A lawyer who successfully defends the rich and famous on motoring charges has registered “Mr Loophole” as a trademark to prevent rivals from stealing his nickname.
Nick Freeman, one of the wealthiest solicitors in Britain, was given the sobriquet by the media for his ability to tease out the flaws in drink-drive or speeding prosecutions.
Over the years he has successfully represented David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Sir Alex Ferguson, the snooker player Ronnie O’Sullivan and the golfer Colin Montgomerie. Most recently he defended Dwight Yorke, the Sunderland midfielder, and Jeremy Clarkson, presenter of Top Gear, who was acquitted of speeding in an Alpha Romeo V6 Brera lent by the company.
Mr Freeman, 51, said that he decided to register the name under the Trade Marks Act 1994 to prevent others “cashing in on his fame and success in the court room”. He styles himself “Nick Freeman aka Mr Loophole” on his website.
“The media coined the term for me and while some might not know the name Nick Freeman, they usually have heard the name Mr Loophole,” he said at the Manchester head office of Freeman & Co. “In order to stop others in the legal profession using the name, I have succeeded in my bid to protect the name and have trademarked it with the UK’s Patent Office.”
The solicitor insisted that his motive was not to make money but to ensure the public were not misled. “I did not want the name, or ask for it and I have always said that I didn’t really like it but it is something that has stuck,” he said. “There is something of an irony that I have now registered it but I might as well turn it into a positive.
“There have been other lawyers who are claiming they are legal loopholes. There have been various incidents where people have been claiming to be the new Mr Loophole. It is important the public knows there is only one Mr Loophole and that is Nick Freeman.” Mr Freeman has warned rivals that he has now received his certificate of registration and that he will pursue any imposters through the courts. “Legal action can be taken,” he said.
Mr Freeman, who owns up to a weakness for high performance cars, has gained a reputation for his flamboyant style. He lives in a £4 million mansion in Mere, Cheshire, with his wife, Stephanie, a former model, and their two children.
Over the past two decades he has successfully defended the wealthy and well-heeled on charges of speeding and drink-driving. He has deeply upset law enforcement agencies and antispeeding charities who believe he has exploited the law to put dangerous drivers back behind the wheel. Mr Freeman, who claims he is simply doing his job, has said: “It is not me who is to blame. If the prosecuting authorities did their jobs properly, nobody would ever get off. All I am doing is protecting people from the police not doing their jobs properly.”
He was arrested by Gwent Police in October 2006, on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice but no charges were ever brought.
Mr Freeman is shortly to represent on a pro bono basis Julie Lake, the daughter of a Second World War pilot, who was charged with assault for cuffing the ear of a youth she believed was desecrating a war memorial.