If brevity be the soul of wit, then the winners of the Association of Women Solicitors (AWS) excellence awards got it right in short order.

At the ceremony at the Law Society last week, the acceptance speeches were sometimes just one sentence long and gave the lie to that egregious slander that lawyers are in love with the sound of their own voices. There was only one Oscar moment, when a winner declared herself: ‘So shocked! Gosh! I’m speechless, which doesn’t happen often.’

The award for silver-tongued charm, however, goes to a male solicitor, Charles Fraser of genealogists and international probate researchers Fraser & Fraser. Thanking the AWS for inviting his firm to sponsor the event, he said: ‘It is surprisingly common how often solicitors don’t know what they are doing and so it is a real pleasure to be addressing a group of people this evening who emphatically do know what they are doing.’

Gentlemen, listen and learn.