I come from a depressing, end-of-the-line town called Clacton-on-Sea. You probably stayed there in a caravan once, but had the fortune to leave after a long rainy weekend. Not me, I was stuck there, with just candyfloss and those two-penny machines to see me through to 18.
Now, I’m allowed to say what I like about Clacton. But if any outsider ever dares do the same, they’ll have me to deal with. (Not much admittedly, but it sounds threatening.) Which brings me (and stick with me on this one) to referral fees.
This week, the Council of the International Bar Association (IBA) will consider Anti-Corruption Guidelines for Bar Associations. I remember when this was discussed in one of the IBA policy groups of which I am a member. The representatives from bars in the west (and from at least one other developed country) fell silent as if a rude word had been said, and commented in embarrassment that this had nothing to do with them. Of course, they could not oppose the IBA issuing such guidelines, but they felt it had no relevance to their work or the work of their lawyer members.
Firms will soon be obliged to publish diversity data – perhaps on their website or in reception if they have no website. I find it hard to see how, in a firm which consists of one person only (such as mine), it can be consistent with the Data Protection Act 1998 to force that individual to disclose their age, race, disabilities, ethnic group, schooling and the like (gender and religion are exempt from the publication requirements) and be obliged to publish it.
Until this afternoon I had sympathy with colleagues who specialise in claimant personal injury work; that was until I received an unsolicited call from a north-west firm. About 18 months ago, my vehicle was involved in a collision where a car collided with my driver’s door, causing damage. I was not in the vehicle at the time; I was in the pub having a quiet pint. The only person caused any form of distress or upset was my wife – it was her car. The cost of repair was dealt with between insurers.