Art?: Mixed media chess board

Chess is by far my favourite game these days.  I have several chess boards, including a glass board with glass pieces.  I play Chess against the iMac Computer on the very clever electronic chess game which comes with iMacs.

I thought a creazzione using wooden board, some gold, brown, black and purple paint and some small balls stuck on with glue and paint would keep me amused.  It did.


Noah’s Ark story is a ‘fact’ that disproves climate change says Irish MP

“An Irish MP has claimed the Biblical story about Noah’s Ark supports his view that climate change is not being caused by humans because “God above is in charge of the weather”.

Danny Healy-Rae, an independent, told music-and-politics magazine Hot Press said he was basing his views on “facts” and “history”.

Climate scientists were getting “more vehement” about the issue, he claimed, because they were “getting a lot of finance”.


No idea what this Irish MP is drinking…but it may be an idea for him to ease off on the hooligan juice?


Corbyn’s Labour Party Leadership – A shambles – Dystopian

I have voted Labour for 40 years.  I can’t vote for Mr Corbyn or Labour.  We need a new Party Leader and quickly if Labour is to have even a remote chance of being taken seriously in British Politics – let alone Scottish politics.  The Scottish Labour Party is almost extinct.  Nicola Sturgeon, much as I like her, presides over a One Party State.  Scotland is not a ‘Banana Republic’ or some Dystopian Mugabian Construct.

The Bloody Assizes


Jeffreys’ historical notoriety comes from his actions in 1685, after Monmouth’s Rebellion. Jeffreys was sent to theWest Country in the autumn of 1685 to conduct the trials of captured rebels. The Centre of the trials was based at Taunton. Estimates of the numbers executed for treason have been given as high as 700, however, a more likely figure is between 160 and 170 of 1381 defendants found guilty of treason. Although Jeffreys has been traditionally accused of vindictiveness and harsh sentencing, none of the convictions have been considered improper, except for that of Alice Lisle. Furthermore, as the law of the time required a sentence of death for treason, Jeffreys was required to impose it, leaving the king the option of commuting sentence under the prerogative of mercy. Arguably, it was James II‘s refusal to use the prerogative as much as was customary for the time, rather than Jeffreys’ actions that made the government’s reprisals so savage.[10]

Alice Lisle was accused of sheltering some members of the defeated rebel army who had not yet been found guilty of treason. There was no evidence that she had taken an active part in the rebellion itself, and she was not accused of this. When the jury asked whether her actions could in law be considered treasonable, Jeffreys replied affirmatively. The jury then returned a guilty verdict.[11] The King’s refusal to reprieve her gave rise to a belief that he was taking belated revenge on her husband.

James considered making Jeffreys Viscount Wrexham and Earl of Flint. James refrained only because Jeffreys remained a Protestant.[12] Despite his loyalty to the King, Jeffreys never hid his contempt for Roman Catholicism: in the last months of James’ reign, as the Government drifted without leadership, Jeffreys remarked cynically that “the Virgin Mary is to do all”.


stressedWell…there we are.  This is what happens on my blog when I can’t find any Law in Perth….and now for some afternoon tea.  It is a bit early for Rioja…so black coffee and remember…stressed is just desserts spelled backwards.

Adios for now…. photos to edit.

A rather good gravestone when I go to the great Bar in the sky


I rather like this grave headstone.  I am, of course, in no hurry for it to be used.  I shall write into my will that funds are apportioned to provide for this headstone to be carved and put above my grave.  It appeals to my dark humour.

Did my best to try and find some Law in Perth to write about on my blog.  Fortunately, there wasn’t any about – not even in the bargain bin near the till.

3 Scots -The Black Watch

3 Scots – The Black Watch

I took this photograph when I nipped into Perth for supplies.  The soldiers were more than happy to be photographed – I asked.  They even gave me a rubber wrist band with the inscription 3 Scots – The Black Watch.

My father, now long dead, was in The Black Watch and fought at The Battle of Alamein in World War II.  I still have his Black Watch kilt somewhere to this day – may be with my brother in London.  A Black Green tartan with a yellow stripe. The 5th Battalion landed in North Africa as part of the 153rd Brigade in the 51st (Highland) Division and fought at the Second Battle of El Alamein in October 1942. This was one of the battles that my father fought in in North Africa.

