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on 3 May 2011
Not being a legal bod myself I was a little unsure of what to expect of The BabyBarista Files but after reading the first in the series, Law & Disorder, I can safely say you don't need to work in the legal profession to thoroughly enjoy these tales. If you watched the BBC programme Silk and were intrigued by life in chambers but wanting the best of British humour at the same time then these are the books for you.

Book two reunites the main character, BabyB with his nemesis, TopFirst, for lots more back stabbing and underhand tactics whilst a case involving some potty pensioners, the "Moldies", rumbles on. There's a whole host of genuinely interesting characters, including the wise and wistful OldRuin, OldSmoothie, the barrister they all love to hate and introducing a few new ones, my favourite of which goes by the name of Smutton. I'd say Law and Peace is a tad more saucy than the first, which is never a bad thing in my book.

It's a book that delivers on a lot of levels, there's plenty of humour, a good plot, some sage wisdom and even a bit of romance for good measure - i'm already looking forward to the next instalment.
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on 3 May 2011
Book: Baby Barista Files: Law and DisorderLaw and Disorder: Confessions of a Pupil Barrister and Law and PeaceLaw and Peace
Author: Tim Kevan
Publisher: Bloomsbury.

As I am sure every law student is fully aware: law is NO easy ride. The prospects of being catapulted into the legal world are daunting to say the least. No matter how many text books we read, or how well we try to prepare ourselves, the fierce competition that greets us on arrival will undoubtedly be a tremendous shock to the system.

No longer pacified by university comforts, the high stakes and intense nature of the crawl up the ladder to the legal profession may leave some students throwing toys out of their pram. This is certainly the case in Kevan's hilarious `Baby Barista Files', which follows the journey of `Baby Barista' from his first day as a pupil to his subsequent year of tenancy. Both books provide a riotous account of the backhanded tricks; unscrupulous efforts; and down right outrageous strategies employed by pupils such as ourselves. And so, the frantic attempts of those trying to embark from the nest of academia, into the role of a high flying legal eagle prove to be highly amusing. In Baby Barista's case it is evidently not a smooth transition. For all those students considering a career at the Bar I would suggest these books to be an essential summer read.

Although the files are purely fictional, the author Tim Kevan has experienced his fair share of `law and disorder' in his previous career, as an ex-barrister. He initially wrote the first book as a `humorous blog', which was later snapped up by Bloomsbury publishers, and released in 2009. Since its publication it has gained mass support. The Times praised the works referring to them as: ` A cross between the talented Mr Ripley, Rumpole and Bridget Jones diary'. Such a commendation draws attention to the witty nature of the books as they take an alternative and refreshing outlook on the journey many of us students will soon embark upon.

Using the recognizable stereotypes of characters such as `Busy Body' and `Old Smoothie', the interactions that ensue could be accorded to that of a school playground. The Chambers are symptomatically laced with the scandal and gossip of `who has been caught sneaking behind the bike shed', and the calculated manipulation of classroom bullies. Faced with financial pressures, Baby Barista plunges directly into the heart of such school boy tricks, and will not let anything stand in his way. The ensuing chaos of juggling mischievous tactics whilst gleaning a squeaky clean façade stimulates much enjoyment. The innocent professional failings in court are also highly engaging and humorous. Highlights include an overzealous sneeze causing his wig to fall off and fly into the judge's lap, not to mention a brief brush with the law himself. These are merely a snippet of the ludicrous situations this pupil finds himself in. Such pandemonium seems out of this world! Pure comic genius!

Moreover the sequel which is to be published on 3rd May follows `Baby Barista' into his professional career of first tenancy. It is packed with comical situations including corruption in litigation, revenge from previous competition and the quest for a prestigious red bag. The web of lies and tricks has certainly not been locked away and is once again causing conflict. As well as career desires Baby Barista also tries to woo the affections of a fellow pupil, but his dedication to his work may be set to jeopardise his chances. With tales of `Batman boxer shorts, liquid lunches, drunken court hearings, and brushes with the Bar Standards Board' it is clear that Law and Peace provides an equally entertaining tale.

Both books are captivating and once you start them, they are hard to put down. This is mainly due to Tim Kevan's lively, contemporary writing style, which keeps you on your toes through its `laugh out loud' nature. With legal speeches parodying that of Catherine Tate's `Bovvered' sketch, along with references to Little Britain, and various unconventional comparisons, there is certainly never a dull moment. This sense of humour is arguably missing and much needed in the legal world. I would certainly recommend this book as a light-hearted, post exams cathartic wind down, and perhaps even preparation for commencing your pupillages!

