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Book Review: Harry Curry, Counsel of Choice by Stuart Littlemore QC

Harry Curry, Counsel of Choice book cover

We all know not to judge a book by its cover. However, as every law student also knows, the finding of loopholes and exceptions to the rule is an important skill.

In Harry Curry, Counsel of Choice, I have found a book that can be judged by its cover, or at least the words written below the title. “Ugly. Irascible. Intolerant. Clever.” These words perfectly describe Harry Curry, the character created by Australian barrister and writer Stuart Littlemore QC.

Counsel of Choice is the first book in the Harry Curry series and begins with extraordinary Sydney barrister Harry Curry being suspended from practice after a finding of professional misconduct. He is sought out by Arabella Engineer, a young barrister still finding her feet at the bar and reluctantly agrees to help her. The remainder of the book focuses on Harry and Arabella’s personal and professional exploits as Harry fashions himself as a “consultant”, assisting in a range of cases from an alleged sexual assault to a coronial proceeding.

Without giving too much away, I absolutely loved this book and its characters. Harry and Arabella are highly intelligent and witty, but remain eminently human. I particularly identified with the struggles of Arabella, suffering from occasional crippling bouts of self-doubt and feeling the weight of her family’s expectations.

After the initial explanation of Harry’s predicament and development of the relationship between Harry and Arabella, the book is split into four parts, each focusing on a case. This is where the book gains its strength. The cases are gritty and the descriptions of the clients and proceedings so realistic that you could almost justify reading this book as study! It is possible to read the parts of this book separately, which is perfect for the time poor law student.

I would recommend this book to anyone, but particularly law students who want a work of legal fiction that is intelligent yet humorous and easy to read.

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