Today I have been learning about drafting and pleading. This presents problems for  someone like me.


However before I could draft anything at all EG made me read this.  Then he made me read it all again.


This is another one of EG’s favourite books.  He was surprised, and a bit angry when he learnt that I had not had to read it at bearister school  EVERYBODY should read it, he said. If he could have changed colour he would of.


Pleadings are important and this is the best book on the subject. EG has given a lot of copies away to pupil barristers (we call them “cubs”) who pass through his chambers (cave). It is a book of wisdom and wit. It has photos (which I like) and anyone reading this will know what they are doing afterwards (I still like the pictures). It is a book that talks to the reader rather than at them (and has pictures – did I say?) (EG writes books but there are no pictures – pretty pointless I think).

Denton & pleading 040

EG says that there are lots of horror stories: four bearisters drafting a pleading which went on forever and did not comply with the rules; pleadings that were unintelligible; and pleadings that were so long and bad that they lead to a barrister being disbeared .  All of these problems, EG says, could have been avoided if everyone reads this book once a year at least. The rules I have had to learn are:

  • Pleadings are not about giving evidence.
  • Pleadings are not about making submissions.
  • Pleading must be as short as possible.
  • If your pleading is not short have a very good reason for it (EG didn’t say “very” but I have censored this bit).
  • Read this book at least once a year.

After all that I had to test the book in my own way.  (It was good to think I was lying on pictures for a change).

Denton & pleading 041


“It’s almost brutal in its simplicity: how on earth can you expect to draft in a competent manner, if you have little or no conception or what it is you are trying to do?”


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