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The many talents of Gina Miller’s QC

In the upcoming play Bloody Difficult Women, who better to portray a convincing performance of Lord Pannick than the man himself

Gina Miller leaves the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Photo: PA Wire/PA Images

During the anxious wait for judgment in Gina Miller’s second case against the British government – the one that maintained Boris Johnson’s prorogation of parliament in 2019 was unlawful – her QC, Lord Pannick, asked her friends and advisers and his fellow lawyers how many of the 11 justices would take her side.

I was with them in a side room at the supreme court and the figures varied. The political pressure on the justices was so intense there was not even a consensus Lord Pannick’s client was going to win. Still, I felt that he had argued the case compellingly, that Lady Hale, as president of the supreme court, would know the decision could not be half-hearted, and so I said I believed Miller would win with a unanimous verdict. I was the only one in the room to take that view, and I raised a few eyebrows, but, happily, I was proved right.

The faith I had in Lord Pannick that day has now been repaid. Stephen Unwin, the director of my play Bloody Difficult Women – focusing on Miller’s earlier case against Theresa May’s government, when Lord Pannick first represented her – said he wanted someone who could sound “convincingly” like him. I imaginatively suggested the man himself.

The most eminent advocate of his generation agreed to play himself, but, would you believe it, Unwin, when he heard the recording, said he didn’t think he sounded like a lawyer. I said that’s almost certainly one of the reasons Lord Pannick wins so many cases – and he got the part. Readers can judge his performance at the Riverside Studios in west London until March 26. The New European will not alas allow me to review my own play, so I, too, must now await judgment in next week’s edition.

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