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Boris Johnson and celebrity lawyer Nick ‘Mr Loophole’ Freeman are not exactly natural bedfellows.

For starters, Nick, who recently helped Everton’s new boss Frank Lampard avoid prosecution after he was filmed driving with a coffee cup in one hand and a mobile in the other, is a man who pays attention to detail.

It’s how he finds the legal loopholes in the evidence that ‘get [his clients] off’ (his words).

Add to this Nick, unlike those working for our Partygate-besieged Prime Minister, rarely drinks (‘less than a unit a month,’ he says), prefers sushi to cake (‘fit body fit mind’) and likes things ‘in order, clean, tidy’.

So much so that when I arrive at his lakeside home in Cheshire it’s off with the size four suede boots (mine) and on with a spare pair of size nine moccasin slippers (his) before we shuffle (me) / stride (him) across a spotless marble floor to the kitchen which is… well, let’s say Lulu Lytle, the interior designer who revamped Boris and Carrie Johnson’s Downing Street home, would have a rather pristine blank canvas to hang her pricey wallpaper on here.

‘I don’t want to work with chaos,’ he says. 

‘Even as a small child I wouldn’t have my cheese and pickle sandwiches and watch a Western on a Saturday night until I’d tidied all my toys away.

‘I have a different mindset to the Prime Minister. Chaos doesn’t make me comfortable. But he’s OK with it. Although it might be his downfall, mightn’t it? I think it’s shameful what he’s allegedly done. But, from a legal perspective…’

He pauses for effect. Nick’s fit, fastidious mind has, it turns out, come up with a loophole for our beleaguered premier as the Metropolitan Police examine goodness knows how many hours of CCTV footage, electronic pass access and exit records and witness statements in their investigation of Partygate. 

‘Time-barred,’ Nick, 66, announces triumphantly.

Celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman (pictured at his Cheshire home) finds the legal loopholes in the evidence that ‘get [his clients] off’ (his words)

Celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman (pictured at his Cheshire home) finds the legal loopholes in the evidence that ‘get [his clients] off’ (his words)

Celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman (pictured at his Cheshire home) finds the legal loopholes in the evidence that ‘get [his clients] off’ (his words)

In short, for an offence usually tried in the magistrates’ court, such as a breach of Covid rules, the police must ask the court to issue a summons within six months of the prosecutor having knowledge of the crime. If they don’t, the charge must be ‘binned’ (again, Nick’s word).

Take, for example, the infamous ‘victory party’, allegedly held by Carrie in their Downing Street flat to celebrate the departure of his chief adviser Dominic Cummings during which Abba songs, including Winner Takes It All, were played.

The celebration was reported by our sister paper The Mail On Sunday within a few days of Cummings exiting No 10 with his belongings in a cardboard box on November 13 2020. 

‘The issue is when did the prosecution know. The law says it’s when the prosecutor feels he has sufficient knowledge there will be a prosecution — Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 section 127 (1),’ says Nick, reeling off sections and sub-sections with ease of a seven-year-old reciting their times tables.

‘If you could read about the party in a newspaper you’d think, “Yes, bringing charges for that party is a flagrant breach of those regulations”.  

‘All we know, is that the Met was unwilling to investigate this or other parties [within the first six months]. We also know there were officers on the door [of Downing Street]. I can’t believe they turned a blind eye because their jobs would have been potentially on the line.

Nick, who recently helped Everton’s new boss Frank Lampard (pictured) avoid prosecution after he was filmed driving with a coffee cup in one hand and a mobile in the other, is a man who pays attention to detail.

Nick, who recently helped Everton’s new boss Frank Lampard (pictured) avoid prosecution after he was filmed driving with a coffee cup in one hand and a mobile in the other, is a man who pays attention to detail.

Nick, who recently helped Everton’s new boss Frank Lampard (pictured) avoid prosecution after he was filmed driving with a coffee cup in one hand and a mobile in the other, is a man who pays attention to detail.

