SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Top legal eagles battle over money
SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Feathers are flying in dust-up after legal eagles fall out over money
Flamboyant barrister Michael Mansfield QC is famed for his landmark legal cases, fighting for the underdog. But he has a real battle on his hands with his latest adversary, who happens to be a former colleague.
As I revealed in April, Mansfield and leading barrister Patrick Roche are seeking an order to force Maureen Obi-Ezekpazu to sell her one-bedroom flat in Acton, West London, to pay a debt owed to their former business that now exceeds £65,000. Obi-Ezekpazu used to work with Mansfield at Tooks Chambers, which is now dissolved,
New court documents reveal that Obi-Ezekpazu was accused of ‘bullying and harassment’ in a recent tribunal when she attempted to make Judge Nicol recuse himself (excusing oneself from a case because of a potential conflict of interest or lack of impartiality) in a hearing over service charges on her Acton flat.
Flamboyant barrister Michael Mansfield QC is suing a former colleague over a debt he claims is owned to their former Chambers
Mansfield is seeking to have Maureen Obi-Ezekpazu, pictured, sell her flat in Acton to pay the £65,000 he claims is owed
Obi-Ezekpazu was being sued by a management company and a service firm after she failed to pay money owed in a long-running dispute. But she failed to turn up to court on the correct day for her tribunal and the hearing went ahead without her, resulting in Obi-Ezekpazu being ordered to pay service and administration charges of just over £4,000.
More from Sebastian Shakespeare for the Daily Mail…
A court transcript from an earlier hearing shows that Judge Jarzabkowski upbraided her, saying: ‘Could you possibly remember your training as a barrister and address this court with some respect?’
Mansfield’s own dispute relates to his time served with Obi-Ezekpazu at Tooks before it closed in 2013.
‘Ms Obi-Ezekpazu was a member of Tooks Chambers who did not pay her share of its liabilities when it was dissolved in 2013,’ claimed a spokesman for Mansfield.
He went on to set up Nexus Chambers; Obi‑Ezekpazu now heads her own law firm, Family Matters.
It could be a while before Mansfield and Roche get their money. But at least they can be heartened that the debt is accruing interest of £6.98 a day. It has already increased by more than £6,000 from when the original sum of £59,008.71 was first claimed.
A spokesman for Mansfield tells me: ‘An application has been made for an order that the charged property be sold to obtain payment and to enable Tooks Chambers to satisfy its remaining liabilities. We hope that this will not be necessary.’ Obi-Ezekpazu declined to comment.
It’s boot camp for mini-Marvel Flo
Hollywood star Florence Pugh, who was nominated for an Oscar for Little Women, will be anything but little in these mammoth boots.
The 25-year-old from Oxford was reunited with her style team this week to promote her new Marvel film, Black Widow. Resting in a London hotel, Florence, who had flown in from California where she lives with actor boyfriend Zach Braff, 46, sported the platform-heeled boots to boost her 5ft 3in frame. But she insists looking glamorous is not her normal state. ‘When I’m making marmalade, I don’t have pretty hair.
‘There are moments when I get dolled up and two amazing artists will paint, pull and brush me for two hours. Then I go home and take it off.’
Hollywood star Florence Pugh, who was nominated for an Oscar for Little Women, will be anything but little in these mammoth boots
Lord Campbell might be turning 80 tomorrow, but he has no plans to step down as a House of Lords peer. ‘I’m far too young to retire,’ jokes the former Lib Dem leader, better known as Sir Menzies ‘Ming’ Campbell, who still regularly attends debates in the upper house.
Adds the former Olympic athlete, who will celebrate his big day with a family lunch at an Edinburgh hotel: ‘My wife Elspeth is going to get my favourite armchair reupholstered as a birthday present.’
Osman raises a real tall story
Moving home is no small matter for towering Richard Osman, who has to adapt his new abode to fit his 6ft 7in frame.
‘I’m moving into a new house and I’m having it done up at the moment,’ explains the co-host of BBC1’s Pointless.
‘The kitchen worktops are an inch and a half higher up than you might have, sinks and basins and all of the doorways are a little bit higher than they might be.’
The designer of the late 19th-century home was obviously ‘not thinking of me’, jokes Osman. ‘But, by and large, I’ll live in the house as it was built in 1880.’ He adds: ‘I hate being this tall. I’ve come to terms with it now, but it’s made me an absolute outsider.’
RAC dog-eat-dog scrap
The peace and tranquillity of the Royal Automobile Club’s country cousin Woodcote Park, which occupies 350 acres of Surrey countryside, has been shattered within days of reopening after lockdown.
Members have been growling with indignation at a proposal to invite dog owners to bring their furry friends to the newly furbished Fountain Terrace. ‘I am amazed that in a time when personal hygiene is of paramount importance, we are considering allowing dogs anywhere near where food is being served,’ barks one member in the club newsletter. ‘And are we sure that such dogs will have been properly inoculated?’
Chief operating officer Daniel Pereira is trying to quell the yapping. ‘Following the recent refurbishment of the terrace, there is additional space, enabling us to accommodate members who wish to bring their pets and those who prefer not to be near dogs,’ he says.
Let’s hope club president Prince Michael of Kent can restore peace.
Size zero backlash gave me PTSD, says Erin
A reluctant poster girl for the skeletal ‘size zero’ trend in the 1990s, Vogue cover star Erin O’Connor now reveals she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after being criticised for her naturally slim frame.
‘I ended up in a very politicised spot for quite some time regarding the modelling industry and models’ health.
‘After years of being subjected to daily opinions on my body, it was quite traumatic,’ says the 43-year-old mother of two.
A reluctant poster girl for the skeletal ‘size zero’ trend in the 1990s, Vogue cover star Erin O’Connor now reveals she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after being criticised for her naturally slim frame
‘I definitely suffered. I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress after holding a very public, politicised space. I did a lot of crying and soul‑searching because I was publicly used as a means of getting news and shocking headlines.’
Erin has previously talked about how worried she is for young women who are growing up in such a sexualised society.
Booming-voiced actor and keen mountaineer Brian Blessed is taking up his toughest challenge yet — shutting himself up during a 24-hour sponsored silence.
‘I’m supporting the people of Nepal where the pandemic is now causing many problems,’ he says. ‘You may know that I am rather partial to using this little voice of mine, so I am not expecting it to be a very easy day for me.’
Yogi-Bella says let’s twist again
The Duke of Beaufort’s daughter, Lady Isabella Somerset, likes to practise what she preaches.
The 29-year-old has just completed a 30-day yoga challenge, which involved waking up at 6.15am every day to start her routine in order to ‘live more with intention’.
Sharing a picture of herself at her father’s 52,000-acre Badminton estate in Gloucestershire, Bella, who was joined by model and fellow yogi Gaby Cecil, insists: ‘The best time to practise yoga is the two hours before and including sunrise. It has really helped me with my morning routine: wake, coffee, yoga, let the chickens out, brekky.’
She runs the wellness retreat Bella’s Magic Mountains.
Lady Isabella Somerset shared a picture of herself at her father’s 52,000-acre Badminton estate in Gloucestershire with model and fellow yogi Gaby Cecil
Cross-dressing ceramicist Grayson Perry is starting to feel old at 61. After teaching at Central Saint Martins this week, he said: ‘Working with fashion students and one of them was showing me their historical research and it included a picture of an old girlfriend of mine. Felt suddenly very, very old.’
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