Silk Episode 3


‘Clerking is about playing the long game,’ was Billy’s comment to Jake as they ambled up Middle Temple Lane. I think that’s something most barrister’s clerks would agree with. Spotting the young barrister who is going to be successful, is one of the skills most clerks would pride themselves on. The problem with that approach as I suspect Jake may find out is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as the clerks give the best work to the one they have identified as a winner and so he becomes one. It’s one of the reasons so many women become the second choice of solicitors, they are the second choice of the clerks.

I am sure the scenes are shot in and around the Temple and at the Old Bailey. They certainly looked like the real thing to me.Temple Church

The trial for murder of a severely disabled young women by her mother handled a difficult issue well and the speeches and cross examination were closer to the real thing than some episodes. The child witnesses were shown being interviewed by the barristers and then that slipped into the courtroom, so that the viewer saw the end of the evidence as if they were in court. The usual procedure is for the a prosecution witness, whether a child or some other vulnerable person to be interviewed by a trained police officer before the trial begins. The video is part of the Crown’s case and has to be disclosed to the defence  as part of the prosecution case. It is unlikely his father would be present as there would be a fear that his presence might affect what the child might say – a real risk in this case as the witness might be saying what he thought his father, a committed Catholic and therefore against suicide, would want to hear. Of course as Television it worked perfectly. Cross examining a child is never easy and this was shown by  Martha beginning as most barristers would be introducing herself and then she keeping the questions low key. Did you notice the judge and barristers had taken their wigs off – again as it happens in real life.

We have the contest for head of chambers in the next episode – should be interesting!

About scribblingadvocate

Born in Lancashire, Law degree from Sheffield University and MA in Creative Writing from Exeter. A barrister for twenty five years, who appeared in the Crown Courts in and around London. When I retired we moved to live in Devon, first on Dartmoor, more recently overlooking the Exe Estuary. After twenty years I still feel an exile from London. Married, no children but own an affable Springer Spaniel. I love reading, walking and travel. I completed an MA in Creative Writing at Exeter University and have written three books, Crucial Evidence, Reluctant Consent and Legal Privilege, all set in London. You can email me

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