The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS) is an infantry battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Prior to 28 March 2006, the Black Watch was an infantry regiment – The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) from 1881 to 1931 and The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) from 1931 to 2006. Part of the Scottish Division, it was the senior regiment of Highlanders.


Word Du Jour: Ineluctably

Ineluctably:  Many years ago, while out drinking with my friend Nick Nosh of The Nosh Brothers Cheffery Nonsense restaurant (I was a shareholder in the restaurant) and TV programmes – we popped into The Groucho Club in London for a late night drink and ended up playing snooker badly with Stephen Fry -who plays a good came.  I explained our inability to play snooker by pleading mild drunkenness.  Fry replied, laconically “Ineluctably my dear fellow…ineluctably.  Stephen Fry – a nice man – happy to talk to anyone!  No airs and graces at all. 
  1. unable to be resisted or avoided; inescapable.
    “the ineluctable facts of history”

Law Society Lion Lamp for Sale £100 + Postage


The same design as the Lions on the railings outside the Law Society in Chancery Lane, London.  I have had the lamp for 20 years.  I am told that it is older than that.  Fully refurbished to modern electricity standards and works perfectly.

A solicitor may well find it a rather fine addition to the working desk at work or, indeed, at home.

It is heavy – so the postage will be fairly high.  You are unlikely to find another lamp quite like it.


A Scots Guard, Scone Palace and some local castles.

It was a fine sunny day and warm.  So I did some walking and travel by bus using my Old Gits Free Bus Pass and took some photographs. A most enjoyable trip out.


Scots Guard, Salutation Hotel front, Perth


Atop the monument to Edward VII towards South St, Perth


Scone Palace, Scone, Perthshire

Blair Castle – The ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl and home to Europe’s only private army, The Atholl Highlanders


I have yet to visit the Castle above.


Time for a Honda BlackBird motorcycle again…soon.

I’ve decided that I am going to buy a Honda Blackbird motorbike – exactly like the one above – when I can afford to do so.  Should be able to get one for £1500 -£2000 in good condition.  Hondas last forever and are built like tanks.  Very reliable. .  It will give me greater mobility and is more fun than a car.  I had seven of these excellent motorbikes  over a period of 15 years riding until my bike accident five years ago when a lady driver hit me from behind when I was at rest waiting to turn right.


The Police were astonished that she claimed not to have seen me. The lady driver was well over the drink drive limit  and was banned from driving for two years.  It was early evening – the sun was shining.  I was riding one of the biggest motorbikes in the road, wearing a bright yellow helmet and a yellow leather bike jacket.  The accident badly damaged my right leg and left me walking with a stick. I still use a stick, although, truth be told, more for fun.  I don’t really need it.  I needed 184 stitches in my right leg.  Fortunately, a good lady friend nearby was a nurse and stitched me up in no time.  I took the bike home and joined them at a local pub in Chiswick for a few glasses of Rioja.  I still need a stick for long walks.


The Honda Blackbirds are excellent bikes.  They are fast.  I was stopped by a very amusing Guardia Civil bike cop near Mojacca in Spain at 6.00 am for speeding. He fired a red flare into the air.  No missing that, even approaching at 180 mph. The motorway was deserted.  The Spanish in that part of Spain don’t ‘do’ early morning starts.  I was doing 190 mph.  The speed limit was 80 mph. The bike cop was most amused when I asked him if I was speeding. he nodded and then laughed saying that it was not a problem.  He was smoking a cigar.  We sat on each other’s bikes, smoked a few cigarettes and he bade me farewell with the caution that The Guardia Civil were not so amusing near the very big cities.  He advised me to keep my speed down to about 20 mph above the speed limit of 80 mph.  His colleagues in The Guardia Civil would not bother with such a modest case of speeding, especially for a UK plated bike!  I took his advice.

Rive Gauche: Farage Tache

Don’t care for Mr Farage’s political views – but he is usually amusing.  I have a tache.  I’m not sure that it does much for me other than keep me amused for a few moments in the morning when I shave.  Mr Farage does not really suit a tache…some people do, others don’t.


He looks a bit like Manuel the waiter in Fawlty Towers. Mind you, Mr Farage does do a good ‘End of The Pier’ comic turn when it comes to politics.

Some more photographs of Perth

I took my camera with me to Perth this morning.  These images caught my eye.

