Screenplays

SHARPE PRACTICE

An outline for a 8 x 1 returning hour drama television series

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Sam Sharpe is a lawyer, a hot-shot litigator
And a junior partner in the Gold Coast’s biggest and most prestigious law firm
But behind the glossy façade, all is not what it seems
And Sam has a secret
If it ever emerges, it could destroy her career

SYNOPSIS

Sharpe Practice is a gritty drama set on Queensland’s Gold Coast, charting a young woman’s journey from a troubled childhood in London to junior partner in the Gold Coast’s leading law firm.

Sam Sharpe has a secret.

Following a difficult upbringing, battles with her parents, trouble at school, pregnancy at fifteen and criminal activity from shop lifting to drug dealing, at sixteen she spent six months in a Young Offenders’ Institution. There she suffered abuse, by other inmates as well as her jailers.

When she emerged she’d aged ten years, vowing she would never return to her old life. Gifted with an intelligence that belied her background she caught up on missed schooling, crammed several years’ education into one and gained top A-level marks.

By the time Sam had left England to pursue her dream of living in Australia she had become a lawyer specialising in litigation.

With her secret safely buried in the past.

*

Sam is a salaried junior partner at Sangster, Collins & Associates. Compared to the staid, gentrified firm she left in Chancery Lane it could be on another planet.

Barely does she get her feet under the desk as junior partner when Sam is landed with a case against an international bank: Axis Holdings v Pan Arabian. She soon finds that the bank will go to extraordinary lengths to thwart the claim, including having her followed and her phone calls monitored. When she discovers the bank has connections to Hezbollah, she fears for her safety.

She  finds that her fears were not misplaced when the managing director of Axis Holdings is murdered in a car bomb attack. Later, the bank’s own lawyer is found dead, his corpse washed up on a local beach.

As if that is not enough, Sam receives a flood of anonymous hate mail. It is several weeks before the sender slips, revealing his identity, requiring an injunction to stop the odious torrent.

Soon after, she secures a bankruptcy order for a client. As she leaves the court, the debtor threatens to kill her. It is clear from his subsequent conduct that he is serious.

Despite these low points, Sam returns each day from the office to the love of her life, her boyfriend Ryan. He is supportive during the challenging times but she has kept her secret to herself, fearing that if he were to learn of her incarceration during her misspent youth, she would lose him forever.

In a case entrusted to her by her senior partner, Gavin Mellon, Sam is asked by the client to put forward a defence base on deceit. Troubled, she reports this to Gavin who tells her to forget it. It is not the only time she is forced to wonder whether she has made the right decision to join Sangsters.

But she remains and continues her ambitious drive to become the firm’s top litigator and an equity partner.  Gavin, fully aware of her potential, passes her the defence of a claim by a returned serviceman whose house burned down. The firm’s insurer client rejected the claim and she is aghast at the lengths it and her own firm go to to avoid it. Eventually the claimant runs out of money to fight and, in despair, hangs himself. Sam is inconsolable, seeing her own role as complicit in his death.

Ryan becomes increasingly concerned at Sam’s refusal to be intimidated by terrorists connected to Pan Arabian. When her intransigence becomes too much he leaves. Sam is devastated but gets on with her work. Eventually, they get back together but their relationship is never quite the same.

In another matter given to her by Gavin, Sam discovers a document which supports the opponent’s case. she informs Gavin who coldly orders her to destroy it. Sam struggles with her conscience, her inner self driving her to adhere to her ethics and disclose the document to the other side, but accepting it would place her partnership — and her future — in jeopardy.

There is also the question of her past. Doesn’t she have enough to worry about without upsetting her partners over a document?

After much soul-searching Sam makes an agonising decision regarding the document she found and refuses to destroy it. The effect is devastating. Gavin tells her to clear her desk. Not only will she lose her job she will never again work on the Coast.

Will Sam give up so easily? Will Gavin and his cohorts use their power and influence to prevent her practising law? Will her secret get out and make it impossible for her to work in the law again? What of that daughter she gave up when she was fifteen? Would Ryan continue to stand by her if her mistakes of the past ever caught up with her? And Pan Arabian? Will the bank succeed in ridding themselves of this pestiferous lawyer?

Sharpe Practice explores one woman’s quest for truth, honesty and justice in a profession that sometimes forgets what it stands for.

Original concept by Phillip Bowman & Darryl Greer
Series developed by Phillip Bowman & Darryl Greer
(All Rights in All Media Reserved)

©Enjoy Entertainment & Darryl Greer 2016
Enjoy Entertainment, PO box 675, Rozelle, NSW 2039
Darryl Greer, PO Box 1685, Mudgeeeraba, Queensland 4213
[Initial enquiries via e-mail to darryl@darrylgreer.com]