Under the Wig
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Under the Wig : A Lawyer's Stories of Murder, Guilt and Innocence

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'GRIPPING' (The Times)



'FASCINATING, NO-HOLDS-BARRED' (The Secret Barrister)



How can you speak up for someone accused of a savage murder? Or sway a jury? Or get a judge to drop a case?



William Clegg QC is a leading criminal lawyer in London. In this vivid memoir, he revisits his most notorious and intriguing trials, from the acquittal of Colin Stagg to the murder of Jill Dando, to the man given life because of an earprint and the first Nazi war crimes prosecution in the UK.



All the while he lays bare the secrets of his profession, from the rivalry among barristers to the nervous moments before a verdict comes back - and how our right to a fair trial is now at risk.



Under the Wig is for anyone who wants to know the reality of a murder trial. Under the Wig is for anyone who wants to know the reality of a murder trial. It's an intelligent crime read for fans of The Secret Barrister's Stories of the Law and How It's Broken and Unnatural Causes by Dr Richard Shepherd.






Well-known cases featured:





Murder of Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon Common
Chillenden Murders (Dr Lin and Megan Russell)
Trial of Private Lee Clegg
Murder of Jill Dando
First Nazi war crimes prosecution in the UK
Murder of Joanna Yeates
Rebekah Brooks Phone Hacking Trial


William Clegg QC, is one of the most celebrated advocates at the English bar. A barrister for 47 years, he has been the go-to lawyer for complex murder and fraud cases for decades. He is head of chambers at 2 Bedford Row, one of the four leading criminal sets in London.



REVIEWS



'This is a gripping memoir from one of our country's greatest jury advocates, offering a fascinating, no-holds-barred tour behind the scenes of some of the most famous criminal cases of modern times.'



- The Secret Barrister



'Countless veteran lawyers have produced page-tuners based in the fictional world of law, but in Under the Wig William Clegg, QC, has distilled his extraordinary life in the criminal courtroom into a yarn equally as gripping.'



- The Times



'One of England's best barristers provides a fascinating sometimes hilarious combination of a personal odyssey and insider accounts of the most important and famous court cases of recent times.



'From the infamous case of Colin Stagg and the Wimbledon Murders to war crimes in Belarus and Bosnia and the Murdoch phone hacking trials we share and applaud the author's deep commitment to justice and his infectious enthusiasm for one of the world's greatest professions. An absolute must read for anyone who aspires to join it (and anyone who already has.)'



- Bob Marshall-Andrews QC



'Bill Clegg's memoir draws on some of the most high-profile criminal prosecutions of recent years to illuminate the career of a defence lawyer at the peak of his success.



'Deftly weaving personal reminiscences into the view from counsel's bench, he solves one high-profile murder case long before the police and ensures that justice is finally done in another after the tactics adopted by a better-known QC have led to a miscarriage of justice.'



'Unlike many works of this genre, Clegg's case-book eschews endless exchanges with long-forgotten judges, lawyers and villains. Like the successful jury advocate that he is, Clegg reduces his story to its essence. He speaks plainly, sparing us the the bombast and the braggadocio. And those who still aspire to join the criminal bar will learn more from Clegg than Clegg ever did from Perry Mason.'



- Joshua Rozenberg QC, Presenter BBC Law in Action



'My independent verdict is that I have never read a more accurate portrayal of our profession.'



- Nigel Pascoe QC, Counsel magazine



INTRODUCTION



How can you defend a man like that? How can I defend someone who I know is guilty? It's the question I am asked the most often. It is really a velvet glove on some finger-pointing: how can I, a decent man, speak up for a rapist or murderer? How can I put my professional skills and intellect at the disposal of someone who has committed such a terrible crime?



All advocates are asked this question, perhaps me more than most because of the nature of my career. I have defended more than 100 people accused of murder, probably more than any other lawyer practising in England. The first thing to say is that in English law to defend somebody who I know in the strict sense of the word is guilty is not allowed. If the client tells me they are guilty, I must not tell a court they are innocent.