Close up of the bronze ring statue in the High Street

Sir Chris Hoy, the cyclist, and his new books for kids.  Chris Hoy is very popular in Scotland and those who have met him say that he is charming.  I am sure he is.

The Police maintain a very visible presence in Perth.  In Glasgow they pronounce Police as “Pole-is”..or to be more accurate, older native Glaswegians do

The No 7 Bus and Bus Stop in South Street en route back to Scone.

As you can see – it rains a lot in Perthshire…15th day so far.  20 minutes of blue sky and sun yesterday.  Fold marvelled.

I started my working life as a GRAVEDIGGER..True story…


In the long hot summer of 1976 – to pay for living costs while I studied Law at Leicester University – I got a job as a gravedigger at a local cemetery. I needed the money, it was quite well paid, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I worked with an Irish gravedigger in his mid-forties, John, who always wore a battered black top hat, a black tail coat (Given to him by the Co-Op Funeral Company), shorts and battered old boots. He didn’t have many teeth and chewed on a cigar as he dug, lighting the cigar when he took a break.

Before starting a new grave John would raise his top hat and say out loud in thick Irish Brogue – We are coming down for you, to dig you up.  It was a great job.  John was most amusing.  He sipped Irish Whiskey from a bottle which he kept in a small bag throughout the day.

One lunchtime – we took lunch at 12.00 by the grave –  it was very hot so we both sat in the grave about eight feet down.  I ate a cheese and tomato sandwich, or ‘Cob’ as they called them in Leicester and we both had a few swigs of whiskey.  While we were chatting a lovely old lady in her early nineties peered over the edge of the grave and said “Good afternoon, gentlemen.  You’ll be digging my grave soon” and burst out laughing.  John raised his battered top hat and said it will be a pleasure but it would be many years away!


It was a great job and taught me that there is a far bigger world out there than meets the eye of a young university student reading Law.   Thankfully, It is still a very big world and I spend a lot of time on Google  and reading finding out about it.

Rive Gauche: Cheffery…why can’t they just cook food that is edible..on a plate?


I should have added that chefs could actually consider serving the food ‘they cook’ on plates.  I was a shareholder in the Nosh Brothers Restaurant in Notting Hill.  It was not a great investment. I lost £20k.  It appeared later that I was the only shareholder that actually paid for the meals I ate there.  The others  – mainly Bankers and City Traders – appeared not to do so.  We were a group of good friends.  It mattered not.  Amusing, to be sure – but I do recall my friend Nick Nosh making a lemon meringue pie with Red wine on one of our ‘wilder evenings’.

The Independent gave the restaurant a decent review:

A good nosh-up, Notting Hill-style

They’ve done cable TV. Now the Nosh Brothers have opened a restaurant of their own. And it’s not all steak and chips
Both Nick and Mick Nosh were, in fact, superb cooks….and they (and shareholders and diners) had a laugh.
Those were good days!

Red Hat

This is what happens when I go into a Perth charity shop unsupervised by a responsible person.  I bought this marvellous red hat from The Sally Army shop in Perth.  I am a great fan of charity shops.  Have bought many fine items from them.

I tend to wear the RED hat when I smoke Marlboro Red fags.  The GREEN Barbour hat when I smoke Menthol fags. Makes sense to me.

I like hats.  I have seven now – including a Panama Hat,  tweed deerstalker and several tweed caps.

Have a good weekend to come… I will be smoking, taking of vino and writing.  I am planning a bus trip (free for old gits like me over 60) to Edinburgh to take photos on Sunday or Monday.

Rive Gauche: Barking mad! Barking mad! Judge is quizzed by police over a bizarre poster campaign against ‘fat and pompous’ bar owner

Barking mad! Judge is quizzed by police over a bizarre poster campaign against ‘fat and pompous’ bar owner for banning his dog from the pub

  • Judge Simon Newell has been quizzed by police over harassment claims
  • He is alleged to have launched a bizarre revenge campaign on a bar owner
  • The judge was told his dog had to remain outside of the bar in Lancashire
  • He then left posters on his car outside the premises – calling the owner ‘fat’
  • A judge was quizzed by police over claims he harassed a bar owner by calling him ‘fat’ and ‘pompous’ – after he banned his dog from entering a swanky pub.

