6 Pump Court

Pump Court, situated at the very heart of the Temple and perhaps its most typical quarter, is the area where two patent chambers were located for most of the twentieth century. The first was a leading set located at number six and was occupied, among others, by Kew Shelley, the Aldouses (Guy and his son, William), Douglas Falconer, David Young and Simon Thorley. Chambers moved eventually to 3 New Square in the late twentieth century. The second was at number three and was once headed by Stanley Levy QC, a Jewish barrister who held a doctorate in chemistry from the University of London. Some of its most remarkable occupants were Rhys Gerran Lloyd, Raph Lunzer, Bernard Budd, and Alastair Wilson. It was also the place in which Max Mosley practised before becoming involved in motor racing. 


Middle Temple


Kew Shelley; Guy Aldous; William Aldous; Douglas Falconer; David Young; Antony Watson; Simon Thorley


John Glazebrook; John Call; Ian Bowie

Ian Bowie: Aldous was a very charming man actually and his life is his horses and he was a very – you know exactly where you stood with him. He knew exactly what he was doing. He never, ever, to my knowledge said to his clerk, his senior clerk, and then to me when I clerked him as a senior clerk, he had never got involved in negotiation of fees. He never said, “I want this amount of money” for he wasn’t interested in that sort of thing. He wanted to be paid, but that wasn’t something he was going to get involved in. He was the most professional of men, and I think he started out as a fantastic judge and towards the end, I think he was getting a bit fed up, but I mean I still keep in touch with Sir William, but a new lease of life was given to him when he went to sit in Gibraltar, because they wanted an independent judiciary and so he did that and then he did some arbitrations and mediations. But I was very, very unfortunate with William Aldous because I became senior clerk in April of 1987 and he went to the High Court Bench in about 1988 and I wish I could have had more time with him, because – you knew exactly where you stood with him, and it was a really good working relationship.
Facilitator: And the cases do you remember I think the drinks cases were in the 70s?
Ian Bowie: Yes, very much. I mean again there was a connection with Allied Breweries. Advocaat case where I think Julian Jeffs may have been on the other side of the Advocaat case.
Facilitator: He was the expert witness in the Sherry case–
Ian Bowie: Yes. We had a number of cases.
Facilitator: But there were – I mean there were more than one case.
Ian Bowie: Oh yes, a series of passing off cases where I had to do trap purchases. So William Aldous was the man. I don’t think Allied Breweries used him because of his connection to his father who had founded the trade mark department there but because he was one of the two or three very, very big names in that area and passing off – those cases, all those were parting off type cases. He was very good at that sort of thing, they weren’t technical at all. So he was a very good cross examiner, very succinct in the way he put the cases and had a very, very commanding air about him, and he had a gravitas. Stephen Gratwick was what we would term a grinder. He would just go slowly through a case, he would grind on until he got what he wanted. It was a different style altogether, but he was very much in demand.
Robin Jacob, another big name he was – Robin Jacob would, maybe not read his papers fully before he got to court, but by about the second or third day, he would have absolute mastery of the case and would win it by then. So he had a peculiar style and talent that he knew the killer points. Robin Jacob, so he was a very, very difficult person to appear against and before, when he was a judge, because he always had his own opinions, of course, it was like having a third counsel involved but I know William Aldous he did a lot of big cases. I can’t think of any of that spring out to mind, but at that time he was in a lot of very large cases.
Facilitator: And then Falconer?
Ian Bowie: Douglas Falconer was –
Facilitator: Was a pupil of –
Ian Bowie: He was pupil of Kew Shelley’s I think and Guy Aldous maybe, and at that time because Douglas Falconer came out of the army, he was a school teacher and he was from Durham I think, and I think he felt that he wanted something else and because he had a technical background he decided that he would sit for the bar exams. But Douglas was unlike everybody else. Remember what we said earlier on, that people came in because they came from wealthy backgrounds, Douglas Falconer didn’t. He was a man of very limited means, a very humble man and, to my knowledge, his wife helped him financially through that period and when he became a barrister, he was junior, the only junior to two of the busiest barristers at that time and he would be working until two or three o’clock in the morning.
