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Publisher's Summary

How can you speak up for someone accused of a savage murder? Or sway a jury? Or get a judge to drop a case?

In this memoir, murder case lawyer William Clegg revisits his most intriguing trials, from the acquittal of Colin Stagg to the shooting of Jill Dando, to the man given life because of an earprint. All the while he lays bare the secrets of his profession, from the rivalry among barristers to the nervous moments before a verdict comes back, and how our right to a fair trial is now at risk.

Under the Wig is for anyone who wants to know the reality of a murder trial. Switch off the TV dramas and see real criminal law in action.

Well-known cases featured: the murder of Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon Common, the Chillenden murders (Dr Lin and Megan Russell), the trial of Private Lee Clegg, the murder of Jill Dando, the first Nazi war crimes prosecution in the UK, the murder of Joanna Yeates, the Rebekah Brooks phone hacking trial.

©2018 William Clegg (P)2020 Quercus Editions Limited

Critic Reviews

 "Gripping." (The Times)

"This is a gripping memoir from one of our country's greatest jury advocates, offering a fascinating, no-holds-barred tour behind the scenes of some of the most famous criminal cases of modern times." (The Secret Barrister)

"A must read if you've got any interest in the criminal law." (Matthew Scott, Barrister Blog)

What listeners say about Under the Wig

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Brilliant and accessible

A great life story and legal memoir with fascinating interludes into famous cases. Ideal for lawyers and non-lawyers alike.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-10-2020

Good but needed a better editor

As a solicitor who found criminal law the most interesting subject at law college, I was hoping for plenty of anecdotes and analysis of Clegg's cases. He certainly delivers when taking us through the detail of say the Colin Stagg or Jill Dando cases but I was less interested in the war crime cases (a couple of chapters feature these} as, although clearly landmarks, they are not particularly interesting from a legal perspective. Clegg is clearly at the top of his game but he needed an editor remove the boring anecdotes, eg. His campaign for fresh toast in the Belfast hotel or the video conferencing facilities in his Chambers!

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  • Kazzi
  • 01-09-2020

interesting.

Following a QC through cases covered by the press. worth my credit I say.

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  • gilly_flower
  • 16-05-2020

Gripping and unforgettable - really?

This book didn't grip me at all. I found it a bit tedious and dull. Usually I think it adds something to a book when it is narrated by the author, but I think it might have been better if it had been narrated by someone else. William Clegg QC stumbled over the words as if he'd never seen them before. Actually, as it was written by a ghost writer, he probably hadn't seen them before! Sorry, but I will be returning this one.

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  • A.HUTCHINSON
  • 29-12-2020

Law!! What is it good for?

A very enjoyable and interesting read. His precise delivery epitomised the subject matter which requires emotionless, consistent attention to detail. The type of book one can revisit on several occasions.

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  • Steph W
  • 19-12-2020

Insightful look at the legal profession

The book follows a long career in the British legal profession interspersed with many famous cases including the murder of Jill Dando and the phone hacking scandal. Interesting and insightful book.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-12-2020

A briefing by the best !

This is fascinating, William would be the best dinner guest ; for for the truth , the whole truth of a wondrous career . Mind you , that would take a month of dinners ; yet here it all is and marvellously related .

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  • Nick Cook
  • 08-12-2020

An interesting enough read

Nice to see some high profile cases including Colin Stagg, Jill Dando and Bosnian war crimes.

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  • R. P. Jenkins
  • 06-12-2020

Fascinating.

An amazing glimpse into the world of the barrister both at the bar and behind the scenes.

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  • Piers Reynolds
  • 01-12-2020

Thoroughly well written and brilliantly narrated.

Exactly what you would expect from a top barrister. Very well written and performed in the manner you would expect from a top QC. You will be surprised just how many high profile cases William Clegg QC has worked on - there are many cases you will remember reading about in the paper. A very interesting insight into a world few people get to see.

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  • J. Insley
  • 29-11-2020

Fascinating insight

This account of several of the most infamous cases of recent times is both fascinating and reassuring. The balance between cases and the author’s opinions about the legal profession was perfect. I understand his desire to narrate his own book, but he read it as though he was in court - too deliberate. He either needed to read I’d more naturally or allow someone else to do it.

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