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The Art of War, Peace and Palaver: The Contentious Guide to Legal Disputes

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9780987489463: The Art of War, Peace and Palaver: The Contentious Guide to Legal Disputes
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When the Godfather said, "Keep your friends close, but your enemies even closer," he was quoting Sun Tzu, a Chinese Warlord who wrote the Art of War 2,500 years ago.This book will give you the foresight to avoid or minimise disputes in the first place, which is often the most effective but least popular option. It not only covers court actions, but fights with government departments, multinationals, club committees, your spouse, neighbours and all sorts of other people and organisations that wind you up.If a Chinese Warlord could temper decisive and sometimes highly aggressive action with planning and caution, so can you pause to consider the consequences of your actions and plan accordingly. Itis so often the difference between victory and defeat.This book combines the qualities of a useful book on litigation with wry humour and the odd belly laugh. Whether you are a corporate warrior, small business owner or professional advisor, it will keep you amused, while providing you with insights and the understanding to manage risk.

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About the Author:

My resume states, "Schooling: St Thomas More, Chelsea, London," however my school report read, "Lazy, talkative and notable." I thought "notable" did not sound too bad until I realized it was "not able." They were the days before parent rage stalked school halls and teachers would give their unrestrained opinions, such as my gym teacher who wrote "physically immobile." Today, I would probably get a more subtly insulting "You must be very proud of him." I left school having failed every exam, except art. I had lost both parents by the age of 11. This gave me an independence and freedom, of which most teenagers could only dream. I made a promising start by taking up smoking and hitch-hiking around Europe. However, my "walk on the wild side" ended when I joined London's Metropolitan Police Cadets. I was 16. My father had been a policeman at West End Central and I wanted to follow in his footsteps. The reality, however, was marching, exercise, study and discipline. I was terrible at it all or so they said, however, there was a gradual improvement. After two years, I had achieved average. The Police Sergeants, who were our instructors, did this by shouting "Move yourself" and "Shut up"; Still good advice for me today. At 18, I was a judo instructor for 8-12 year olds at a US Summer Camp Counselor. As Woody Allen said, "the bigger the opponent, the bigger the beating" but I did not tell them that. Within four years my resume would record LL.B (Hons). My first job was as a law clerk at McMillan Binch, a large Toronto firm. Unlike Australia, an Englishman in Canada is not immediately disliked, they wait a few minutes. Finally, I started two year articles in a general practice called Rimmers in Aylesbury, UK. Years later I was to base the look of my legal cartoon character on my long suffering and kind Principal, John Fortgang who eventually became a judge. Now people ask if it is me. In 1982, I qualified, met Lord Denning and married a lawyer. I became a solicitor at New Scotland Yard and then at the criminal firm, which once represented Christine Keeler. In 1985, my wife and I opened the first Brennans solicitors in Lewisham, South London. On the first weekend someone carved their initials into our brass plate and a man was murdered in the pub next door. I represented up to 5 defendants a day in London's Magistrates Courts: Burglary, drink driving, assaults. Soon, I employed other people to go to court as the property boom was creating a lot of legal work. After two years, we emigrated to Sydney. Within 6 months of arriving, the flat property market boomed and my wife and I had set up Brennans no. 2. The boom ended and we went to Hong Kong, where we stayed for 10 years. At first I was a consultant at a criminal firm: Smugglers, Madams and a transvestite shop lifter. It was an improved class of criminal clientele and better dressed too. After that I was at the Hong Kong Law Society conducting investigations, disciplinary proceedings and intervening in failed solicitors firms. For the next 5 years, I was at the US Multi-national, Intel conducting anti-piracy raids in Asia: Limos, stock options, 5 star hotels and no billable hours. Like most people working in-house, I resent any of you for thinking that it was easy. After Intel, I was called to the bar and became a tenant barrister in the Middle Temple, London. From there, I was head hunted to be General Counsel of the Federation Against Software Theft to conduct enforcement and lobbying in the UK and Europe. I became a post graduate in IP law and wrote my first book. Later I was sent as an EU IP enforcement expert as part of a delegation to Beijing. I haven't been invited back. Now, I am in general practice with my wife on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. We have four children and yes I did lecture them on the importance of hard work by skating over my own school record, as most parents do. Extract from an article in The Proctor in 2008.

Review:

"Beneath the light hearted veneer lurks some very sensible and practical advice on the dos and dont's of disputes"
Cherie Blair - CBE QC

Chair, Omnia Strategy LLP

"A super sensible approach to all things law. Practical, informational and even funny, Paul has taken a lot of the uncertainty and fear out of 'the law' and even made a lot of it comprehensible! That's a feat in itself! A must read to keep you sane if you are involved in any dispute!"
Amanda Gore
Experiential Keynote Speaker
www.amandagore.com

"Paul makes the wisdom of Sun Tzu relatable to litigants of all types. Regardless of whether you are in a fight with your neighbour, business partner, landlord, or someone who defamed you, this book contains valuable (and easy to apply) lessons on the Art of War. And many of them are lessons you should be aware of before you make that first call to your litigator!"
W. Brad Hanna, B.E.S, LLB., FCIArb.
Partner, Co-Chair of Dispute Resolution, Franchising & Distribution and International Arbitration Groups
McMillan, Toronto

"Paul presents to the reader a funny and incisive summary of key areas of law full of common sense strategies and guides. A delight to read. What a unique and enthralling approach to giving to the reader an insight into client, lawyer, and law participants strategies and thoughts - and yes in many instances what is exactly being thought. As a fellow traveller (yes that's a lawyer) I can only hope that Paul's approach brings some overdue and much needed reassessment that not all lawyers are flesh eating money hungry bastards (well not the flesh eating part anyway)"

Chris Campbell
Legal Director
Aitken Legal

"Paul's combination of Sun Tzu's wisdom, his own unique sense of humor, and some excellent legal advice make this a 'must read' for lawyers and litigants alike. A compelling read that will entertain and educate at the same time."
Andrew Kitts
Founder & Chairman of Star Optima Group Ltd

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9780987489449: The Art of War, Peace and Palaver: The Contentious Guide to Legal Disputes

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