I wasn’t here, I know these stories. But we didn’t have the technology, so everything was done by hand or by an old typewriter and he worked around the clock as I understood it and he was a very, very successful junior then took silk, when I think Guy Aldous retired about 68 or something. So he was a very, very busy man. He was involved in a lot of cases and led juniors from all the other sets of chambers and appeared in all the courts and he got crossed with his clerks, if he didn’t have the time to prepare a case, he was a man who had to be properly prepared, and – but he was equally a man, if you gave him a problem and said, “Mr. Falconer, you’ve got half an hour to give an answer on this problem” he would give the answer. If you gave him three days, he probably wouldn’t be ready. He was a bit of an enigma but you know in those days the barristers were true gentlemen.
Actually, he was a – you couldn’t fault Douglas Falconer but he worked phenomenally hard and he wanted to be a High Court Judge. And I think he’d missed the boat, because you get to about 65 and you’re thinking “I am not going to get the call” and you mentioned and I think it was, you may have to ask others on this, but I think it was Stephen Gratwick rejected it and Douglas Falconer got the call, and he was overjoyed and he was 66, I think, and he became a High Court Judge. He was – and I think he said he would only go to do it for about five years but he did it for longer and he thoroughly enjoyed it. He sometimes – going back to this point where if you gave him half an hour he could come up with the answer and you couldn’t fault it, with his judgments, his judgments took a long time because he would go over it, over and over again, but his judgments were very, very good when they came out.
And he went on, what was a quite shame about Douglas was that, he was devoted to his wife and he retired in – I can’t remember which year it was, maybe 1988 or somewhere, I can’t quite remember and in October because what you would do you were paid full of your sittings, so no judge would retire in July, because you had nothing to do in July, August and September, so you would always retire at the end of September, because you would be on full pay. So he retired at the end of September and had lot of plans for him and his wife, and she passed away in December. So it was very, very sad actually. It was terribly sad but he bounced back, he remarried but not quite sure what else I can tell you about Douglas.
Facilitator: And who else was in Chambers? David Young?
Ian Bowie: David Young yes, he was a sort of an unsung hero, David Young. He was in the American Cyanamid case, which was his one the biggest cases, a landmark case as far as he was concerned. I think he was with Andrew Bateson who was a man up in he was a non-IP man but, with Allen & Overy who were the firm of solicitors on that case I seem to recall, they liked Andrew Bateson for his advocacy skills, and so he did whatever David Young told him to do, and delivered it perfectly, before Mr. Justice Graham, that was a good partnership. David Young was in a big case before that, the General Tyre case. He was in some very, very large cases, he was a chemist. He never wanted glory, he became the head of chambers when William Aldous left in 1988, and ran chambers very efficiently actually. It was a good partnership, he and I. I gave him all the information and he would run the meetings and I think that’s – you asked me how chambers have changed. Chambers have changed now, because it used to be that the head of chambers would say this is what we’re doing. Now there are committees for everything; that’s the modern way and there is nothing wrong with that, and I think in the days when the barristers were just they were here because – it was their vocation. They didn’t really mind how the place ran, and they got their work and everything was fine. Nowadays it is much, much more professional if I can put it that way, its and the youngsters coming through are very bright breed of people, and they want to be involved in everything and that’s fine.
Facilitator: David Young was pupil of–
Ian Bowie: He would have – would he been Aldous’s pupil I’m just trying to think about this. He may have been Guy Aldous’s pupil, I’m not sure, he came in 1966, so I – I can’t remember that.
Facilitator: Simon Thorley?
Ian Bowie: Simon Thorley, he was William Aldous’s pupil. Yes he was Willy Aldous’s pupil I remember that—
Facilitator: And Watson was—
Ian Bowie: Watson was here before Thorley, he was the one before Thorley. He came in, in about 1968 so he had been in chambers for about four years before I came, he did very, very well. He was in a lot of big cases. He did a lot of big arbitration so they don’t get to be publicised really. But Antony Watson, was, I said this earlier about Robin Jacob. Antony Watson could pick up a big set of papers and know exactly, go to exactly the killer point he had a real knack about him. He was very, very good that way, and a very good cross-examiner, Antony Watson, very sharp. Geoffrey Everington was, well of course, he was clerked by Roy Nicholls when they were down in Queen Elizabeth Building. Yes, I was young and he was an older man, so one got to know him but in those days, there wasn’t the relationship. It was very much a division between the lower clerks. There was a respect between the barristers and the senior clerk and then everybody else was —
6 Pump Court