Other famous clients include David Beckham (speeding, but Nick said he was escaping the paparazzi)

Other famous clients include David Beckham (speeding, but Nick said he was escaping the paparazzi)

Other famous clients include David Beckham (speeding, but Nick said he was escaping the paparazzi)

‘If I was the officer I’d think, “Hang on. I’ve got these guests with bottles turning up. What am I supposed to do?” If I was on the door, I wouldn’t let them in until I knew someone was covering my back. 

‘The police should have investigated from the start. What is the point of an investigation which is going to cost the taxpayer loads of money only to be told these people are culpable on the face of it but we’re not going to charge them because we can’t actually prove the case because we’re time-barred.’

So would he defend the Prime Minister who, in his words, ‘should have said, “I’ve made a complete c**k of things. I’m sorry” — and mean it’?

‘Absolutely,’ he says. ‘He’s entitled to take advantage of the law. The law’s the law. I don’t have to admire and respect him to defend him.’

Now Nick, of course, has made a career, not to mention a small fortune, defending what many of us would consider to be morally indefensible: serial drink drivers, dangerous drivers, idiotic young men racing at 135 mph on our roads, as well as the rich and famous. 

Now Nick, of course, has made a career, not to mention a small fortune, defending what many of us would consider to be morally indefensible. Pictured above with Paddy McGuinness

Now Nick, of course, has made a career, not to mention a small fortune, defending what many of us would consider to be morally indefensible. Pictured above with Paddy McGuinness

Now Nick, of course, has made a career, not to mention a small fortune, defending what many of us would consider to be morally indefensible. Pictured above with Paddy McGuinness

These include David Beckham (speeding, but Nick said he was escaping the paparazzi), Jeremy Clarkson (speeding, but Nick successfully argued there was no proof he was driving the car), Sir Alex Ferguson (driving along the hard shoulder, but exonerated after it was explained he had a dodgy tummy).

Most recently, Frank Lampard hired him after he was caught on video by vigilante cyclist Mike van Erp driving his £250,000 Mercedes G-Wagon holding a coffee and his mobile. 

Now, Nick has insisted before this interview that he will not discuss the Lampard case, which caused an outcry when the authorities said there was not enough evidence to prosecute him once Nick had taken the case.

So, I ask if we can talk hypothetically. Nick, after all, has a pretty good hit rate when it comes to clients on phones. 

Comedian Jimmy Carr escaped conviction in 2009 after police saw him using his mobile behind the wheel of his Bentley. Nick argued, successfully, he was using it to record a joke, not making a phone call.

So, Nick, let’s say I’m at a traffic light. I’ve got my phone in my hand talking to a friend on speaker and someone, a cyclist perhaps, takes a photograph?

‘You’ve not spoken to the police and you want to defend it?’ he asks. Yes. 

The key, it turns out, is making sure a defendant doesn’t come anywhere near the court unless phone bill evidence will exonerate them.

This is because, says Nick: ‘If you give evidence any prosecutor’s going to say, “Where’s your bill?” ’

Freddie Flintoff arrives at court with 'Mr Loophole' Nick Freeman

Freddie Flintoff arrives at court with 'Mr Loophole' Nick Freeman

Freddie Flintoff arrives at court with ‘Mr Loophole’ Nick Freeman

He adds: ‘The legal system is the Crown must prove their case, so let’s see what evidence they’ve got. Knowledge of the law is king. It’s my arsenal, my weaponry and I fight to win. 

‘The prosecution has to show you were using your phone for an interactive communication — talking or text — and to do that they must show the phone is on.

‘If the video only shows a blank screen how do they know it’s on? Bingo.’

One thing is clear — Nick’s meticulous ‘knowledge of the law’ is very lucrative. Today, there’s a brand new £100,000 Porsche Macan Turbo on his drive, a second home in the South of France and a signed photo from golfer Colin Montgomerie in his downstairs loo. The sportsman is another… let’s call him a repeat client.

This lakefront house with a hot-tub and steam room has been his home through two marriages and now a two-and-a-half year relationship with ‘television presenter/interior designer/counsellor/brand ambassador’ Melissa Porter, 49, whose 11-year-old son Pierce he regards as his own.

‘This is very much a blended family,’ says Nick, who also has a 31-year-old daughter Sophie and son Ben, 28 from his first marriage to Stephanie that lasted 20 years until she began a relationship with her salsa dance partner Mark Hagerty. 

