Reviewed by: David R Pickup
Author: Nick Frreeman
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
ISBN: 978-1444734065
Price: £20

Nick ‘Mr Loophole’ Freeman has attracted a lot of attention. Getting rich people off serious traffic matters has made him famous. He is a lawyer who most commonly appears in the press and other media. He does not shy away from media attention but who would, if given the chance?

I enjoyed this book immensely and recommend it to anyone, not just criminal lawyers. It is in fact about how law ought to be practised and not really about loopholes. It is about putting the prosecution to proof and making sure the police do their job. We practise the law; we do not make the rules or write the legislation. It is exciting and dramatic; the lawyer labouring over statutes, rule books and manuals for speed cameras, and finding the legal point that will save the day.

The book has been ghostwritten and sometimes this shows in the style. The best parts are presumably written by Freeman when he explains the law. It is his persistence and attitude I admire. Although he claims, no doubt with reason, to be an expert in the law, it is his expertise at reading people which he uses to devastating effect in cross-examination. His approach is to get the prosecution papers first before he gets detailed instruction, and he goes through those with a microscope. Many clients he does not meet until after the hearing for a congratulatory handshake.

He makes it sound easy. There is little about failures, but he is frank about the criticisms, which seem to sting him more than one might think. I am not sure who the book is for. Is it for the general public interested in celebrities whose names he drops on each page? Or is it for the curious who want to know how he is successful? Both, probably.

David Pickup is a partner at Aylesbury-based Pickup & Scott