Anti-Brexit Lawyers Refuse to Disclose Their Names

By: Shawn Alli
Posted: September 7, 2016

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*All individuals (except one) and organizations receive 3 full days of pre-publication notice.

 

 

After the shocking Brexit vote on June 23, 2016, on July 9 UK barrister Philip Kolvin and 1053 lawyers sign a letter to the UK Parliament advising them to disregard the Brexit vote because it's only advisory. [1] [2]

 

Legally speaking, many referendums are advisory. But no democratic government (even false ones) would be stupid enough to disregard it. Yet, this is what Kolvin and his army of lawyers wants the UK parliament to do.

 

In a future article I'll get into the issue of referendums as advisory.

 

But right now I'd like to know who these 1053 lawyers are and why they've lost faith in democratic referendums. Disregarding the Brexit vote is tantamount to saying you voted the wrong way. Redo it so you vote the way we want you to vote.

 

On July 21, 2016 I begin the game with Kolvin by sending him an email:

Hello Philip, this is Shawn from Canada. I wanted to know if you could give me the names of the 1053 lawyers who've signed the Brexit letter to the UK Prime Minister dated July 9, 2016.
I'm not able to find the names online.

I will be mentioning the names in a future article about democracy and will be critical of such people.

 

He doesn't respond for awhile so I send him another email on August 8, 2016:

I'm still waiting for a reply to my initial email sent on July 21, 2016.

 

He responds the same day:

I hope you are having a great summer. Please note that I am far away from chambers, returning Wednesday 24th August and will not have access to emails until then.
If your matter is urgent, please email the clerks on clerks@cornerstonebarristers.com or call chambers on 020 7242 4986.

 

I send another email on August 30, 2016:

I'm still waiting for a reply to my initial email sent on July 21, 2016.

 

He responds on August 30, 2016:

I do not have their permission to send you their names.

 

I can understand that. I reply the same day:

Then please ask their permission. An email blast shouldn't be too difficult for a lawyer to figure out. I would do it myself but I don't have the names or email addresses.

 

He responds on the same day:

No. Please stop writing to me.

 

And that's where the conversation ends. Note, I'm not able to give Kolvin a few days of pre-publication notice about this article because he's asked me to stop writing him.

 

I reflect on my situation. Who is this guy? Who is Philip Kolvin? After a bit of internet research I find the answer. A pdf from his company website says:


"Sex licensing:

Philip acts for the industry, authorities and campaigners on sex licensing issues, before committees, magistrates’ courts and the High Court.

Industry: Philip acts for leading lap dance operators in London and the provinces. His work includes applying for licences and defending objections to renewal. He has obtained and retained lap dancing licences in many locations, including obtaining a new sex licence in the Heart of Leicester Square before the Westminster Licensing Committee, contrary to objections from the licensing authority itself, the police and environmental health authority. He also obtained a 6 a.m. alcohol licence for a lap dancing operator in Coventry Street, contrary to Westminster’s stress policy.

He acted for the sex shop industry in Soho in the important Court of Appeal case of Hemming, which established that licensing authorities could not pass third party enforcement costs to licensees and resulted in Westminster City Council repaying over £1m to the claimants. The case is now proceeding in the Supreme Court.

He has advised many local authorities on their sex licensing policies, including consultation exercises, and has appeared successfully in contested lap-dancing appeals, including against Secrets and Spearmint Rhino.

Philip also advised the Fawcett Society and Object on their successful Parliamentary campaign to tighten the law on lap-dancing, now embodied in the Policing and Crime Act 2009." [3]

 

*Note: Cornerstone Barristers takes down reference link [3] from their website a few days before the story goes up:

dead link - http://cornerstonebarristers.com/cv/index.php/?b=43&p=1051

 

Luckily, I have the pdf. [3].

 

On his website page it says:

He is an expert in:

Alcohol

Gambling

Sex

Taxis

Sport [4]

 

He's an expert in alcohol? Does that mean he knows how to hold his liquor? Can I get a second opinion from an Irish or Russian lawyer?

 

He's an expert in gambling? Does that mean he can beat anyone in the World Series of Poker? Can I get a second opinion from actor Tobey Maguire and producer/writer David Milch?

 

He's an expert in sex? Does that mean he can last longer than most men? Does that mean he knows the secrets of how to pleasure a woman for life? Can I get a second opinion from his female colleagues?

 

He's an expert in taxis? Does that mean he knows how to charge people the most amount of money for their taxi ride? Can I get a second opinion from Uber?

