One of the North East’s leading lawyers has been awarded the Freedom of the City of London.
Barry Speker OBE DL joined the likes of Michael Caine, Winston Churchill and Lord Nelson in having the Freedom bestowed. He received the Freedom in a ceremony at the Chamberlain’s Court in London’s Guildhall.
A prominent medico-legal expert lawyer and Employment Judge, Mr Speker – a consultant with Newcastle law firm Sintons – is also heavily involved with an array of charities. He writes and lectures widely in his various specialisms, and is a trusted advisor to the Chinese community.
Being a Freeman of the City of London carries various traditional ‘privileges’, including the right to drive sheep and cattle over London Bridge; to have a silken rope if the Freeman is hanged; to carry a naked sword in public; and that if the City of London Police find a Freeman drunk and incapable, they will send him home in a taxi rather than arrest him.
Mr Speker, whose ceremony was attended by family and friends, said: “This is a huge privilege which I am delighted to receive.
“It was a very special and memorable occasion, during which the Clerk of the Chamberlain’s Court gave a very personalised speech to showcase his knowledge of my native North East, making reference to celebrations on the Quayside as well as memories of the Get Carter car park in Gateshead, which he said he found useful when making Sir Michael Caine a Freeman.”