Summary Judgement:

After reviewing all the evidence I am pleased to conclude that the `Baby Barista Files' are to be `found guilty', of being an extremely entertaining, inspiring, and creative account of the legal profession. It shows lawyers at their best and most importantly, their worst. I think law students will truly be able to appreciate the humour of these books and so my verdict here would be:


No objections here your honour...

Sophie Taylor 2nd Year LLB University of Manchester
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on 9 June 2011
A sequel that could just as easily a standalone volume, Law and Peace carries on BabyBarista's [mis]adventures from the end of Law and Disorder. The familiar roster of main characters returns with some inspired new faces, including JudgeFetish and ScandalMonger.

Following on from Law and Disorder, BabyBarista has completed his pupillage and been awarded a tenancy within chambers. However, TopFirst, BabyB's arch-nemesis is out for blood, and so begins the next year. Tim Kevan uses a Tory MP (`BigMouth') claiming libel and some OAP's claiming that mobile telephone masts are damaging their health (`The Moldies') to provide the narrative backdrop to all of BabyB's Machiavellian exploits. While these plot lines are integral to the events that follow, it's BabyB and his machinations that provide the excitement. While BabyB consistently uses underhand, and often scandalous, methods to achieve his ends, Kevan knows where to draw the line; everything is kept within the bounds of plausibility.

For those who haven't read Law and Disorder - do not be put off! BabyB's narrative style ensures that every character has a fresh introduction, while the creative monikers given to the other characters help the reader to effortlessly remember the parts they play as the story progresses. Equally, readers without any particular interest in the law or legal professions can enjoy this work: the legal profession simply provides scenery for what could just as well be a satire on internal politics in any organisation. The only word of warning I can give is to beware the diary format - the fact that the entries for some days are less than a page have meant that I've spent more than one night reading until the early hours by telling myself "I'll just see what happens tomorrow..."

As fresh and entertaining as the first instalment, Law and Peace is a fantastic piece of work which you won't be able to put down. For those readers on Kindle - if in any doubt, try the sample. I have no doubt that after a few pages you'll want to continue the story.
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I came across this book quite by chance while browsing the local library's shelves, and thought it looked like it might be amusing. The diary of BabyB's first year in Chambers, through trials (literally and figuratively) and tribulations (ditto) both personal and professional. I found some of the law references and procedures rather confusing, as I was unfamiliar with much of it. But the gist of the story is witty and sharp, and the shenanigans that they all got up to were certainly amusing. A good lighthearted read, and one which leaves you wondering what's going on in your lawyer's office when you're not there.
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on 19 May 2011
Good ol'BabyB is back! Having caught [by every method of subterfuge at his disposal] the golden snitch we know as `tenancy' in chambers (at the conclusion of Kevan's first instalment of BabyBarista, Law and Disorder: Confessions of a Pupil Barrister), we reunite with BB as he embarks on his career as a fully-fledged junior member of the Bar of England and Wales. However, although the battle for tenancy is over, "the war has just begun".

Those familar with the BabyB's journey through pupillage in Law and Disorder will recall how he picked off his competition for the prized place in chambers. He stood by and watched as poor old Worrier brought a trumped claim for sex discrimination which blew up in her face [she has now joined the other side of the legal profession]. There was ThirdSix who ended up in a spot of bother when his papers for court were switched. BabyB also had time to stitch-up his first-six pupil master, The Boss. And, of course, there was TopFirst - BabyB's sworn arch enemy who fell into the jaws of a honeytrap devised by our cunning little hero. That pompous little snotbag is now out for vengance and he's pulling no punches.

The battlelines are drawn around BB's first big case: BabyB, alongside OldSmoothie and TheVamp appears on behalf of group of charming senior citizen (the Moldies) who claim that their brains are being fried waves emitted from a mobile phone mast erected by a cynical telecoms company represented by none other than TopFirst lead by UpTights. Matters turn much darker than they ever did in Law and Disorder as BabyB and TopFirst resort, amongst other things, to insider dealing and witness tampering to advance their cause and land the other in the nasty stuff. There is even plot to brainwash the judge hearing the case to give judgment in favour of Moldies the help of a Derren Brown-like mentalist.

The murkier side of litigation is a major theme in Law & Peace and we see BabyB sailing dangerously close the dark side being caught as he so often is between a rock and a hard place. The massive debt BB's mum ran up sending him up to Oxford has been bought up by his instructing solicitor in the Moldy case, SlipperSlope, who could foreclose on the sum at the drop of a hat leaving if BB doesn't stay hushed about the web of shady antics in which SlipperySlope and the ruthless ScandalMongerer have entangled him. And, at every step of the way, where evil lurks TopFirst is sure not to be far away.

The question is can BabyB (with the help benevolent mentor OldRuin) keep the dark forces at bay and save the day?

