A Day in the Life of a Silk, Damian Woodward-Carlton KC
As there is no such thing as a typical day, I will simply describe today – a frosty Friday in January.
Up around seven to let the dog out, rouse slumbering teenager for school and make coffee. Only after this do I look at the phone to see if our current client has approved the written submissions we prepared on his behalf at the end of a three-week fact-finding hearing relating to head injuries in his young baby. These need to be sent in by 9am. My colleague on the case is running her children to school and as yet has heard nothing.
I plan the rest of the day over porridge – finalise submissions to one of the legal directories setting out the professional highlights of the last year; read the closing arguments from the other parties in the head-injury case to be ready to address any outstanding points raised by the judge in a remote (video-linked) oral hearing this afternoon; pay tax.
Settle down at home after breakfast to collate the details of my five most significant cases in the last year and reduce them to something acceptable to the Legal 500 – they range from a Supreme Court case considering fundamental legal principles in family law, to a High Court case which resulted in the issuing of Guidance for all professionals on the admissibility and management of intimate images in private law family cases (an increasing consequence of acrimonious private family law disputes colliding with social media).
We lodge our written submissions having heard from our client. I hold off re-reading those of the other parties until we know if there is definitely going to be a hearing. At 1pm the judge emails all parties to say that she has no need to see us and can email any queries arising over the next couple of days.
This seems like a good time to go out for an unhealthy breakfast with middle child who is on his gap year working late shifts.
Suitably fortified and in a fit of purposeful enthusiasm, I decide to cycle to the British Museum to see the Hieroglyphs exhibition, but only after cleaning up more dog vomit from our ageing pet who is proving to be more disreputable than our offspring.
Late afternoon - I glance over the summary documents for a short hearing later in the week on a case listed for two weeks later in the year with a member of chambers. Last task of the day - email my colleague in Brighton who I will be leading in a 6-week hearing starting soon on behalf of a vulnerable young person caught up in all manner of nastiness.
Finish in plenty of time to give the dog a (slow) walk and early dinner.
No work this evening. Perhaps an episode of Happy Valley…
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