Ask the QC

Ahava protesters and a point of law

By Jonathan Goldberg, May 19, 2011

Ben from Hove writes: As an ordinary lay person, I am baffled by the fact that well-organised pro-Palestinian protesters were able to close down the Ahava shop in Covent Garden by invading it and chaining themselves to a specially adapted concrete tube, and that a similar group burgled and trashed and temporarily shut down an entire factory near where I live last year.


The right way to deal with a will

By Jonathan Goldberg, April 7, 2011

Heather from Glasgow writes: My elder brother died recently in his early sixties, after a long illness. He was a successful author and academic, and his books sell well. One is the leading textbook in its field. He spent much of his life teaching in American universities, but he came back to die in the UK and never renounced his British citizenship.


Viewers want to see The Promise... in court

By Jonathan Goldberg, March 14, 2011

Elaine from Bournemouth writes: I am incandescent with anger after watching The Promise on Channel 4 with my father. My father fought in the British Army during World War Two. Later he was a volunteer in Israel's War of Independence. He witnessed at first-hand some of the events depicted in this series.


An insanity plea may be a crazy option

By Jonathan Goldberg, February 3, 2011

Anthony from Oxford writes: I have been following with keen interest reports about the recent shooting in Arizona of the Jewish Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords. She survived the attack in which many other bystanders were killed by a lone gunman. I have read that he is now reportedly planning an insanity defence at trial. What are the limits of such a defence, and would it be open to him equally in the UK?


Tough decisions for business partners who fall out

By Jonathan Goldberg, December 29, 2010

Philip from Bournemouth writes: Ever since we were small boys growing up together, I have been extremely close to my cousin. Some 12 years ago when our children had grown up and were off our hands, and we had each been made redundant by a large company, we opened as partners together in a home catering business. We never bothered with any written partnership agreement.


A wild party, but where were the parents?

By Jonathan Goldberg, November 26, 2010

Natasha from Hampstead writes: My 14-year-old daughter was invited to a birthday party by one of her schoolfriends held on a Saturday evening in a large house in one of the best roads in north London.


Can I sue over smelly feet slur?

By Jonathan Goldberg, October 22, 2010

This week I thought I would answer the three funniest questions I have received recently.

Hava from Hendon writes: I was trying on shoes recently at a crowded and expensive shoe shop in the West End. I could hardly believe my ears when the girl assistant, who could not have been more than 17, said to me: "If you don't mind my saying so, you do have rather smelly feet". I complained to the manageress, who was embarrassed and mumbled some apology, then I walked out. I am sure other shoppers heard this comment. Can I sue the store for libel?


Protect your assets… from your partner

By Jonathan Goldberg, September 21, 2010

Leah from Netanya writes: I'm very worried for my niece in London. She is a brilliant and vivacious girl, but frankly rather scatter-brained. She is now 51, and was divorced a few years ago after a long marriage. She has teenage boys. On the recent death of her father, who was my elder brother, she inherited a truly enormous fortune. This includes numerous residential and commercial properties which require management, renovation and upkeep. She has taken up with a man who is 16 years younger, and they live together.


Help me get my old dad off the road

By Jonathan Goldberg, August 19, 2010

Hilda from Kensington writes: My beloved father is now approaching 80 and has been driving all his life. He has a larger than life, dominating and stubborn personality. He was very successful in business until his retirement. He lost my mother two years ago and I am his only child. He is vain, and unwilling to come to terms with his age. He refuses to move from his six-bedroom suburban house or change his Rolls Royce for a smaller car, and he colours his hair.

I am telling you all this frankly so you understand the kind of man he is, and the problem I have.


We're losing our grandchildren

By Jonathan Goldberg, July 28, 2010

Elizabeth from Leeds writes: "My husband and I are proudly Jewish but not especially observant. Our youngest son married a non-Jewish girl who converted to Judaism at that time via the Reform Synagogue, and who agreed to raise the children as Jewish. Nobody forced her into this decision, I must emphasise.