The legal money tree

“I’ve got to go to court today to hand in a consent order simply because the judge has insisted on our attendance,” moaned one of the pupils today.

“What’s your problem with that?” said TheVamp.

“Is this really what all my hard work at university and beyond has come to? A train journey to Chatham for a five minute hearing in front of a grumpy judge before getting back on the train in time for lunch.”

“And how much are you getting paid for this little jaunt?” asked BusyBody.

“Three hundred pounds,” said the pupil.

“Which for a five minute hearing makes, er, three thousand six hundred pounds an hour,” said OldSmoothie. “Not bad for someone who’s not even fully qualified.”

“Yes, but, the train journey…” quibbled the pupil.

“What? The train journey in which you can do a couple of sets of papers and bill out a few more hundred pounds?” said Teflon.

“Well, when you put it like that…” said the pupil losing heart.

“Young man,” said HeadClerk. “Let me tell you how it is.” The pupil was suddenly all deference as the most important person in chambers stepped up.

“Whatever they told you at your oh so ancient university, money really does grow on trees. In fact you’ll find a money tree growing in each and every county court in the country with a big signpost mentioning consent orders among many other things. Cases where, on the whole, your only real obligation is to turn up, look smart and pick the fifty pound notes from the tree one at a time.”

“Oh,” said the pupil.

“So don’t let me ever hear you complain about having to go and earn the easiest money in the world ever again,” he said.

“No,” said the pupil.

“My favourite’s always an infant settlement,” said TheCreep. “I’ve never had a judge yet re-open a settlement on which counsel has advised acceptance.”

“But surely the best of all is a last minute settlement,” said TheVamp. “I had one last week where the brief fee had been agreed at three thousand pounds and I was intending to start preparing the evening before. Hadn’t even opened the papers. Then an email arrived saying case settled and my fee to be paid in full.”

“And your celebratory meal in the Savoy the next day was clear evidence that there is such a thing as a free lunch,” said HeadClerk with a smile.

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister written by Tim Kevan whose new novel is Law and Peace. For more information and to read past posts visit Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

October 25, 2012 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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