Archive for April 3rd, 2008

A trip to The Heron….

It was just after 5.00 this afternoon when my old friend Professor Baxendale arrived at The Staterooms.

” Vinum bellum iucunumque est, sed animo corporeque caret” Hadders said with a wry smile as he handed me a bottle of Chianti.

“Good to see you, Hadders. Do not worry about character and depth. The only question is whether it does the business.”

“There was a time, Charon, when I could run to a decent bottle… but I didn’t see the news coverage about Northern Rock or reasonably foresee that a Frenchman would run amok at Societe Generale.”

“Hadders…excellent to see you…. so… a bit of nemo dat quod non habet then?” I asked, as I took the bottle.

“Indeed, Charon… indeed”

Bonum vinum laetificat cor homini” I said, casually, as I opened and poured the wine. “Gladdens the heart… as they used to say in Rome.”

“Good to see that you are still keeping up with the Latin… mind you… not a major problem…not as if one needs Westlaw or Lexis-Nexis to keep up to date.”

Hadders walked over to sit on the chair I purchased many years ago from an auction room – reputed to be from HMS Bellerophon, a ship of the line….”

“So… Hadders… what are you up to?”

Baxendale raised his glass, smiled and said ” Putting myself back in the position I would have been in had I made sensible choices many years ago.”

“Do you really think that those events were reasonably foreseeable?” I asked.

“Are you referring to the matter of my marrying again and what may reasonably be supposed to have been in the contemplation of both parties, at the time of the marriage, as the probable result of the marriage?”

I hesitated…. careful to phrase my response, lest my friend went off on a frolic of his own. I decided to avoid the issue. I did not feel the need to rehearse again the way his ex-wife…. had, quite brilliantly, represented herself in the Family Division, as a litigant in person.

“So… Hadders…when we last met… you were thinking about getting ‘big’ in the US sub-prime market. How is that going?”

“Charon…” Hadders said in a measured tone,… “Knowledge “possessed” is of two kinds – one imputed, the other actual. Everyone, as a reasonable person, is taken to know “the ordinary course of things” and consequently what loss is liable to result from a breach of that ordinary course.”

I sipped my wine and rolled a cigarette, casually, one handed… before replying. “Absolutely…. good to see that you consider yourself to be a reasonable person.”

“Yes…. still hacking away being a reasonable person…. so where are we off to tonight?”

“I thought I might take you down to a new gastropub down the road…. The Heron II…. OK with you?”

“Charon….”….. Hadders paused… and said, with a smile… “Like the Speaker of The House of Commons…. I have a taste for taxis…and I always enjoy being dragged to a bar against my will.”

And with that… we did, indeed, find ourselves sitting outside at The Heron II.

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I was asked by a friend of mine the other day if I could assist by giving one of his students some help with The Law of Contract.  I did so – and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of teaching again.  So much so… I am thinking of doing some more!

Naturally, I shall  offer my clients a glass of Rioja as we go through the mysteries of Contract law.

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