I didn’t make too much of an issue of it but I entered my blog for the Orwell Prize for Blogging earlier this year.
A few days ago the results for the longlists were announced. I have just had a look and suffice it to say I am not happy.
The concern isn’t personal. I am not bothered in the slightest that I have not got an award for my writing. My interest is wholly professional.
My blog writes about law. UK Human Rights Blog and Head of Legal have been known to do the same on occasion as well. Unlike them, I don’t write this blog out of the goodness of my heart or a general passion about the law but a calculated effort to raise my profile and rake in business. When I become a fully fledged barrister I intend to use this blog as a way of obtaining instructions from solicitors.
This then becomes deadly serious when you realise that one of the Orwell Prize judges is David Allen Green, a solicitor and partner at a prestigious law firm. The implication of the selection of their blogs over mine is obvious: Wagner and Gardner are worthy of receiving instructions and business, but I am not. This is in no way an accurate reflection of ability and experience. There is an implied assertion that my skills as a lawyer are simply not good enough to merit attention. This is a serious allegation against my professional ability and conduct.
I am taking this accusation extremely seriously and have instructed Carter-Ruck to represent me in this matter. I consider the decision to be highly defamatory. I am asking for substantial damages, but my attitude to the same will be determined by the nature of their response to the pre-action correspondence I have also sent.
UPDATE: A lot of people on Twitter are referring me to Arkell v Pressdram (unrep). So many as to suggest the Intended Defendant has orchestrated a further defamatory campaign. I have done my research: the case isn’t on Westlaw, and it’s therefore not authority for anything.
UPDATE 2: April Fools.