A Lancashire solicitor-advocate was ticked off in court last week for ‘dressing like something out of Harry Potter’.
Judge David Wynn Morgan at Cardiff Crown Court was not impressed by the appearance of Alan Blacker, who sported ribbons and medals on his gown during a trial. Morgan told Blacker, who styles himself Lord Harley: ‘If you want to look like something out of Harry Potter you can forget coming to this court ever again. I have been practising in these courts since 1978 and I have never seen a barrister or solicitor appear before these courts wearing a medal or with badges sewn on to his gown.’
And he wasn’t finished, adding: ‘If you ever appear before this court again dressed as you are I shall exercise my right to decline to hear you.’
Blacker was displeased with His Honour’s appraisal of his fashion sense and suggested he had been criticised in part because he was from Rochdale, but also because of the ‘snobbish, hateful attitude that some barristers and judges have towards my branch of the profession’. Blacker, who told the Gazette he is ‘a Lancashire lad’ with no ‘pretence about titles’, bears the full name Dr The Right Honourable The Lord Harley of Counsel of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem. He explained he has an hereditary title. His LinkedIn profile boasts numerous other titles and an eclectic range of interests, from steam locomotives to giraffes and bugs. Testimonials describe him as the ‘Mozart of the courtroom’, and ‘almost a national treasure’.
Perhaps the judge picked the wrong advocate to mess with.