    Simon Newell, 65, tried to take his pet Marley into Barrique wine bar in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, but was told by staff his dog was only welcome in the beer garden.

    He is then alleged to have launched a bizarre revenge campaign on the owner Michael Robinson, 46.

    The judge started placing a number of posters on his windscreen demanding ‘woof justice’ after he parked his blue Golf GTI just yards from the swanky bar.

    One of his homemade posters even had a picture of his pet with a gag on its mouth.

    Another poster claimed the bar had opened without the correct planning permission before he added another which personally attacked Mr Robinson.

    It is also claimed Judge Newell moved the upmarket wine bar’s wheelie bins on a daily basis and it is said this was captured on CCTV and the police were alerted.

    But following the police involvement, the judge retreated and wrote a final note before placing it on his windscreen.

    He apologised ‘unreservedly’ and wanted to wish Mr Robinson ‘and his business Barrique all the very best and a dog-free future.’ He then signed it, ‘Marley’.

    Beside the picture of his pooch, it read: ‘As a result of the police being sent to my house and a letter warning me of the dire personal consequences, I have taken down my last announcement. I will bark no more.

    Read more:
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Inksters Solicitors are once again sponsoring This is Your Trial at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Inksters Solicitors are once again sponsoring This is Your Trial at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Returning for the 4th year, This Is Your Trial – the UK’s only court based improvised show, is back, with more outrageous justice and japes.

The show will continue attracting the brightest and the best talent in town, to wear the wigs and legal robes, prosecuting and defending members of the audience of charges brought by their friends.

Thom Tuck presides, with guests already confirmed that include Clive Anderson, Marcus Brigstocke, Susan Calman, Josie Long, Trevor Lock, Pippa Evans, Deborah Frances-White, Phil Nichol and of course Tim Fitzhigham.

It’s a Fringe-goers dream come true; an improvised show, where top comedians play lawyers prosecuting and defending charges set against you. You decide the accused and their charges by simply filling in the charge sheet (which you can do with an Inksters supplied pencil) – no one is safe! The performers decide the arguments for each case. You decide their guilt. YOU are the jury!

This follows on from a successful sponsorship by Inksters of the run of shows at the Fringe in 2014 and 2015. Inksters’ involvement with This is Your Trial began in 2013 when the firm’s founder, Brian Inkster, had his very own This is Your Trial show for one day at the Fringe. He was found not guilty on charges of High Treason for having his eyes on the Scottish, or was it Shetland, Crown.

Proceedings will be recorded by a court artist and a stenographer (tweeter!) selected from the audience. The Trial Inksters Scoreboard will keep a running tally of which comedy QCs have the most wins throughout the run of shows.

The show’s creator, David Allison, said “this is a show inspired by law, I studied it, love the practice of it, but love comedy a little bit more. Somehow I’ve found a way to combine the two. For a change, lawyers can come do jury service in our audience, poacher turned gamekeeper, or is it the other way around?”

Brian Inkster said “This is Your Trial gets bigger and better every year. It is great for the show to be returning for a fourth year and for Inksters to be part of it again. Law can be fun and at Inksters we like to show that side of it!”.

The shows are at 7.30pm each night from 3rd to 28th August at the Guilded Balloon Teviot (Wine Bar).

Inksters are encouraging the audience to share the fun and post photos, quotes, comments or highlights online using #trialinksters, or email them to and Inksters will have prizes of Pinkster Gin for the ones that tickle their fancy. You can follow the fun at


“Priceless improvised observations” MIRROR

“A superb improvised show. Seriously good fun. Book ahead” IRISH SUN

“A genuinely inventive, intelligent, comedy creation” SCOTSMAN

“The only court where the law isn’t an ass, but the lawyers are” Al Murray

Cork Based Personal Injury Solicitors For Clients in Ireland

Cork Based Personal Injury Solicitors For Clients in Ireland

An injury or Medical Negligence can happen just about any time and any place. Without warning you may find yourself with huge medical bills, lingering pain, an inability to earn an income, and little hope for providing for your family. A personal injury claim against the person or persons responsible for the injury can bring you and your family monetary compensation to cover those expenses and provide financial security in the future.

