Quercus is publishing the hit legal memoir of barrister William Clegg QC, who has acted as counsel in high profile murder trials including the acquittal of Colin Stagg during the Wimbledon Common Murder case and the shooting of Jill Dando.
Originally acquired and published by Canbury Press in October of this year, Quercus intends to bring the 69-year-old’s debut to a wider audience, publishing in e-book and audio formats on 29th November 2018 and in paperback on 2nd May 2019.
While other cases explored in the book include Britain's first prosecution for Nazi war crimes and acting as counsel for News International's head of security in the notorious phone hacking trial, in the book Clegg explains how you can speak up for someone accused of a savage murder, sway a jury and get a judge to drop a case. He also sheds light on the inner workings of his profession, touching on the rivalry among barristers and how legal aid cuts have diminished our right to a fair trial.
Katy Follain, non-fiction publisher, who acquired UK and Commonwealth rights with Jon Butler, said Quercus was delighted Canbury Press had allowed them to acquire the rights and capitalise on its success with the book. “Under the Wig has been riding high on the Amazon bestseller list and has had wonderful reviews,” she said. “As we have seen with the continuing sales of The Secret Barrister, there is a fascination for the law and for murder trials in particular, and to have a book written by one of our country’s greatest jury advocates who can speak openly and take part in literary festivals is a real asset.”
Canbury Press m.d. Martin Hickman, said: “This book, a debut by a 69-year-old author, has rightly become a surprise hit this Christmas. I’m passing it to Quercus because they impressed Bill and I with their verve for it and they have more marketing might than me to promote the paperback. I hope its sale will alert the book trade to its quality and to the calibre of Canbury’s titles more generally. We have many more exciting titles to come.”