Charles Rann Kennedy

Charles Rann Kennedy

Charles Rann Kennedy

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Charles Rann Kennedy (1808 - December 17, 1867) was an English lawyer and classicist, best remembered for his involvement in the Swinfen will case and the issues of contingency fee agreements and legal ethics that it involved.


Kennedy was born in Birmingham, the younger brother of Benjamin Hall Kennedy. He was educated at Shrewsbury School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated as senior classic (1831). He then became a barrister. From 1849-1856 he was professor of law at Queen's College, Birmingham. In his academic role, he advised the judge Lord Denman in the important parliamentary privilege case of Stockdale v. Hansard.Pue (1990) p.62 As counsel to Mrs Swinfen, the plaintiff in the celebrated will case Swinfen v. Swinfen (1856), he brought an action for remuneration for professional services, but the verdict given in his favour at Warwick assizes was set aside by the court of Common Pleas, on the ground that a barrister could not sue for the recovery of his fees.

The excellence of Kennedy's scholarship is abundantly proved by his translation of the orations of Demosthenes (1852–1863, in Bohn's Classical Library), and his blank verse translation of the works of Virgil (1861). He was also the author of New Rules for Pleading (2nd ed., 1841) and A Treatise on Annuities (1846).

His grandson, also...
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