Have you or a loved one been hurt due to someone else’s negligence? At Scothouselaw our personal injury solicitors in Cork have spent many years helping injured people like you throughout Munster. We will work hard to ensure that you recover fair compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses associated with your injury. If you need a strong voice in an accident claim, call or email us for a free initial consultation with one of our personal injury solicitors.

Our firm Scothouselaw  handles personal injury claims for all kinds of accidents that result in severe injuries to our clients. We see a lot of accidents that happen on the road, such as road traffic accidents, which can cause neck or back injuries that limit mobility (whiplash injuries), or brain injuries that can cause permanent cognitive damage. People involved in motorcycle accidents are particularly vulnerable to injury, as are those who get in accidents with lorries on the open road. We also deal with slipsa and fall injuries, work related injuries and accidents and medical negligence.

Contact Scothouselaw in Cork now and tell us about your case. With the experience that comes from handling many personal injury and medical negligence cases, we will help you understand the probable outcome of your particular case. Call or email us for a free initial consultation at our office location in Cork.

When you have been in a serious accident, you are likely to be in pain, and in the midst of a whirlwind of concerns: how will you pay your bills? Will your injuries get better? Will you be able to work again? How will your accident affect your family? We understand the stress you are under, and are here to help. We take care of your legal interests while you focus on recovery. We will handle personal injury claim forms and negotiations with the insurance company, and any other responsible parties. If a fair settlement is not possible, our experienced trial personal injury solicitors will take your claim to court.

1st Floor
11 Pembroke Street

021 242 8754

Personal Injury Solicitors Firm In Galway Ireland

persinuryadvicePersonal Injury Solicitors Firm In Galway Ireland

After you have been hurt in an accident, Betalane Injuries personal injury solicitors in Galway is ready to help. If you decide on us to handle your personal injury claim, you pay no money out of your pocket unless we win your case.

We are very passionate about our work. We believe that helping people is rewarding, and that it is the right thing to do. We want to help you recover for your losses if you have been hurt at your workplace or by the negligence of another person. It’s crucial that you contact a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible after you have been injured. A personal injury solicitor can preserve your rights and determine who is at fault.

From road traffic accidents, slips and falls or work related injuries or accidents or medical negligence, our team of personal injury solicitors at the Betalane Injuries in Galway offer injury victims dependable legal counsel throughout the Connaught region. If you or someone you love has been injured by the negligence of another, they are entitled to pursue damages for physical injury, property damage and pain and suffering.

If you have suffered a personal injury in Galway, our team will build a strong case on your behalf. Representing accident and injury victims is all we do. It’s not a sideline. It is our entire legal practice. We have the experience, knowledge and desire to vigorously pursue your claim.

Road traffic accidents are among the most common type of personal injury cases often caused by the negligence of another motorist. The Betalane injuries Firm offers comprehensive legal counsel that has won many personal injury claims results and we only get paid when you win. Our road traffic accident solicitors can help determine the cause of the accident and fight for the justice you deserve.

By definition, a slip and fall accident is used to describe when someone slips, trips or falls and is injured as a result. Very often, these types of injuries occur on another person’s property (or place of work), in which case a premises liability claim may be filed against the property owner.

It is very important to note that while there can be many contributing factors to a slip and fall injury, it can be very difficult to prove the validity of your claim due to the large number of fraudulent claims that have been made over recent years.

You need someone on your side who knows how to deal with the insurance companies, claims adjusters, opposing lawyers and all the others whose job it is to throw roadblocks in the way of your personal and financial recovery. We handle the tough work of fighting for your rights so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.

Betalane Injuries
Level 1
Liosban Business Park

Muttley Dastardly LLP: Black is the *New Black*

On the third floor of the Muttley Dastardly LLP building in the City is a suite where five highly paid specialists, two men and three women, are paid to think.  Sometimes they think the unthinkable conceptually.  Sometimes they think about doing the unthinkable to get an edge on the competition. For the remainder of the time they  think carefully about the politico-economic drivers which affect our national interest, for this is the interest of The Partners. The Head of the *Unit*, Massimo Charles Lutyens Rutland, graduated with First Class honours in Economics  from Cambridge, went on to INSEAD,  and after a spell at Lehman Brothers – he was fortunate enough to get out intact before the crash – went in for his own interest and joined Muttley Dastardly LLP.

