Celebs get raw deal for wrongdoing

27 November 2014

‘Are Celebrities Above The Law?’ was the topic of debate at this year’s annual YN Lawyers Reception, held at the ME London Hotel on Tuesday 25 November.

Attracting about 200 young professionals, the debate was sponsored by Withers LLP and raised £25,000 towards the charity’s vital work with vulnerable children and families, and adults with learning disabilities.

Celebrity defence solicitor Nick ‘Mr Loophole’ Freeman was joined by economist Vicky Pryce in the debate, chaired by LBC’s Nick Ferrari. Freeman told the audience of young lawyers that there’s much more pressure to prosecute those in the public eye. Following Pryce’s arrest in 2013 for accepting points on her licence for her then-husband Government Minister Chris Huhne MP, Freeman argued that if Pryce had been an 'ordinary person', "she would have been prosecuted by a junior barrister rather than a QC".

Talking about the added pressure of going to court 'as a woman', Pryce said: "If you look drawn or not put-together, then people think you are guilty." When, at the end of the evening, an audience member asked Pryce: "Why didn't you hire Mr Loophole?" she joked: "I didn't know about him."

The lively discussion covered topics including the Pistorius trial, prison overcrowding, the length of sentences, Cliff Richard, Ched Evans and the treatment of women within the criminal justice system.

Simon Walton, Chair of the YN Lawyers Committee, said: "Once again, the event was a resounding success, with the young professional community sending a clear message that they care about charity and they care about Norwood. I would like to thank our generous debate sponsors Withers LLP, ME London, our speakers and everyone who came out in support of Norwood tonight."

Photos from the night

(NB: Photos are not for reuse on other media without clearance from Norwood's press office)