 

He's an expert in sports? Does that mean he's a super Olympian? Can I get a second opinion from Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps?

 

Do you realize what's going on here? A sex licensing lawyer is representing 1053 lawyers.

 

A sex licensing lawyer is blocking me from finding out the names of 1053 lawyers who believe the will of the people is only advisory.

 

This is one reason why I hold most lawyers in very low regard. Another reason is because of money. Top UK lawyers charge anywhere from £850.00/hr - £5000.00/hr. [5] [6] [7]

 

I don't understand such a lifestyle because I'm a philosopher. Most real philosophers by nature are generally poor. Philosophy professors in academia don't count because they aren't real philosophers (see Philosophy Reborn Part II: Social Humanities).

 

But these hourly rates are outrageous. A four year bachelor's degree program in the UK costs around £50K (domestic). To be a lawyer in the UK you also need a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), which costs about £6-10K. And then you need a Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), which costs around £15-20K. So the extra costs are about £30,000. An extra £30,000 doesn't necessitate charging £5000.00/hr.

 

Most skilled labor in Canada makes $30.00/hr and up. Can you imagine such workers telling their boss they need a 100 times more per hour? But this is what high powered UK lawyers actually believe. Their ego has no limit.

 

And speaking of such things, the ego of Western-European courts/justice systems also has no limit. These courts and governments create super complex laws that necessitate the use of lawyers. Sure, you can represent yourself, but if you don't understand everything about your section of law you would be an idiot for doing so. That's not accidental. That's intentional.

 

So why are these 1053 lawyers hiding behind the veil of anonymity when they are the 0.1% and most likely living a life of luxury? Because they believe that different rules apply to them. They deserve their privacy while the masses get 24 hr/365 day government surveillance.

 

I understand anonymity and power relations, but lawyers hiding behind anonymity are scum.

 

But maybe I'm missing something here. Perhaps my perception of the world is just too far apart from reality. Perhaps I just don't understand transparency, law, and democracy. So I ask a few organizations for their opinion in a request for comment:

 

1. UK barrister Philip Kolvin has refused to disclose the names of the other 1053 lawyers who've signed the July 9, 2016 letter to the UK parliament to disregard the Brexit vote as legally binding. Do you believe that these 1053 lawyers should be publicly named in the spirit of transparency, law, and democracy?

 

Sadly, the results are dismal:

UK Solicitors Regulation Authority

Thank you for your email of 2 September 2016.
We would not be in a position to comment on the actions of a barrister.
You may wish to contact the Bar Standards Board to seek further guidance. The contact details are:
Telephone: 020 7611 1444
Website: www.barstandardsboard.org.uk
If you have any further queries please Contact us.

 

And so I contact the Bar Standards Board.

 

UK Bar Standards Board

Thank you for contacting the BSB. As this is not a regulatory matter, we are unable to comment on the question you have raised. Sorry about that!

 

UK Legal Services Board

They don't respond.


American Constitution Society

They don't respond.


American Bar Association

Thank you for your inquiry. I am not an spokesman for the ABA, so please don't quote me by name or on as not-for-attribution basis. But for your information the ABA does not have policy on this matter. Good luck with your blog post.

 

Law Society of Upper Canada

They don't respond.


Federation of Law Societies of Canada

They don't respond.


Canadian Bar Association

They don't respond.


Canadian Association of Legal Ethics

They don't respond.

 

Aside from the ones that don't bother to respond, the others are saying we only protect lawyers. We don't give a f*ck about the public. Excellent. This just confirms the lack of ethics and transparency of legal regulatory agencies.

 

In the end, I'm no closer to getting the names of the other 1053 lawyers. Elite social status wins the day. Transparency and democracy bites the dust.

 

References:

 

[1] Brexit letter. July 9, 2016.

[2] In full: The letter from 1,000 lawyers to David Cameron over EU Referendum. Independent. July 10, 2016.

[3] Philip Kolvin QC. Cornerstone Barristers.

[4] Philip Kolvin QC: Leading Licensing Lawyer. Cornerstone Barristers.

[5] Doughty, Steve. Britain's top lawyers charge staggering £5,000 per hour. Daily Mail. August 20, 2006.

[6] Owen, Jonathan. Justice costs: Fury as lawyers' fees top £850 an hour. Independent. November 26, 2013.

[7] Chellel, Kit. Top London Lawyers Now Cost More Than £1,000 Per Hour. Bloomberg. February 4, 2016.