For crimes such as fraud or drugs, a client may freely acknowledge what they have done and plead guilty, perhaps after I have pointed out the strength of the case against them and told them of the reduced sentence that greets a guilty plea. This happens often; I don t varnish the facts.



Murder, though, is different. Murder is...



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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 135 x 216 x 25mm | 423g
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1912454084
  • 9781912454082
  • 197,132

Table of contents

Introduction: How can you defend a man like that?



Case 1: The Wimbledon Common Murder



Perry Mason and the Art of Advocacy



Case 2: The Murder of Samantha Bisset



Ronnie Trott, pupil master



Case 3: The Chillenden Murders



Learning how to fight a case



Case 4: Helen Hodgson



Mutiny at 3 Hare Court



Case 5: Waking the Dead in Belarus



How to Become a QC



Case 6: Andrusha the Bastard



Defending Fraudsters



Case 7: Convicted by Earprint



Winning the Trust of a Judge



Case 8: Private Clegg and the Joyriders



How to Appeal to a Jury



Case 9: A Murder Without a Body?



21st Century Set



Case 10: War Crimes in the Balkans



Inside Chambers: Rivalry and Camaraderie



Case 11: The Murder of Jill Dando



Bribery and Corruption



Case 12: A Ghetto Shoot-out in Jamaica







Trying Times for Legal Aid



Case 13: The Murder of Joanna Yeates



Private Clients



Case 14: The Phone Hacking Trial



Afterword: A Life of Crime



Acknowledgements



Index
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Review quote

This is a gripping memoir from one of our country's greatest jury advocates, offering a fascinating, no-holds-barred tour behind the scenes of some of the most famous criminal cases of modern times. -- The Secret Barrister Bill Clegg's memoir draws on some of the most high-profile criminal prosecutions of recent years to illuminate the career of a defence lawyer at the peak of his success.



Deftly weaving personal reminiscences into the view from counsel's bench, he solves one high-profile murder case long before the police and ensures that justice is finally done in another after the tactics adopted by a better-known QC have led to a miscarriage of justice.



Unlike many works of this genre, Clegg's case-book eschews endless exchanges with long-forgotten judges, lawyers and villains. Like the successful jury advocate that he is, Clegg reduces his story to its essence. He speaks plainly, sparing us the the bombast and the braggadocio.



And those who still aspire to join the criminal bar will learn more from Clegg than Clegg ever did from Perry Mason.



- Joshua Rozenberg QC



-- Joshua Rozenberg QC One of England's best barristers provides a fascinating sometimes hilarious combination of a personal odyssey and insider accounts of the most important and famous court cases of recent times.



From the infamous case of Colin Stagg and the Wimbledon Murders to war crimes in Belarus and Bosnia and the Murdoch phone hacking trials we share and applaud the author's deep commitment to justice and his infectious enthusiasm for one of the world's greatest professions.



An absolute must read for anyone who aspires to join the legal profession - and anyone who already has.



- Bob Marshall-Andrews QC -- Bob Marshall-Andrews QC
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About William Clegg

William Clegg QC is a veteran criminal lawyer in England.



A barrister for 47 years, he has fought more than 100 murder cases, more than any other advocate currently practising in London.



As a leading murder case lawyer, he has represented clients at some of the best-known criminal trials in living memory.



His cases include:





the Wimbledon Common Murder of Rachel Nickell
the Chillenden Murders (Dr Lin and Megan Russell)
the Earprint Murder
the Murder of Jill Dando
Private Lee Clegg (Northern Ireland)
the Murder of Joanna Yeates
Nazi War Crimes in Britain
Rebekah Brooks's Phone Hacking Trial
and International War Crimes Tribunal (Yugoslavia)


He headed 2 Bedford Row in London, a leading barristers' chambers.
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Rating details

678 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 32% (219)
4 41% (281)
3 21% (145)
2 4% (25)
1 1% (8)
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