Bodley Head signs Lady Hale memoir in two-book deal

Bodley Head signs Lady Hale memoir in two-book deal

The Bodley Head has signed the memoir of former Supreme Court president Lady Hale in a two-book deal.

Stuart Williams, publishing director, acquired world rights in all languages from Victoria Hobbs at AM Heath. The memoir will be published in 2021, with her second book to be an exploration of the importance of the law – why we need it, how it works, and why it sometimes fails — illustrated using key judgments. 

Lady Hale said: “Mine is not a rags to riches story – either at the beginning or at the end – but it is the story of how a little girl from a little school in a little village in North Yorkshire became the most senior judge in the United Kingdom – when all the previous holders had been men from public school backgrounds with stellar careers as barristers. It is the story of how she found that she could cope. And it shows how other women and people from similarly small beginnings, without any connections or obvious advantages in the law, will find that they can cope too.”

The first female president of the Supreme Court, Brenda Hale served in the role from 2017 to 2019. The spider brooch-wearing judge caused headlines last year with the ruling that Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament was illegal as he attempted to push through his Brexit deal.

Alluding to the second book, she said the “law is everywhere and an endless source of fascination”. Lady Hale added: “It touches all our lives – every time we buy something, take a ride on a train or a bus, go out for a drive or to ride our bikes, go to school or to work, start a business, move in with a partner, get married or have children, go to hospital and eventually die – the law is with us from cradle to grave. It should be there for everyone – and not just for individuals and enterprises. It is also there for government – it tells us how we are governed, who is in charge, and who is accountable to whom for how they use their powers, and that no one at all is above the law. We all need to know where we stand and never more so than in extraordinary times like these.”

Williams said: “We are thrilled to be Lady Hale’s publisher. She has been an inspirational figure to many people for years – for her achievements in the law, for the causes she has championed, and for her passionate views on access to the law as a profession. Of course, her historic and dramatic role in determining that Parliament had not been prorogued gave her an even greater national prominence. I expect her books to be direct, warm, arresting and candid, and to introduce readers to a great mind and a great campaigner.”