Seven barristers at the independent Bar are elected members of the Corporation of London. I’m one of them. I represent the ward of Farringdon Without, which includes my chambers, the rest of Inner Temple, most of Middle Temple, a small part of Lincoln’s
Inn and Smithfield Market.
Early morning starts at home with finalising draft grounds for High Court judicial review proceedings challenging a power station development consent order granted by the Secretary of State. Then on to the Guildhall for the Hampstead Heath Committee.
The agenda includes the increased numbers of summer bathers, the unfortunate death of a swimmer, along with single sex pools and transgender swimmers. We also give consent for the reintroduction of sheep grazing on the Heath.
Lunch is at the Central Criminal Court. Owned by the City which also runs the ‘back of house’. Two Sheriffs, one a serving Alderman and the other usually an elected Liveryman, reside there for their year office. They entertain the Old Bailey
judges each day to a (non-alcoholic) lunch. Other guests can range from the Chairman of the Bank of England to families of the victims of violent crime.
Today, I’m duty Alderman representing the Lord Mayor, and we have Abe Bailey scholars from South Africa as guests. Identified as potential leaders in their country they are particularly fascinated about our jury system, trial by jury having been
finally abolished in South Africa in 1969.
A short walk back to chambers for a consultation with a local authority served with judicial review proceedings from a disgruntled landowner over the council’s road traffic improvement scheme which the landowner says interferes with his access rights
and is ultra vires. Then a telecon for a local authority in Northern Ireland which owns an airport and has placed a ‘lien’ on an aircraft for unpaid fuel costs.
Finally, climbing into Aldermanic fancy dress of tights and breaches, I dash to the Mansion House for the Lord Mayor’s annual dinner for the diplomatic corps resident in London. Time for international relations. I’m seated between the Ambassador
for North Korea and the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain (the Pope’s man in London).