Not for the first time, I wish to be associated with Roger Smith’s excellent article (‘Notes on a scandal’).

My late father, like me a criminal law solicitor, told me a story of some advice that he received towards the beginning of his career. He was also a city councillor and had been invited to a dinner. Beforehand, he was taken to one side by the town clerk, who was also a solicitor. 

The town clerk said: ‘George, you will have an enjoyable time tonight. At some point you will be offered an innocuous gift. You will politely refuse it on the grounds that you are a solicitor and forbidden from accepting anything which might be perceived as affecting your integrity.’

My father practised for over 50 years and never forgot that advice.

Steven Jonas, partner, Jonas Roy Bloom, Birmingham