Miscatex

Chambers

Series 1

1. QC at Any Cost

New to the bar, Hilary Tripping takes some flack from old-timer John as he continues to cycle to work. Meanwhile, the left-wing leaning Ruth is having trouble with paying a fine for not having a television licence, and decides to head back to a job in the legal profession for better pay. Head of chambers, John Fuller-Carp, is keen on taking Ruth on as he believes that she is the daughter of a high court judge with potential political connections. Vince, the clerk, spends much of his time trying to cook up various illegal deals in between the occasional bout of work. Defending a client who tries to steal a charity fund, John soon has to present his case in front of Ruth’s father. With terrible legal representation from John, the jury returns a not guilty verdict stating that the defendant has suffered enough. It also turns out that the judge wasn't who John thought he was.

2. The Right to Silence

John is preparing for a murder trial around his upcoming walking holiday in the Lake District with a judge friend. Hilary meanwhile is also working hard, as well as getting along with Ruth, which has lead to him developing a reassurance about himself. However, John is less than pleased with her, due to her constantly disagreeing with him. Hilary has had an up-tick in his work, much to John's displeasure while Ruth becomes angry when she discovers John going through her desk to look at her work, and his threats to have her removed from chambers. Vince has to negotiate payment for some of Ruth's work, which involves some unusual bartering and also leads the hotel where John is staying to believe the judge is going to be murdered through his ambiguous fax, resulting in John with a difficult conversation at the police station, when the judge actually turns out to be dead.

3. The Cab Rank Rule

Hilary has a sheep in chambers which involves Ruth working on an animal welfare case. Meanwhile, John unexpectedly turns up in the office to find the sheep tethered to his desk, who promises to get rid of her again. Ruth receives a call from 'Rob', who has also arranged an anti-fox hunting crusade, questioning whether she is joining them. She also tries to get Hilary involved in LAM - Lawyers Against Meat. John receives a visit from a high court judge and old acquaintance, Anthony, who invites him to a fox hunting event which could further his aim towards becoming a judge. Meanwhile, Lucy has arranged for him to represent members of Lawyers Against Meat, leaving him with his dignity on the line. Lucy and Hilary head out to sabotage the hunt with Rob, where they are soon found by John and the high court judges. When he manhandles Ruth, John receives a blow from Hilary leaving him with a bloody nose. However, things don't turn out too badly when the press hears about the hunt.

4. Trial By Television

After watching a barrister appearing on television discussing a case, John is stirred to increase his own media profile. However, he becomes jealous when he discovers that Ruth is set to become a "legal eagle" appearing on breakfast television. When one of John's former cases is used by her while discussing a harassment case on television, Ruth ends up being well-received by the audience and at loggerheads with John. Television producer, Matthew, also becomes rather fond of Ruth and takes to asking her advice and sending her flowers. Hilary takes to practising his advocacy on Vince with a scheduled appearance on court television upcoming, which further irritates John who subsequently schemes by using Ruth's alleged feelings for him, and offers himself as a replacement. His defendant refuses to play ball though when he pleads guilty, and John quickly angers the judge. Matthew soon ends up on the wrong side of everyone at the chambers when he harasses Ruth.

5. The American

The chambers have to deal with hosting star American lawyer Thurman Berkley, who turns up for a week and quickly leads to a culture clash. Vince is under fire from Ruth for not having the photocopier fixed, and John gets off to a bad start with Thurman when he initially believes he is a photocopier engineer because he's black. Thurman is also handling his own client, though Ruth soon gets the wrong end of the stick when she overhears his conversation before he is due to have a meal at her apartment, leading her to rope Hilary into pretending to be her boyfriend. Thurman also takes to offering his advice on one of John's cases, involving a violent football player, and a rather strained legal argument. The case however leads to a loss for John, while Ruth finds out the nature of Thurman's earlier conversation. Hilary also takes to drinking and confronts Ruth about his feelings.

Series 2

1. Only the Lonely

John finds discovers he is up against a rival barrister - Vernon Ames - who works in the neighbouring chambers. Ruth meanwhile is feeling a little broody and takes to mothering Hilary as she reveals her maternal side, as she contemplates adopting a baby. However, being a single parent, she attempts to rope Hilary into pretending to be her partner. Receiving a phone call from Vernon, John finds that he'll be going up against him in front of a female judge. With his case struggling, Vince offers John advice on flirting with the judge. The interviewer from social services arrives to question Ruth and an uncertain Hilary, who does surprisingly well. John's attempts to flirt with the judge lead to her to angrily request a meeting, where she ends up asking him out. Looking forward to her future with a baby, Hilary soon puts Ruth off with the thought of sleepless nights - though it proves to be all for nothing when she gets rejected.

2. The Masons

John loses another case and with Vince's help, believes that the cause was his opponent being a Freemason. Meanwhile, Ruth has won her case and made a new friend while working with a fellow lawyer Esther, who invites her out to a lesbian bar, to which she ropes Hilary into going with her. At his next court date, John attempts to present himself as a Mason, but ends up giving the impression he is gay. However, he soon meets an actual Mason who invites him to his initiation. At the gay bar, Hilary discovers Judge Brierly is also in attendance, who soon believes he is gay. With Esther appearing to come on to Ruth, she eventually comes clean and admits she is not a lesbian though Esther admits she is in a long term relationship. Ruth however soon finds that Esther actually wasn't interested in her - preferring a more emotionally intellectual person. John's initiation with the Freemasons also goes ahead, but doesn't get him the next court case win he wants.

