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Lord Hope’s Diaries is the title of a series of books which covers the whole of Lord Hope’s career at the Scottish Bar and as a Judge in Edinburgh and then in London. It provides a unique and fascinating insight into a way of life in the law that has now passed into history.
This was a time when the legal profession in all its aspects was much less closely regulated than it is now. As a result Lord Hope’s career unfolded in a way that could not be repeated today, as he progressed direct from the Bar to the most senior position in the Scottish judiciary as Lord President, from there to the House of Lords as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and then to the newly established UK Supreme Court as its first Deputy President.
Senior Counsel, the first book in the series, covers the period from his taking silk in 1978 to the months before his election as Dean of the Faculty of Advocates. For the first four years David Hope served as an advocate depute.
The diary during this period describes the rough and tumble of criminal trials, but it was still possible for someone who was doing this job to vary it with other work. Much of his work was related in some way to the North Sea oil and gas industry, as was the long-running case in which he was acting for an American corporation which occupies much of the second part of this period.
The stresses and excitement of a busy practice are described throughout the book in vivid detail, as are the personalities of those before whom he appeared and with whom he worked during this stage in his career.