Too busy to blog
I’ve been too busy to blog. However, something critically important happened yesterday and I have decided to comment. In the Public Interest (of course).
Picture the scene. The sun has come out, it’s one o’clock and I am on London’s one and only hill (really a mound at Haverstock). I have just bought fish and chips (exhibit A-pictured). This is a sacred moment. And then, I get one of those calls. From one of my colleagues in the legal profession. From an ivory tower (Canary Wharf is full of them).
Hi…how are you? Can we talk ‘without prejudice about Mr X?’
Now this is a case that could go either way and etc. etc. and etc. etc. (nervous laughter, generic observations about ‘robust’ case and ‘entirely confident that’) and a hundred etcs. later…..but not withstanding my client IS willing to make a ‘commercial offer’ to settle at 0.49 p with a standard reference, albeit that the disclaimer on the reference will have more detail than the actual reference.
Can you comment on the documents and my summary of the merits? Could you share any elements of the ‘robust’ thing of which you speak? (meaning: evidence, explanations…a spot of law)
I am not prepared to go into the detail at this point in time….
Chips are down
This is the serious point. This conversation genuinely ruined my chips.
How could I discuss or recommend a ‘commercial offer’ to my client without anything to think about?
I wonder why some lawyers talk like this. If I spoke to a surgeon who was going to amputate my foot, I would hope at least for a little chat about the whys and wherefores.
A lot of lawyers do this, I am afraid. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of client money seems to be wasted by the anxiety created by legal teams espousing an opinion without justifying it. The real conversations take place at the door of the court when the parties have finally bothered to explain themselves…
The answer to this is quite simple: Cards on the Table. Someone (Lord Woolf, as he then was, told us to do this a while back (actually 1995) but still nobody does it!