Year 2, week 26: SlipperySlope

Had a conference with a new solicitor today who I’ll call SlipperySlope. He’s got all the airs and graces of a country squire but a suit with stripes that would have done Arthur Daley proud. Maybe a legal version of Boycie from Only Fools and Horses might be a way of imagining him. Anyway, he oozed his way into the conference room with the client today all fake smiles and oily charm. Greeted me as if we had been friends for years which was just a little over the top for a first meeting. “BabyB,” he said. “How are the devil are you?”

Er…hmm. He then proceeded to take control of the conference, going through the case and telling me what his client, a sixteen year old young man would say in his evidence. The client just sat there in his wheelchair with a blank expression. When he came to the end, he went on to explain that an offer of a quarter of a million had been made which seemed to him to be a good one, before adding, “Wouldn’t you agree, BabyB?” It was at that point I realised why he’d instructed me on a case which would normally be well out of my league. He needed counsel’s opinion in order to get the settlement approved by a judge and given that the offer seemed absurdly low he needed a young and impressionable barrister who would go along with what he was saying. All so he could get his costs.

I had no idea what to do in these circumstances. TheBoss, well, he would simply have settled it there and then.  As for myself, I asked the client a few questions and then bought myself some time by making some positive noises and telling SlipperySlope that I’d provide him with a written advice.  Now I realise this shouldn’t be difficult. It’s just that SlipperySlope is notorious for providing some of the juiciest cases at the personal injury bar and it would be a shame to fall at the first hurdle. I just have to think of a way of keeping him on side without the client being ripped off.

March 25, 2008 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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