It is quite strange to find that our firm is now the last traditional high street practice in Stamford.

It seems that old-fashioned personal service and direct contact with fully-qualified staff is an economic model that makes less sense than it did.

Regulatory pressures mean that the costs of running a small law firm are higher and higher all the time but if you have a legal problem we will be pleased to sit down with you and help you determine what actions need to be taken to resolve it.  We are proud to present a human face and a broad-ranging and highly skilled set of expert lawyers who speak your language and still enjoy being of service to you.

If we can help - just call us.

In Lisbon they have old trams in daily use - some dating from the 1930s.  

IMG 20191024 104334This one has just passed the frontage of the Se Cathedral - the trams are electric and the oldest single car ones travel the most challenging routes around the city up and down the steepest hills and around the tightest corners - the new modern trams are confined to the flatter parts of the city.

The E28 route trams track over the hills and are popular with tourists - particularly so as the streets in the older part of the city are very steep and for those, like me, from a county with nearly half of its total area both flat and below sea level a little mechanical transport is a welcome relief from all the steps between streets.

 

Our normal opening hours are between 09:00 and 13:00 and 14:00 and 17:00 every weekday.  We can usually deal with email contacts outside these hours and often arrange to see clients outside these hours by appointment too. Do come and see us or drop us a line on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or use our contacts links if you know who you need to see.  We look forward to meeting you!


RDJ cathedral smallLook at this for a fantastic example of a wonderful modern cathedral. Utterly different from the gothic splendour of, say, Lincoln, but a very special place - and those modern stained-glass windows are just mind-blowing.

I hope to go and have a better look one day, preferably when I have two good legs to stand on and enjoy it - last time I visited this place I had a broken ankle and was hobbling on elbow crutches.

I was very lucky to get  this glimpse as the cultural police had closed off the area and I was one of the last people to be allowed to sneak through a cordon.

It was a grey and overcast day at the time so I can only imagine how the windows must look in blazing sunshine.

Let me say, before I start, this article deals with my personal views and does not represent the views of any other lawyer nor yet of my own (unashamedly brilliant) law firm, Stapleton & Son.

Winston Churchill (allegedly) said "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others".

If you have not been living under a rock (probably on a different planet) you may have noticed there is a thing going on at the moment called BREXIT*.

The government ran a referendum to refer the difficult question of whether we should "Leave" the European Union or "Remain" a member of it.  The result of this democratic process was that 16,141,241 people cast their votes to show they wanted to stay members of the EU but since 17,410,742 people voted to leave the EU all flavours of politicians have subordinated their personal views to "the will of the People".

The outcome looked like this:

The Vote

My difficulty with this form of democracy is that with such a close vote, 52% to 48% in round terms, the deciding margin was less than 1.3 million people, changing the shape of our country (all the rest simply cancel each other out).  Now 1.3 million people is a lot of people but our current population is about 66.02 million (last census figures from 2017) - and OK a lot of those people fall into categories who do not get a vote (too young, too imprisoned, too disenchanted with politics etc.) but it still seems to me to be wrong that less than 2% of the overall population is the deciding voting population that makes a change which is so fundamental and will affect the entire population of our country.

I have a few issues with politicians who stand behind the referendum vote insist on saying they are now, and must respect the "will of the people" - as a lawyer this should surely be "the will of a bare majority of the people", if for no other reason than to stay the right side of the trade descriptions act.  If 17 plus million people want to leave the EU why is that such an important and to be respected mandate, when 16 million people voted to remain?

The underlying problem, of course, is the "first past the post" interpretation of democracy.  Not "the will of the people", which implies a general will but the voice of the people - not necessarily the same thing at all. Given that the majority of centre votes for either side of a binary issue tend to cancel each other out - interestingly removing their direct democratic involvement in the outcome - the remainder tend to be from the shouty extremes, which, in my humble opinion, is not a great way to develop a strategy dictating the future of the country.

Referendums are peculiar animals. Even the definitions vary pretty widely between single issue matters being referred to an entire electorate for their opinion to a legally binding "decision of the people" - akin to a plebiscite. Whatever the process or intent the usual use of a referendum is to try and find a way forward when the "normal" political process either has, or would, stall if asked to decide the question through usual channels. For the record I am not impressed with the outcome of the last referendum - but I am not at all sure holding another one will do anything to improve matters - the simple God's honest truth is about half of us like to be European and the other half don't and our views are so strongly held and defended the country is busy tearing itself apart and I predict that whatever the outcome is - in, out  or somewhere in between roughly half of the population will be unhappy with the result - unless of course we can achieve unity again by finding a solution which leaves both sides equally dissatisfied? 

*[Which if you have missed it so far means "Brexit"]