Rutland was admitted to The Partnership, following successful completion of the GDL, which he completed in two months of detailed study while commuting from his Surrey home to the City;  going on then to qualify as a solicitor via the New York Bar examination, the latter taking him but a month to memorise sufficient data to satisfy the examiners. Rutland has the grace, at least, to say to those who ask about his legal background that ‘It is fortunate indeed, that I do not wish to practise as a lawyer in England… the truth is I know very little about English Law… or for that matter…any law…. mind you…they say that this is true of some who actually hold themselves out as practising lawyers.”

His associates, (they are not lawyers)  are never identified by name, not even within the firm.  Their identity is known only to Rutland and the CEO and managing partner, Matt Muttley. The *Unit* works closely with partner and director of education, Dr Strangelove, on psyops – on a project of ‘limited visibility’ with the filename DOH!  This stands for Dissimulation, Obfuscation and Hegemony;  a subtle joke, if of questionable taste, thought up by Dr Strangelove.


Below is a transcript of a brief iPhone conversation between Rutland and Matt Muttley

Muttley: Massimo – your thoughts on Osborne’s problem?  Fraser Nelson is saying in relation to the economy ‘things are going disastrously right’.

Rutland: Sure, but that was fairly predictable. Darling is no fool.  He hid £6Bn from Brown’s eyes during the election period to stop Brown spending it. Legacy, however limited, is a powerful driver for all politicians. Even a miserable scrap like that can be worth basing an entire book around.  Osborne has set up the OBR.  This could be a cuckoo that flew over Osborne’s nest and takes a dump on him en route to Tuscany before too long.  Osborne has no room to say that some things are worse than we thought, because the OBR says the economy is doing rather better than Darling predicted.  Sure, there are spending atrocities which The Sunwill push out to their readership, but these are not structural.  They make good copy.  The problem is growth.  The OBR says that growth forecasts are lower than Labour forecast.  Osborne will therefore be able to use that to justify cuts.  There is every prospect, reading the press, that Osborne will make cuts to keep the cavalry twill wearers of Surrey and backbenchers who have been released back into the community happy, but it is unlikely that he will be daft enough to do a Roosevelt and drop us into double dip.  Osborne, and Labour, or whatever they are calling themselves these days,whether they like it or not,  is far from stupid.  In fact, he must be rubbing his hands that Laws has gone and Beaker is his Chief Treasury.  Alexander is expendable and it is a blessing that he is a Lib-Dem.  Yes… the Coalition agreement requires that ‘One out, one in’ but the Lib-Dems only have 50 odd MPs and they are running out of people who can count, let alone run the Treasury.

Muttley: So things are looking good?  I watched the five Labour candidates onNewsnight tonight.  I can’t say that there is much there to discuss?

Rutland: Nothing.  Irrelevant for the moment. Christ… the election runs until the Autumn.  This is good for the government, because there isn’t an opposition now that the Lib-Dems are part of government, and won’t be until the Self Aggrandisement conference season is over in September.

Muttley: Budget next week?

Rutland: Unfortunately, the new government is unlikely to leave it on the back seat of a taxi.  I’m thinking.  I’ll get back to you

Muttley: Anything to trouble us?

Rutland: No.  All looking good.  There is a developing shambles.  Parliament Square being cleared will cause even more confusion.  House prices dropped today by 5%.  BP looks as if it won’t pay the dividend.  That means less money for the pension funds.  This will irritate the cavalry twill wearers and dawn on many others as a ‘bad thing’. Yes… I think we can safely say that there will be plenty of work for us.  Dr Strangelove has started buying BP shares again in a modest way.  I think we should get out of wind farm stock.

Muttley: Ok. Thanks Massimo…. we’ll talk at 6.30 tomorrow morning.  Helpful.

Rutland: Ok…what time will you be getting to The Groucho?

Muttley: I’ve just pulled up outside.  See you in thirty.  Strength and profits.

Rutland: Strength and profits, Brother Matt!

Muttley Dastardly LLP: Done with your wife or your husband?

Dr Wolfgang Becker,  Rechtsanwalt, solicitor and a partner in Muttley Dastardly LLP, was originally admitted to The Partnership to leverage the value of marriage failure among the seriously rich business and celebrity sectors. In but two months he  has billed ‘comfortably into seven figures’.  For reasons of taste, discretion and taxation, The Partners of Muttley Dastardly LPP never reveal financial information to the Press.