‘That was very humiliating,’ he says. Not heartbreaking? Not devastating? 

‘No, humiliating,’ he says. 

‘He came round here to have a dance lesson the first time I met him. I’d never seen him before and it was literally just a “Hi, how are you?” I remember saying to Steph, “Be careful because this guy’s going to have you.” ’

Two years later they separated.

‘I believe in monogamy. I don’t like changing my homes. I don’t like changing my cars.’ 

He also doesn’t like being humiliated in court. 

‘If I lose a case, I do the appeal immediately because it’s in my brain while it’s fresh with anger,’ he says.

‘When I win, obviously it’s a relief because you’re advising someone on a situation that’s very tricky.’

Nick’s drive to win, and clearly there are no plans for retirement any time soon, was shaped by his uncompromising childhood.

Brought up in Nottingham, he was ‘pushed’ by father Keith, who would threaten a ‘stroke of the hairbrush or riding crop’ when he didn’t measure up at private Uppingham School, and learnt from a young age the pain of failure. 

‘I don’t like corporal punishment. I don’t think it harmonises relationships but it was a different generation. 

‘My dad [who ran the family’s womenswear business] was a big, tough guy. He was a rugby player. His nickname was Thug. He used to box in the Army.

‘I’m not like that. I’m a badminton, squash, cross-country runner. I’m more delicate. He probably found that frustrating. When I was a young age he told me, “Don’t kiss me goodnight any more and don’t say your prayers any more. You’re too big to do that now.”

‘He was beaten as a child, so you’d be naughty and Mum would say, “Wait for dad to come home” and he would beat me. I hated it. Absolutely hated it. It’s brutal. It’s painful and it doesn’t get you close together, does it? I think it’s damaging. I had some hypnotherapy much, much later on and this came out. I didn’t know it was a problem for me until then. Of course, you try to talk to your dad and sort things out but it’s too difficult to do.’

When his father died of a brain tumour at the age of 74 in 2005, Nick was 49 and running his own practice with a client base that featured many leading sportsmen and a reputation as a legal wizard that often saw him on television. 

One of the last memories he has of his dad is of him giving him the thumbs up when he recognised him in a documentary presented by Sir Trevor McDonald. 

Nick tries to contain his tears as he tells me this.

‘They’d tried a new treatment where they basically put his brain in like a microwave and targeted it. He didn’t last long afterward. 

‘I have to say you wouldn’t do it to your dog. I’ve just lost my dog — a Staffie called George who was nine. He had come to a point where it’s inhumane to carry on.’ Again, there are tears.

Nick is, without doubt, a contradictory man. He tells me he cares for the environment, but ‘hates electric cars’. 

‘They’re devoid of personality. I like a car to have a soul,’ he says. He insists he values ‘the truth’ and says his prayers every morning, that, as a practising Jew, ‘Hashem is my god, not money’. 

But he also admits he ‘likes [the] nice things in life’ and will, without conscience, defend, for example, a drink driver who, as he tells me had a previous conviction and caused a smash involving a family on their way to Legoland, all of whom sustained life-changing injuries.

‘He legged it across a field and was eventually caught, but the police made a complete botch of the procedure and the prosecution didn’t notice it,’ he says. 

‘They could have rescued the case with different charges but didn’t. I waited until the end of the six-month period and pointed out what they’d done wrong and the case collapsed.’

I wonder how he sleeps at night defending men such as this. Is it right the wealthy and famous can buy themselves out of trouble?

‘The law applies to everyone, irrespective of the depth of their pocket,’ he says. 

‘I don’t make the law. I highlight, by winning cases, where people make mistakes. If the police make mistakes, whose fault is that? Is that my responsibility? My job is to defend my client in court whether that’s a celebrity or your average man in the street.’

Nick stands as I gather my things to go. He had a back operation last October that gives him discomfort.

‘I stopped breathing just as they finished so had to go on to life support,’ he says. You never know, do you? 

‘I’m actually not a great sleeper but it’s not because I’m troubled by what I do,’ he continues as we shuffle (me) / stride (him) to the front door. 

‘One last thing,’ he adds. ‘You can leave the slippers there.’

Source: dailymail

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