Reviewed by: Gregory Treverton-Jones QC
Author: Kenneth Hamer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 978-0-19-965613-4
Price: £95

Every now and again a book comes along which causes busy practitioners to offer up a silent prayer of thanks. Kenneth Hamer’s Professional Conduct Casebook falls into precisely that category. There are precious few books which deal with professional conduct across the various disciplines. There are excellent books dealing with medical practitioners, lawyers and financiers as discrete professionals. But, until Hamer’s book, there has been very little other than Harris that has tried to cover all of the ground.

And what a lot of ground there is. Hamer has assembled around 1,000 cases under 69 chapter headings which run alphabetically from Absence of the Practitioner to Vulnerable Witnesses. Each chapter contains a brief summary of the relevant legal framework, followed by a summary of the leading cases on the topic.

It is all very user-friendly, with copious cross-references to ensure the reader is always pointed in the right direction. And so if a practitioner has a case in which the professional respondent in the disciplinary proceedings has accused the tribunal of bias, walked out in protest, and now wishes to appeal, he or she will look at chapter 6, Bias, chapter 1 Absence of the Practitioner, and chapter 4 Appeals, and will find summaries of all of the leading cases in those chapters.

One of the drawbacks of the internet age is that often there is too much information available, rather than too little. Internet searches can produce pages of results on a bewildering and ultimately counterproductive scale. The joy of Hamer’s book is that one can focus on precisely what one needs to find out. It is right up to date, and in my own specialist field (regulatory issues concerning solicitors), he has identified and summarised all of the leading cases. I have no doubt the book will rapidly become indispensable to those who practise in this field.

Gregory Treverton-Jones QC, a barrister at 39 Essex Street, is co-author of The Solicitor’s Handbook