Is the Pen Mightier than the Sponsored Walk?

3 words and an image

Can create a personalised poem for you

Can create a Moroccan dream for him

But absolutely no chance of making a  poet out of me!

For the curious and/or generous:

We all face different challenges. I’m really proud that Tadhg had the courage to go for it and sing on stage with Bruce Springsteen at Wembley (story). That was certainly out of his comfort zone but two years on he has a new challenge. He has recently been given a fantastic opportunity to go to Morocco with scouts, which will be a big challenge for him and hopefully a great adventure. But his immediate challenge is to raise £1800!

He watches and listens and has decided to challenge himself to write personalised poems (not inspired by my recent number plate Staple Story!) for anyone who’d like to support him.

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Staple Story 

Staple Stories

I don’t like personalised number plates so why do I have…?

I’m not a petrol head and when our Saab (not a proper one!) sprang yet another problem, we had to accept that at 143K+ miles it had reached the end of its road.

Then yet again I had the rigmarole of having to transfer my personalised number plate to our Japanese replacement. Why? It was and remains my brother’s fault!  Michael F****** Collins that middle initial – after our dad Frank or the reaction he sometimes sparks in people?!

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s9(1) & s9(4) Deputy High Court Judge Competitions 2019

***** 15 January 2019 *****

The s9(4) competition launches 15/01/19 with a deadline for applications of 13:00 on 05/02/19. There are up to 20 vacancies. Same as s9(1) (for those who already sit) candidates will initially be short-listed using a “paper sift” – however, unlike most other JAC competitions the new simplified three High Court skills and abilities will be used. You will have to evidence your in a <1500 word Statement of Suitability : 1. Legal and judicial skills; 2. Personal qualities 3. Working.  Whereas the s9(1) candidates had to evidence them in <400 words for each one. This s9(4) seems like a move back to how competitions were run many years ago.

s9(4) candidates will require two assessors (referees in old parlance) and also have the additional hurdle of a telephone assessment in early May.

Below you can see how these Deputy High Court Judge competitions have evolved over recent years together with links to some videos and advice you may find helpful. If you can’t find what you are looking for or have any questions please >

T: 07969997335 or E: [email protected]

***** 20 November 2018 *****

35 candidates sought as judges of the High Court s9(1) > launches 27/11 deadline 18/12.

“Shortlisting will be by paper sift, based on the evidence provided in the statements of suitability, as provided by both the candidate and their leadership judge.” 


You can see from this blog how these competitions have evolved over the recent years, but essentially the core elements are the same. You should find all you need to know about this competition and some tips about how to become a Deputy High Court Judge. If you are unsure about anything please do contact me and I’ll point you in the right direction

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Can You Hear Me?

Many who know me will recognise one of my favourite quotes “Use your ears and mouth in the ratio God gave them to you!”  And know how often I transpose that ratio – sorry!

But my ears pricked up when I heard Peter Lumley talk about ting – which I felt I just had to share. Apparently “ting” is the Chinese word for “to listen” so let me try and explain the four elements and how it is such a rich and challenging description. The symbol (shown) is in effect four elements: An ear, 10 eyes, a heart and a king.

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10 suggestions for improving the judicial appointments process

Anyone interested in sitting part-time or full-time needs to understand how the JAC’s selection process is evolving. It has changed significantly over the past 6 months with the introduction of  new competency frameworks, on-line applications and multiple-choice qualifying tests for some competitions.

Based on my experience of working with scores of candidates across most of these recent competitions – can I suggest the following:

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Looking for Answers?

I’m a great believer that our ability to ask questions is much more valuable than to be able to give answers. Often the solutions are easy but it takes time and sometimes courage to ask questions. The curious people I have been meeting have some recurring questions that they ask. So in attempt to answer them I’ve written some articles and produced a couple of short videos which I hope may scratch an itch or two…

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Paul Gaugin's Two Girls 


Pay Me My Money Down!

If we offer a service, how do we price our time?  The title of this blog is taken from a song where ship captains used to try and skip port without paying the dock workers and/or crew. You can listen to a version here: Pay Me My Money Down.


Ewan Davis devoted an edition of The Bottom Line on BBC Radio 4 to the challenge of pricing for professional services – The Price of Time. His guests included a senior partner of a magic circle law firm, a global communications group executive and an on-line estate agent. They discussed their pricing models ranging from hourly rates to straight commissions and how they adjust these to meet client expectations.

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University Interviews – The Alternative 10 Top Tips

  1. 1. You cannot improve, learn or practice for an interview. You either have it or you don’t. So don’t waste your valuable time looking for any help or advice.


  1. 2. “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach; and those who can’t teach offer careers advice” – don’t listen to them! There is no point in talking to your family, friends or students from the university because things move on and they’re not you so what could they possibly offer?

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