So, what can we all learn from Law & Peace? That all work and no play makes BabyB a dull and broken boy? Perhaps. One thing is for sure: If you loved Law and Disorder you'll love Law & Peace just as much.

A blindingly decent read and a must for anyone with a thing for Myla underwear and Christian Louboutin heels...

Many thanks to you Mr Kevan for this wonderful book!
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on 16 May 2011
One of the biggest losses for The Times, when erecting its paywall, was the departure of the hilarious Baby Barista blog for The Guardian. And fans of ex-barrister Tim Kevan's satirical take on the Bar can now pack their holiday bags with a sigh of relief, knowing the second novel in the BabyBarista files, 'Law & Peace', has just been published by Bloomsbury.

Very few authors successfully transpose blogs into books. But the style of BabyBarista, in the form of the diary of a junior barrister, lends itself neatly to this transformation. This is all the more so with the colourful nature of the characters, with names such as OldRuin, UpTights and TopFirst, who almost jump off the page..

Book One, `Law and Disorder', finished when the eponymous anti-hero, a charming, dastardly 20-something with an eye for the ladies and a manipulative streak the size of Mount Everest, is taken on in Chambers having out-schemed his rival pupils to gain the coveted tenancy. `Law and Peace' is the sequel and covers his first year of tenancy, following a class action from start to finish in which BabyBarista has inveigled the junior brief for himself. In the course of the case he is educated in a host of corrupt practices by his instructing solicitor SlipperySlope. These range from trying to brainwash the judge through subliminal messages to manipulating the stock market. Then again, the defending lawyers adopt similarly devious tactics with their planting of ringers in the list of Claimants and paying off of a witness.

But don't let the seemingly censorious storyline put you off. Tim Kevan paces the action through the course of BabyBarista's year with humour and his love for the Bar shines through in every paragraph. This is very much a comedic novel, not an expose, and it will have readers laughing out loud. It's also one of those books that goes well beyond its genre and is just as likely to entertain non-lawyers as those of us in the profession. With this second book, Tim Kevan has established himself as the new John Mortimer and my predicition is that, like Rumpole, BabyBarista is set to entertain us for many generations to come.
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on 22 December 2011
One of my greatest regrets was not reading Law and Disorder before deciding whether to go to Bar School or not. Thankfully however I read Law and Peace immediately and therefore at the very least I am prepared for what lies ahead of me for when I start pupillage and tenancy. I can only describe Tim Kevan as a genius who has given a real insight into a career at the Bar in such an imaginative way that it really hits home what barristers' have to do on a daily basis. Really careers advisors should just read out passages from the book. The characters are full of life, the plot is captivating and overall the story is brilliant. When I have a bad day at work I tend to pick up Law and Peace to relax myself and laugh a little. Not only does it let me feel as if someone out there does understand me and the burdens of the legal profession but it also reminds me that things could be a lot worse! An excellent read that should really be made compulsory for all law students and lawyers.
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on 20 June 2011
This is the second helping of Tim Kevan's witty BabyBarista files, and follows seamlessly from the first book.

A really compelling read, filled with what must be, undoubtedly some fun-poking at the elite legal world of the Barrister. For anyone not involved in the law it is a glimpse into the murkiness of the profession, for those within that environment I'm sure there are real comparisons to be made. The real beauty of this book is that it should, indeed will appeal to both sections.

The book flows along with a jaunty pace, and weaves its plot together with identifiable characters and a heavy dose of humour and cynicism. This is a book that the reader will not want to put down, enjoyable, full of life and highly recommended.
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on 10 May 2011
Having greatly enjoyed the first part of BabyBarista's adventures in Law & Disorder, I was very pleased when this second instalment arrived. It achieves what many sequels don't - more entertaining than the first. This is one to read at one sitting, with characters that are often monstrous but with a basis in recognisable types - a kind of Theophrastus of the Bar. Once or twice the anecdotes have little to do with the plot, usually the digressions into provincial courts, but they're too good to leave out. I'm not sure how plausible the trained dog is - so implausible, perhaps, that you couldn't make it up! But good stuff with a good, resolving ending, leaving the door open for more - which I eagerly await.
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on 13 June 2011
Rarely is a sequel as enjoyable as the first book and even less rarely does it leave you wanting a (tri)quel. In this novel BabyBarista is back as is the host of colourful characters: uptights, Old Ruin and Claire. BabyB faces even tougher challenges both in his worklife and in the form of TopFirst who is out to get him. Macchiavellian stuff indeed - the story itself is fun but the behind the scenes shennanigans between the barristers and solicitors (sadly) doesn't seem all that fictional and as such lends an intrigue and veracity to the book. Kevan has a fluid, easy writing style that allows the reader to gobble up the book but leaves you wanting more. Hurry up with part III!!
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