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Archive for August 7th, 2010

Dear Reader,

Despite my mild republican sentiments, I am, in fact, a fan of The Queen and I have always enjoyed reports about The Duke of Edinburgh’s more extreme humour.  The Duke’s rather surreal and dry humour is well documented.… I always enjoyed this one for spectacular bad taste…

“Do you still throw spears at each other?” Said in 2002 to a Indigenous Australian businessman.

“Ah good, there’s so many over there you feel they breed them just to put in orphanages.” Said while presenting a Duke of Edinburgh Award to a student. When informed that the young man was going to help out in Romania for six months, he asked if the student was going to help the Romanian orphans and was told that he was not.

The Daily Mash reports that David Cameron has been taking advice from The Duke of Edinburgh.

Camerons invites clients to pay what they want for legal work

The Lawyer reports: “CMS Cameron McKenna has launched a marketing campaign to promote its alternative billing structures, which include a ‘pay what you think its worth’ option, to clients.”

I rather enjoyed this from the article comments section….
Radiohead of The Law Firm World | 5-Aug-2010 3:37 pm

Hi Duncan
I am the CEO of a large Fortune company contemplating a hostile takeover of a major Chinese rival. Our combined market cap is around USD80bn.
Can you handle the M&A work, plus any associated merger filings, and regulatory issues.
I’ll give you a fiver and a bag of revels.

RollonFriday reports: “French court ruling hits law firms
06 August 2010

The major law firms with offices in France may find themselves on the hook for millions, after Allen & Overy was ordered to pay damages to one of its former Paris associates.

As previously reported on RollOnFriday, A&O was taken to court by a capital markets lawyer who’d been given the chop last year. The firm argued that he was self-employed, and as such wasn’t entitled to the huge benefits that accrue under French employment law. However the associate argued that in fact he was a full time employee – and the court has now agreed and ordered A&O to cough up. A spokesman for firm admitted that “the court found in favour of the associate and the matter has now been settled“.

There is always an element of schadenfreude in reading of law firms losing cases of their own……  not, I would have thought, great marketing?

Oh dear….

Watchdog asked to investigate claims Nick Clegg misled parliament

The Guardian reports: “Labour MPs say Clegg covered up information surrounding the £80m loan for Sheffield Forgemasters. The parliamentary standards watchdog has been asked to investigate allegations that Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, misled MPs over the reasons for cancelling an £80m government loan to Sheffield Forgemasters and then tried to cover it up.”

The White Rabbit writes a wonderful mini monograph…

Saturday lunchtime in Birmingham…

Regular readers will know that I read Guido Fawkes fairly regularly – many do, for good reason. Guido has an excellent series going on at the moment *Ed Balls Campaign Diary*.   Here is the latest instalment I have found. I am enjoying it.

Well…. August continues to be fairly empty of law, client work etc etc  and I am enjoying it. I even enjoyed hiding under the umbrella at the cafe bar in Battersea Square today… moving from table 14 to table 15 to avoid the dramatic rains which lasted half an hour.  There was a group of very amusing people under the awning who were there at 12.00 when I arrived for coffee and a glass of vino and still there when I returned at 6.00 for another coffee and a glass…  Way to go!

Best, as ever

Charon

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Caller: Can I speak to Charon please?

Charon: Speaking.

Caller: You are Charon of The Staterooms, Battersea?

Charon: Yes…and you are?

Caller: We are doing conservatories in your area and wondered if you would be interested in hearing about the opportunity we can give you.

Charon: Yes, but you do realise that I am a lawyer and I charge everyone for my time?  I’ve just started the time clock running.  Can you provide your credit card or AMEX card details, please?

Caller: Sorry?  I’m not with you.

Charon: It is perfectly straightforward.  I am a lawyer.  I charge for my time.  Nothing in this world I live in is free.  You called me up to ask if you could speak to me – ergo, you want to buy some of my time.  Time is money.  I take money. In fact, I have a most useful device from Barclays which allows me to take money from your account and put it straight into my account. Can you provide your credit card or AMEX card details, please?

Caller: I’m not sure I understand…you want to charge me money to listen to what I have to tell you?

Charon: Bingo!

Caller: Bingo?

Charon: Bingo!…yes, you have understood the position perfectly. Can you provide your credit card or AMEX card details, please?

Caller: This is ridiculous…..

Charon: What is ridiculous?

Caller: That you want to charge me for calling you.

Charon: I don’t see what is ridiculous about it.  I have to make a living, as you do.  I didn’t call you.  You called me to ask if I would listen to you tell me about conservatories.  I said that I was happy to do this, warned you that I am a lawyer and charge for my time, and then asked you for your card details so that you can pay my fees for listening to you.

Caller: This is mad.

Charon: Mad?  Fortunately this call is not being broadcast for you have just slandered me by calling me mad and as I’ve just finished writing a chapter on the law of defamation for my new Tort book, I’m fairly well up on libel.

Caller: I haven’t libelled you.

Charon: Technically, because there is no publication to a third party in this instance, you have not libelled, but calling me ‘mad’ when I am not, could found an action in defamation, had I been broadcasting this conversation; one which even in these anti-libel days we live in I may well have won.

Caller: This is now getting more ridiculous…. I am terminating the call.

Charon: Did I tell you that I am on the third floor of a block of flats?  I assumed, given your thorough market research, you were aware of this.  In the circumstances, I was fascinated to hear how you were going to build a conservatory for me.  I haven’t seen many conservatories hanging off the side of mansion block buildings.   I was genuinely keen to learn….

Caller: CLICK

Based, very closely, on a real event! The actual call was about ten minutes and the caller got more and more frustrated.  I don’t really like cold callers.  (The tache has gone!)

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There are never many people up when I have breakfast on Saturdays at a cafe near Battersea Bridge.  I am always able to get a table outside – possibly because I fall in the door when it opens at 7.30.  After an amusing and enjoyable day yesterday, followed by an evening faffing about on twitter and on my blog, I deserved a mild hangover but, this morning, clear as a bell.

Clarkson is always an enjoyable read and this morning, inter alia, he drew my attention to the fact that the A level results are out soon with the wonderful observation that some poor souls are going to get results which spell words like DUDE and BEEF.  Having been involved in law teaching and publishing for 30 years I should have had the grace not to laugh. But I did, rather loudly, giving the appearance to a woman sitting two tables down that I may be an ‘eccentric shouter’.

Today, I shall hunt for some law to write about – and while I do this, I may just treat myself to a glass of chilled red wine.  Back later.

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