Some Wins On The Road

Some recent cases of note in the last month include the following:

  1. Representing a young man accused of drug driving. He was charged with driving whilst unfit but no Field Impairment Test had been carried out and a urine as opposed to blood sample was taken. I represented him and with the assistance of an expert witness he was acquitted of the offence. He was awarded Defence Costs.
  2. An appeal in the Crown Court for a man who had been banned for six months by magistrates. I had the ban reduced to 28 days and was able to suspend the ban pending the appeal.
  3. Another appeal to the Crown Court for a client who had been convicted of not responding to a section 172 notice of impended prosecution at the magistrates by a District Judge. I was able to persuade the Crown Court that the presumption of postal service had been rebutted. The very large fine, points and costs were all annulled. He was awarded Defence Costs.
  4. Representing a man who had demolished whilst drink driving a  fence and a lamp post whilst considerably over the drink drive limit and limiting his ban to the absolute minimum in law allowed – twelve months – through my sensible mitigation.
  5. Concluding a large mortgage fraud case with the client being sentenced after an indication by the Judge to a suspended sentence.
  6. Sending representations to the police in relation to an elderly lady and a collision which saw the matter dropped and the client able to continue to drive.
  7. Advising a driver on a judicial review in relation to a potential breach of natural justice argument following an appeal for a motoring matter.
  8. Representing in the civil courts a client whose deposit was not protected by the landlord. I was able to make an application under the Housing Act 2004. The client, after the case had been rumbling on for five years and the landlord had ignored part 36 offers galore, received her deposit back (£2400) plus £7200 in further penal damages (three times the deposit). In total judgement in this case was nearly £17000 for not protecting a £2400 deposit. As my father says “cheap is dear”.
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An Excellent Blog Post By The Barrister David Osborne On Direct Access And Why Coming Straight To A Barrister Is A Good Thing

This a briliant blog post from the barrister David Osborne on Direct Access. View his blog on http://www.david-osborne.com/blog/

 

September 9th, 2015

Until comparatively recently, barristers and solicitors were two distinct but interrelated disciplines in the provision of legal services.  In summary, solicitors were compared to general practitioners offering advice across the board in a variety of disciplines, depending on their size and the expertise of their partners and associates.  Barristers were compared to consultants who gave specialist advice and, when necessary, representation in court.

It all seemed to work well enough, but the legal profession as a whole has always been distrusted as a fat cat’s club where outrageous fees come first and the interests of the client a distant second.  It is strange but true that the two Prime Ministers who did the most damage to the Bar as a referral profession were both barristers, and I refer to Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.

The major blow to the Bar as a referral profession came with the enactment of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, which gave solicitors equal rights of audience in every court, whereas previously they had honed their adversarial skills in the Magistrates’ Courts. The problem as many saw it was the complete absence of advocacy teaching in the solicitors’ training, and even though those aspiring to the higher courts rights had to pass a proficiency test, it was a poor substitute to the advocacy training undertaken by barristers.  Despite the best endeavours of solicitors to offer a ‘cradle to grave’ legal service, astute clients still prefer the expertise of a barrister.

However, with this change, there were many at the Bar who complained that they were not competing on a level playing field.  The tradition that barristers only accept instructions from solicitors enabled solicitors to cherry pick and keep the best work for themselves, regardless of expertise, and farm out the dross to the Bar.  The tail was well and truly wagging the dog.

And so it was that about ten years’ ago, direct access was born.  It started slowly and tentatively, with just a handful of barristers like myself offering our services direct to the public, but it has now snowballed, and at the last count, over 5000 are now accredited.

Direct access, also known as public access, allows the lay client to come direct to a barrister without having to go first to a solicitor.  This has an appreciable saving in legal fees, and as we barristers would say, the lay client gets the best possible representation.  It doesn’t work in every case, in particular the more complex cases where two heads are better than one, but in the more straightforward cases, which comprise over 80% of all cases, direct access works well.

Only time will tell if this is the first step on the slippery slope to a fused profession, similar to most other legal disciplines, where barristers and solicitors become lawyers or attorneys, but for the time being, direct access is benefiting the lay client, and that must be a good thing.

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I Have Just Won The Acquisition International UK Road Transportation Law Award 2015

I have just been awarded the Acquisition International UK Road Transportation Law Award 2015 in recognition of this niche area that I am well known in. Do contact me by phone or email to see if I can assist you with a problem in this field. I work directly with the public and can help you.

 

Best for Road Transportation Law – UK

 

 

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Remember How Traffic Miscarriages Of Justice In The Magistrates Can Be Remedied At The Crown Court

I am often surprised and, frankly, sometimes dismayed by perfectly good arguments being rejected by magistrates who then go on to ban drivers for substantial periods of time. This demonstrates the importance of our system of appeals – just remember to lodge the appeal as soon as possible after taking good legal advice from me. In one recent case a client from Surrey who required his car for work had an unfair six month ban reduced to two months on appeal at the Crown Court. Here is a testimonial from him:

Julian has been of invaluable help in dealing with my recent case.

