Year 3, week 21: silk purses and sows’ ears

There was much chat around chambers today after the list of appointments to Queen’s Counsel was announced. Apparently this is the second year in a row that UpTights has applied for silk and sadly for her the second time that she has been rejected. OldSmoothie immediately got the knife in with the following email which he also copied to the rest of chambers: “Dear UpTights, May I be the first to offer you my sincere condolences on your being rejected as a QC for the second time running. Whilst I’m sure that at your age rejection is something you have learned to manage, I realise it must still come as somewhat of a blow to have it confirmed at such a high level. I hope very much that you will at least take comfort in the words of the official press release which says: ‘If you have not been appointed that does not mean you are not a valued and perfectly competent advocate.’ Yours affectionately, OldSmoothie”

All of which would have been just mildly offensive on the OldSmoothie scale were it not for the fact that the subject line of his email was labelled “Silk purses and sows’ ears”. This was just too much for BusyBody who fired back a reply saying: “You’re a smug, fat, slimey and misogynist dinosaur OldSmoothie who wouldn’t even make it as a junior barrister these days, never mind get anywhere near silk under the new appointments system.” These were hardly new insults to OldSmoothie but then she hit him where it hurts: “I mean, for all your pompous talk of large earnings and the high life, I have it on good authority that last year out of the thirty-one tenants in chambers you came precisely twenty-ninth in the list of earnings. Listen to the sweet sound of the market, OldSmoothie, and scurry on back to your golf club committees.”

February 19, 2009 · Tim Kevan · 3 Comments
Posted in: Uncategorized

3 Responses

  1. Ian - February 19, 2009

    Although this is based on fiction, it does seem to highlight the competition between barristers and indeed the rigorous process of election to Queen’s Counsel.

  2. UK Employment Lawyer - February 19, 2009

    Three of the four solicitors who applied got silk – a 75% success rate.
    Since the barristers only had a 42% success rate, that proves solicitors are cleverer than barristers – something we’ve always know.

  3. Barrister Abroad - February 27, 2009

    ….”something we’ve always know.”….