An Evening with Gary Bell QC

An Evening with Gary Bell QC

Written By: Michelle Taylor
Written: 23rd Apr 2021

On Thursday 22nd April we hosted our first attempt of an evening with a legal celebrity, Gary Bell QC...

The virtual TV studio was opened to the audience, an audience from all areas of the Nottinghamshire legal world, ranging from trainee solicitors, junior lawyers, members of the Crown Prosecution Service, sole practitioners, senior partners and many past President's of the Society.

Accompanied by their cheese and wine hamper, our 30+ guests were seated comfortably in their homes, waiting for an evening of humorous stories, the reasoning behind why Gary Bell QC had begun taking on the world of literature with his latest range of books and anything else that Gary wanted to share.

President, Philip Turton opened the evening thanking Gary for offering to share his stories of his career progression and also thanking Lisa Hardy, Barrister from KCH Garden Square for acting as the 'interviewer'.

And so the interview begins...

The cheese & wine hamper Philip Turton, welcomes everyone to the evening The Audience
Lisa Hardy, KCH Garden Square The interview begins... Gary Bell QC

Gary explained all about his antics as a boy growing up in Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire, his brush with crime, allegiance to Nottingham Forest and how given a second chance led him to follow a career path in law and studying at Bristol University.  

If you didn't already know, Gary Bell QC is one of England's leading criminal barristers, specialising in fraud and murder cases based in London and Birmingham. His back catalogue includes a BBC 1 TV presenter, a columnist for The Spectator, an award winning stand-up comedian, pilot and best-selling author.

Gary has published three books, the first being Animal QC, followed by a legal thriller set in Nottingham titled Beyond Reasonable Doubt and most recently, Post Mortem.  Currently the BBC have optioned the rights to both thrillers and there is an option for a running series - watch this space!

Gary was raised in Nottingham, the son of a coal miner from Cotgrave, having left school with no qualifications and various unskilled job opportunities including coal mining, mechanic, bricklayer and fireman, he descended into lawlessness and became a football hooligan and experienced a spell in prison for fraud. 

After travelling around Nottingham, Gary returned to Nottingham and sat his 'O' and 'A'levels aged 21 years. Gary, then continued to Bristol University to study law.  At university Gary won national inter-varsity debating competitions and was head-hunted by a Beverley Hills law firm.   After spending a year in LA as a Business Litigation Lawyer, Gary returned to England and continued to follow his career as a barrister.  Gary now lives in Northamptonshire with his wife and family, still travelling around the UK visiting the courts and still visiting his home town to support Nottingham Forest and play golf as well as the court rooms of Nottingham.

Gary began writing literature and as he said, many books before successfully three were published.  The first Animal QC is a book many of our guests were familiar with the second and third books are crime thrillers, set in Nottingham and revolve around the character Elliot Rook QC.  We were privileged to hear that the BBC are currently scripting the crime thrillers for filming, so watch this space....

The evening ended with questions being taken from the audience,  firstly, Janine Smith, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the East Midlands Crown Prosecution Service and Vice President of the Society, followed by Bianca Brasoveanu a young solicitor advocate from The Johnson Partnership not to forgetting the question about Nottingham Forest posed by President, Philip Turton.

Janine Smith, Chief Crown Prosecutor asks Gary Bell QC questions... Bianca Brasoveanu from The Johnson Partnership asks Gary Bell QC  questions...

Philip Turton, closed the evening with a vote of thanks to Lisa Hardy for providing a relaxed and informal questioning session, noting that her skills of acting and presenting are good for the TV and film screen and of course thanking Gary Bell for his time and sharing his life stories with the members of Nottinghamshire Law Society.

NLS Past Presidents Thank you from Philip Turton... Last ones standing...

As the evening drew to a close, a few still lingered to talk about the 'good old days' in particular the days spent qualifying in North Nottinghamshire during the miners strike...

It was truly a great evening, one which the Society was proud to put on the online social calendar!