Perception was all at Leveson and it also matters in this legal eagle love story

No one is suggesting that Mr Sherborne and Ms Patry Hoskins behaved with anything other than propriety, but who is to know what happens when the wigs come off?

Share
Related Topics

When I saw the Daily Mail's breathless account of the affair between the two lawyers from the Leveson Inquiry, I have to admit that my first reaction was to be unmoved. The Mail have taken a characteristically implacable stance in opposition to Lord Justice Leveson and all his works, and I believed this to be another story, pumped up with sensation and outrage, which fed into a campaign to discredit the Inquiry.

How wrong I was. Whether, in the end, it does discredit the Inquiry is open to question, but there is no doubt that what happened in camera between David Sherborne, who represented the victims of press intrusion, and Carine Patry Hoskins, junior counsel for the Inquiry and the woman renowned for her google-eyed attentiveness to Hugh Grant, looks iffy at best, and could even be a matter for the Bar Council.

Perception is all. That was one of the issues during the Inquiry when it came to the Press Complaints Commission. Even if the quality of its work was unimpeachable, the fact that current editors served on the commission undermined its credibility, and gave the impression that its independence was compromised. Surely, a similar judgement could be applied in this matter. No one is suggesting that Mr Sherborne and Ms Patry Hoskins behaved with anything other than scrupulous attention to any potential conflict of interest, but who is to know what happens when the wigs come off?

And the perception of impropriety can only have been enhanced with the knowledge that, as soon as full time was called at the Royal Courts of Justice, they flew off together to the Greek island of Santorini, where, among the whitewashed villas and the olive groves, the lovestruck legal eagles "discussed the possibility of a future relationship".

Yes, that was what they expected us to believe was the purpose of their Hellenic mini-break. What do they take us for?  Nevertheless, let's go along with this idea. Sherborne: "I put it to you, Ms Patry Hoskins, that although you are clearly an admirer of the work of Mr Hugh Grant, you have given me enough encouragement during our long hours together in court to believe you may countenance a future relationship with me. I wonder if you would accompany me to the island of Santorini to discuss this possibility. As you probably know, Santorini is very nice this time of year, and Easyjet fly there regularly." Patry Hoskins: "I take your point, Mr Sherborne. When discussing the possibility of future relationships, I always find it better over a dish of taramasalata, with a cheeky Retsina at hand and the sound of the Mediterranean gently caressing the rocky shoreline in the background. I am hopeful that we will be able to reach agreement. Can you ensure we have speedy boarding?"

Well, you will be pleased to know that, under a moonlit sky, the love that had been suppressed over such a long time in Court 73 indeed bloomed for these fortunate souls. And the other very good news is that Lord Justice Leveson broke his silence to say that "there was simply no breach of confidence or other conspiracy" as a result of this relationship. So that's cleared it all up, then.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: how to spell BBQ and other linguistic irregularities

Guy Keleny
 

South Africa's race problem is less between black and white than between poor blacks and immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa

John Carlin
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own