Ben Birnberg: a pioneering lawyer

Ben Birnberg is the name of a Liberal Democrat party member unfamiliar to many, I suspect. However, the names of the clients he has worked for during his legal career are very familiar: Derek Bentley, Imran Khan, Richard Branson and Vanessa Redgrave amongst others.

Ben was the guest speaker this week at the Lewisham and Beckenham North┬áLiberal Democrats supper club and his talk was a fascinating tour through his political and legal career: from being a trainee lawyer and a member of the Communist Party through to being a distinguished retired lawyer and an active Liberal Democrat. You can read more about Ben Birnberg’s career in The Independent‘s profile of him.

I had to miss the end of his speech to catch a train, but before leaving also got to sample the lovely Nepalese food served at The Everest Inn. Highly recommended.

(Though you might be advised to avoid doing what I did: which was to take advantage of finding myself next to a railway industry expert to find out why the toilets smell so much on Virgin Trains. Let’s just say that I now know in graphic detail many of the tests there were carried out on the toilets and how checking the smell after intensive use was left out from them. The use of, ahem, substitute materials to model actual toilet usage was interesting but perhaps best not described just before eating…)

And most importantly, of course, I got to take part in the raffle…

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