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Vol 23 No 6 June/July 2018

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Summing It Up: Memoirs of an Irishman at Law in England

ISBN13: 9780947686673
ISBN: 0947686673
Published: April 1991
Publisher: Round Hall Press
Country of Publication: Ireland
Format: Hardback
Price: Out of print

Out of Print

Sir James Comyn's memoirs begin in the Ireland of the twenties and thirties and move to England where he had a varied career as a junior counsel and QC before becoming a High Court judge.

Educated at the Oratory, he spent six months at the Irish Times under the larger-than-life R.M. Smyllie, who breathed a sigh of relief at his going. From there he went on to Oxford (where he was elected president of the Oxford Union-beating Roy Jenkins, by four votes). During the War he did a stint in the Empire Service of the BBC before becoming the pupil of E.H. (later Lord) Pearce.

There is something quite Rumpolesque about his accounts of the cases he was involved in; he has a novelist's ear for dialogue and manages to re-create the world of chambers, perjury, Rude Judges, eccentric solicitors, innocent 'criminals' and colourful libel actions (he acted for Private Eye, for Alfie Hines, for Lord Lucan, for Will Owen, a Labour MP accused of spying ... ).

From his experience as a barrister, chairman of the Bar Council, High Court judge, pioneer of the 'Far Eastern Circuit', he has countless stories to tell and he tells them with wit and humanity in a book which will be relished by both the general reader and members of the legal profession.

James Comyn is a lawyer, farmer and author. He was President of the Oxford Union, Chairman of the Bar Council of England and Wales, and a High Court judge in England. He divides his time between England and Ireland. His wife Anne is a solicitor and they have two children, Rory and Kate. He has written two bestsellers - Their Friends at Court and Irish at Law.