Today, I met with Dr Wolffgang Becker in his well appointed office on the fifth floor. I was surprised by the design of the office which  comprises of two staircases leading down to a central hall.  Two high backed Chippendale chairs were placed opposite each other by the wall facing a vase of flowers.  There was no sign of any office paraphernalia, no computers, nothing to give the impression that I was in a leading family lawyer’s office.

Dr Becker appeared from the left hand staircase, dressed in a black linen Nehru suit and a pair of  tassled black suede loafers.  He wore yellow socks.  Clipped and precise, he shook my hand, asked for my Amex card and then remembered that I was not a client, but was visiting for the purpose of an interview to gain an insight into the mind of a man who was at the very forefront of the world of family law in the new era of the Legal Services Act.

“Old habits die hard” he said laconically as he invited me to take the chair opposite.  “Would you like some champagne or coffee?  Tea perhaps?  We have many types of tea here.  It is not a drink I care for myself, but many of our clients are English and they often find  solace in taking tea while they brief me on their ideas for divorce and, more importantly for them and ourselves, the financial arrangements.”

I accepted his offer of a glass of champagne. Within ten seconds a butler arrived with two glasses of champagne. He seemed to appear from nowhere, but in fact entered through the door at the end of the central hall beyond the flowers.

“I’m impressed” I said. “You didn’t appear to give any instructions.”

Dr Becker smiled and waved his hand dismissively. “Everything is recorded here.  My staff are listening in.  It is so much easier to have a precise record on digital file, wouldn’t you agree?

“Your record with high value clients is impressive Dr Becker”  I said, rising to the occasion by not referring to any of the notes I had made earlier. “But tell me, why is Muttley Dastardly LLP entering the mass divorce market at a time when family lawyers are feeling the pinch, when legal aid is being cut, when family law barristers say they can no longer afford to take on cases?”

“You have answered your own question Herr Professor Doctor Charon.” Dr Becker replied, clearly mistaking me for my rather tedious brother, Professor RD Charon PHD, FRSA “It is precisely because the general practitioner in this country is abandoning this sector that we feel we can …. shall we say….. hoover it all up and by using the internet, call centres in India and cheap but highly effective lawyers in India,  who are becoming more and more expert in English Law….maximise the profit.”

“Do you have a brand name for this new divorce service?” I asked, draining my glass.  Within seconds the butler appeared with a second glass of champagne on a silver tray.  I took it without demurring and thanked the butler for his attentiveness.

“Ja!  Of course. Megaladon is the vehicle we use for all our mass market law operations, personal injury, negligence, conveyancing….  I wanted to call it Megaladon with your wife or husband?, but Matt Muttley, our CEO, thought the humour was just too black even for us.  He was probably right.”

I managed to suppress the hysteria rising from the very core of my being, drained the second glass in one and asked “And how do you make your money?”

“We accept a range of credit cards Herr Professor.  Do you have any other questions?”
Before I could reply, the butler appeared with a bill for £52 + 12.5% service.  He handed me the portable credit card machine and smiled.  There is no need to leave a gratuity, Sir.  Service is included.”

Dr Becker smiled “Good champagne, Ja….? I’m sure you will be able to get it back on expenses.   There are no free lunches in life, Herr Professor Dr Charon,  and certainly there aren’t at Muttley Dastardly LLP. As there is not an opportunity to bill for your time with me today, we have to cover the costs.  £52 for three and a half minutes is well below what I would ordinarily charge, of course – but it has been a pleasure to meet you.  Give my regards to your brother Charon QC… Tell him that I was so fascinated with his new iCharonphone and the iDNA app which I saw on his blog only this afternoon that I have downloaded Cellmark’sapplication.  Most useful.  It will be most useful for our work here and, quite possibly for personal use also.  It has been a pleasure to meet you.”

With that, Dr Becker was gone.  He seemed to glide, rather than walk.  I smiled as he went up the staircase on the right and thought to myself… “How marvellously  Germanic… one staircase for down, one for up.”  The £52 I paid for the champagne was worth every penny.  I should be able to recover this ‘disbursement’  from Matt Muttley when we meet as Ascot later this week.  I, too, have one of those portable credit card reading devices. I shall be taking it with me to Ascot.  One must, after all, be prepared.