Book review: Breaking Law: the Inside Guide to Your Legal Rights and Winning in Court or Losing Well

Author: Stephen Gold
Publisher: Bath Publishing (2016) 
Format: Paperback 517pp and e-book 
ISBN: 9780993583605

A legal textbook that is genuinely funny? You are joking. Well, not if it is written by one of the best legal communicators of my lifetime. Stephen Gold has crammed in too much as a successful solicitor, district judge and prolific author to be restrained by convention. He writes as he speaks, self-deprecating, funny, practical and wise. The result is part-biography, but mainly very shrewd consumer legal advice. It is spiced with good stories and much insight into the fear that the lay client so often has of the legal system. Lawyers may deplore that terror, but too often we do not do nearly enough to relieve it. This is a book to change all that and sets out to update itself free of charge by blog at breakinglaw.co.uk. That alone is typical of its ingenuity. Martin Lewis, the distinguished money saving expert, describes it in the foreword as an ‘emergency legal handbook’ and so it is. But many a student or practitioner would benefit from its very skilful presentation. They would learn the worth of crisp argument and avoiding what the author at one point calls ‘tommyrot’. This is how to communicate, by a master of the art. I loved it and recommend it with feeling.

Reviewer Nigel Pascoe QC, Pump Court Chambers and Counsel Editorial Board

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