3. The Phantom Barrister

John sets about looking for a new member of staff. Ruth's mother also turns up in chambers for a visit, and decides after watching Kavanagh QC, she wants to see her daughter in action in court, which leaves Ruth feeling like her family and work lives are colliding. John and Hilary take to interviewing a prospective employee, Edward, who John immediately hires while Hilary worries about, with further concerns when he soon asks John to loan him money. Vince and John also have to take to confronting Edward about his honesty when billing. Hilary is also shunted from being John's junior on a case in favour of Edward, leaving him upset, in the hope of earning some case fees to pay back John. However, Edward's advice torpedoes their potential earnings when he convinces the defendant to plead guilty. Meanwhile, Ruth's relationship is also strained due to her mother interfering in his case presentation at court. Hilary also does some digging on Edward to find out who he really is.

4. A Case With a View

John is invited his brother, Quentin, to a party which could involve improvements in chambers fortunes with regards to work. John is eventually persuaded by Quentin to take in his nephew Leo, while Quentin is going through marital difficulties. Hilary meanwhile takes to practising his confrontational skills on the Samaritans when he decides he wants to move to prosecutions. Receiving a phone call from the police, John discovers that Leo has been caught committing a burglary. However, Hilary's first case ends up being against Leo, and John defending, who has to convince Hilary not to recuse himself from the case. With a witness placing Leo at the scene of the crime, John has to launch a defence which has the court travel to the scene of the crime to prove that the witness could not have possibly see a break him due to a wall. John also discovers the real reason Leo was at the house.

5. Conditional Fees

Struggling to recoup fees that the chambers are due, Vince suggests enacting a "no win, no fee" model, and only take on cases they are sure they can win. With Hilary having just taken on a conditional fee case, John sets about trying to take over the work himself which involves a minor workplace accident and a tin of canned fruit. Meanwhile, Ruth also puts her wiles into action to get Vince to give her more work, by taking him out to lunch. John also brings in a medical expert, Masterson, with whom he manages to exaggerate the man's injury. At lunch, Ruth attempts to talk Vince into giving her more favourable work. Preparing to present their case, John and Hilary discover a fact which will leave their case unwinnable. Ruth's prospective new clients initially seem promising, until she quickly realises they have been arranged by Vince. John's case also starts off better than expected, until their client has a heart attack on the witness stand.

Series 3

1. Rent Arrears

Vince broaches the subject of a couple of days off work after getting a vasectomy, which John takes as an attempt to have a Jewish holiday. Meanwhile, Ruth is working on a family contact case and admits to Hilary that she lies about having a family of her own. Hilary gives up some free time to offer students legal advice, and discovers that their accommodation has been fleecing them - and that John is part of the landlord group. Continuing to believe that Vince is Jewish, John begins to make it a bigger issue. However, he manages to offer Hilary support when he begins to struggle with the case. Ruth's pretending to have a family also causes problems when she agrees to take them ice skating with a mother whose case she is working on, before she decides to rope Hilary into the affair. Asking John about his case, Hilary soon discovers that John is their landlord, and takes advice from Vince on how to handle the situation.

2. A Pain in the Back

John has a meeting with Imogen, an alluring client which has lead him to make an extra effort, including going as far as dying his hair. He also finds that she has employed a number of barristers previously. Ruth meanwhile is looking after a friend's Tamagotchi, though ends up leaving it in Hilary's hands. Imogen's case of a back injury obtained at work is in trouble, as she is believed to be making it up, leaving John with an uphill task as he also has to face an adversary. Hilary avoids looking after the Tamagotchi for another day, leaving Ruth with the responsibility of taking it to court, which causes bother with the judge. Vince offers some advice to John with regards to Imogen, and their growing closeness though it leads to his discovery about the extent of her lies with the case. He also gets caught on video in a compromising position which is threatened to be shown in court.

3. Outward Bound

Fuller-Carp is invited by reputable law firm who John sometimes receives work from, to take part in a team-building weekend, as a way to meet the members of each other teams. Hilary has also lost another parking case, leaving him to think about exiting the profession. Ruth's sister also arrives having travelled from Bradford, and is tasked with looking after her niece, Nicky. Eventually persuading his staff to attend, Nicky also tags along though demands fifty pounds. They also find that another chambers have been invited, and they are to face off against each other. The team finds themselves stuck out in the woods overnight and having to make camp, they end up lost. With Forecourt Chambers under pressure, they have to negotiate with a farmer to cross his land and win the competition. Back at the office, John finds that after winning the competition, Ruth and Nicky get offers of work.

4. It's Only Words

The chambers are working on a "building case" though Hilary worries about how to charge, which Vince and John plan on a straight half-a-million. John also finds that he will be opposing rival Vernon Ames who he has form with playing a word game against and losing a large amount of money the last time they played. Ruth also takes to spending a large amount of money to join a dating agency where she tries to avoid public relations people. She ends up on a date with Guy, though she lies and claims she is a nurse, which causes problems when he is burnt by the waiter. Vince loses a bet with Vernon on getting the names of the cast of Eastenders into his speech which costs him five hundred pounds. Vernon takes pity and offers another bet of three thousand, which Hilary takes on and wins, though John's new found confidence leads Vince to be worried. Guy also arranges a second date to reveal he is still getting over a relationship with another barrister, and has lied as he is in public relations.