I have been driving for work for over 45 years without any problems but over the last 18 months accumulated 12 points – bringing me up in front of the Magistrates’ Courts as a “Totter.”
The first thing that Julian did was get my case put back a couple of months which was extremely helpful. He then worked with me to prepare my plea of “exceptional hardship” in that I absolutely needed my car five days a week for business. His extensive knowledge of the Crime and Road Traffic Law was decisive in getting what would have been a six months’ ban . I highly recommend Julian Hunt.

Mistakes and errors are made. They can be remedied. They need not be fatal.

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Saving A Motorist From A Six Month Ban

This is a testimonial from a client in a long running case. A win is a win is a win!

 

Having had to employ the services of an au pair for the first time I was pretty shocked when the car I allowed her to drive acquired 3 lots of speeding fines in a 6 week period, I was not happy but dealt with the matter returning the forms with details of the au pair but as I was at the time dealing with all sorts of personal difficulties I did not deal with it in a timely manner and this had consequence.

I did not hear anything for several months but arrived home one Friday evening and found court papers in my post for what appeared to be multiple driving offences all naming myself, sick with worry I trawled the internet and found Julian Hunt a Barrister whose area of speciality is driving offences, having viewed the paperwork he informed me there was one driving offence where the police said they had not received details of the other driver potential 3 point and 3 lots of “late return of paperwork” which is I now know counted as withholding information and the potential for each one of these was 6 points all in all a potential staggering 21 points!!! On the basis I had 3 points live and 3 that had just dropped off I could have 24 points double that at which you lose your license.

Having gone through the paperwork Julian found evidence the police had received the paperwork nominating my au pair for all three offences and the first thing he was able to do was to get the one driving offence dropped – 3 points saved!

The next thing Julian was able to do having gone through all my circumstance at the time (I was living in two properties as my home had flooded) he managed to negotiate with the police to condense the 3 “late paperwork” offences down to one – 12 points saved!

We then went to court with an agreement for 6 points only but as at the time of the offence I had 6 points this still was a potential ban situation, Julian however went through with me before hand what my circumstance was, how reliant I was on my license and car for a living and for looking after my dependants and he helped me put together my defence or plea to keep my license – it was a daunting experience but briefed well and backed up by Julian I got through it and so pleased to say I was given the 6 points but the ban was waived and I am still driving.

I cannot thank or recommend Julian enough it was an awful experience and I never realised that I was putting myself at so much risk not dealing with things in a timely manner but Julian Hunt took me through it step by step and is in my view an absolute life saver!

LSQ, Company Director

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I Have Just Appeared On The Victoria Derbyshire Show On BBC TV To Discuss Road Traffic Law And Cycling

I have just appeared with Boris Johnson’s Cycling Commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, and the head of a Cycling Charity to discuss Road Safety Justice and Cycling Law. You can watch the discussion here – go to 1 hour 29 minutes 26 seconds  –

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b06jt5ds/victoria-derbyshire-26102015

It is worth watching the pre-recorded video beforehand and the views of all those involved in prosecuting those who injure cyclists.

 

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Another Testimonial After Another Road Traffic Win

Here’s another recent testimonial from a happy road traffic client who was at risk of a six month ban:

 

“Finally, thanks so much for your comprehensive and excellent support throughout this case ; it was both very reassuring and always pragmatic and clear – and most important of course , we got a result !

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Another Exceptional Hardship Win

A lovely recent testimonial:

‘By rights I should have lost my licence as I had totted 16 points on my licence, I had what I thought was a valid “exceptional hardship” argument for keeping my licence and Julian expertly guided me through what I needed to do to build my case and was a hugely reassuring presence representing me on the day. In the even the helped to convince the magistrate not to suspend my licence. He was also good company and good fun.’ DT, London

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More Section 172 Cases

I am representing more and more individuals charged with section 172 cases. Indeed, an article was published in The Times this weekend about the police use of this section to ensure that a motorist is liable for six penalty points as opposed to three. Contact me if you have received a summons for a section 172 offence.

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Section 172 acquittal on appeal

I have had another acquittal in a section 172 case when a client of mine was unfairly and unjustly convicted at the magistrates’ court with the case won on appeal and a costs order made. The client had a sophisticated and properly made out system for checking mail when away. Through no fault of his the system had failed. The Crown Court agreed with my submissions and acquitted him of the offence. The client avoided an unjust conviction, costs, six penalty points and a huge insurance premium hike. Ring me to see how I can assist you in cases like this. Come direct to a barrister saving fees and seeing the expert without the need for a solicitor to get involved.

Posted in Julian R Hunt