Book Guild Publishing, £8.99
The best lawyers are dispassionate even when responding to their clients’ needs for support and empathy. That makes it easier to give legal advice which clients do not want to receive. Professional writers, on the other hand, are often able to identify completely with the characters they create.
Michael Simmons’ book shows he has accomplished the transition from being a highly regarded solicitor – he was the senior partner of a mid-sized firm and chairman of the IBA Law Firm Management Committee – to develop into a confident author who holds the reader’s attention. Simmons does so by writing in the first person when expressing the thoughts of the sex-obsessed identical twin women lawyers whose lives, loves and careers are at the centre of his book.
As the story develops, the differences between academics and those who practise law, between the City law firms and small suburban practices, and specialised solicitors and general practitioners are all described in a way that is informative, amusing and close to home.
The non-legal aspects of the story are complex conspiracies cooked up by Russians of unimaginable wealth. Initially, those elements struck me as far-fetched. Then I started thinking of Alexander Litvinenko and the Skripals.
One of the twins is said to be a leading family lawyer; I concluded that the twists and turns of her involvement in the divorce of an ultra-rich Russian couple were entirely plausible.
If you want to explore the impact of sex and a Russian conspiracy on a solicitor’s career, read this book.
Ronnie Fox is a partner at City firm Fox & Partners