Anorak News | Silky Skills

Silky Skills

by | 23rd, December 2003

‘THE late Peter Carter-Ruck, who died on Friday, was Britain’s most famous – or infamous – libel lawyer.

”If that’s justice, I’m a banana”

His aggressive approach made him the scourge of publications such as Private Eye, whose editor Ian Hislop remarked that Carter-Ruck’s name rhymed with what editors usually said when they opened a letter from the great man.

The Guardian runs an article by a former colleague, David Hooper, who describes his old partner as ”a chancer out for maximum fees” – high praise, coming from a fellow silk, and words which Carter-Ruck would doubtless have happily allowed to grace his own gravestone.

Elsewhere, Hooper observes, as many have others have done down the years, that ”one man’s defamation is another man’s restriction of freedom of speech” – a reference, presumably, to the way that Carter-Ruck’s reputation as a friend of the rich and powerful had an intimidating effect on nervous publishers.

Hooper says that he ”did for freedom of speech what the Boston Strangler did for door-to-door salesmen”.

In which case, we await with keen anticipation the Hollywood biopic and a nine-minute tribute song from Sir Mick and his Rollin’ Stones.’

Posted: 23rd, December 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink