Bunhill: Counting the costs of counsel

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The Independent Online
NEWS of a nice little row in the legal fraternity reaches me. At issue is the question of fees charged by Robert Venables QC, a leading tax barrister, for advising Nazmu Virani (shown at right), the former Control Securities boss.

Letters are flying back and forth between Venables, Garstangs, Virani's solicitors, and the Solicitors Complaints Bureau, which is adjudicating. In his submission, Venables claims his hourly rate of pounds 750 is not excessive.

'It also reflects the rate the market is prepared to pay me,' he says. 'While my clerk does not usually charge me out by the hour as such, an exception was made in 1992 in the case of a large project for a certain government which was happy to agree pounds 750 an hour.'

Memo to learned counsel: Virani is not a government. Further memo: Lend us a quid.

(Photograph omitted)

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