit to New York pay increases’

‘LB’s Brexit take: City law’s globalisation playbook has just been shredded’

Legal Business

The panel that refreshes: Ashurst, RPC and Devereux take spots on Coke’s national roster

The panel that refreshes: Ashurst, RPC and Devereux take spots on Coke’s national roster

Ashurst and RPC are among a quartet of firms that have won places on Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE)’s UK legal panel, with the drinks company also selecting Devereux Chambers as its preferred barristers’ set ahead of a review of its internal legal function.

CCE vice president for legal Paul van Reesch said after conducting a ‘deep review’ of its external counsel, Ashurst, RPC, Lewis Silkin and Shoosmiths have been allocated spots, following a competitive tender process between an estimated 35 law firms.

Van Reesch, who predicts CCE’s legal budget, ranging between £500,000 and £1m, will reduce by 10% over the next year, said: ‘We wanted a strong offering in three or four key areas. We tried to get a sense of how firms are thinking about our industry and the business, as well as the best fees they could offer, without it being a race to the bottom.’

Notably van Reesch also awarded commercial set Devereux Chambers a spot as its preferred legal provider at the Bar, after inviting several sets to tender, in a bid ‘to drive value through direct access to the Bar’. The drinks brand also recently finalised its three-year plan for the legal function in Europe in October, in an exercise led by van Reesch.

Part of that plan will see van Reesch conduct a strategic review of its legal function in a bid to bring its team closer to the business. He also plans to scope ‘how best to take advantage of technology changes in the marketplace’ as well as the potential for legal process outsourcing to allow the team to focus on more complex matters.

Commencement of the strategic review has been delayed by CCE’s $31bn proposed merger in September to create the world’s largest independent bottler for the soft-drink maker in what will be one of the region’s largest ever consumer products deals.

sarah.downey@legalease.co.uk

For an in-depth interview with Coke’s vice president for legal Paul van Reesch, subscribers can read this month’s Client Profile here

Legal Business

The panel that refreshes: Ashurst, RPC and Devereux take spots on Coke’s national roster

The panel that refreshes: Ashurst, RPC and Devereux take spots on Coke’s national roster

Ashurst and RPC are among a quartet of firms that have won places on Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE)’s UK legal panel, with the drinks company also selecting Devereux Chambers as its preferred barristers’ set ahead of a review of its internal legal function.

CCE vice president for legal, Paul van Reesch, said after conducting a ‘deep review’ of its external counsel, Ashurst, RPC, Lewis Silkin and Shoosmiths have been allocated spots, following a competitive tender process between an estimated 35 law firms.