Christopher Digby-Bell’s letter urging lawyers to rein in their banking clients rang a bell with me. In the early 1970s, when I was working as a newly qualified solicitor for a magic circle firm, I raised a query with a secondary banking client concerning the wisdom of some of their loans. The instruction I received from the client’s representative was to ‘get on with the legal work’ and leave the lending decisions to the bank. Within weeks, the secondary bank was facing liquidation and had to be rescued by a large financial organisation.
The point is that, while lawyers can urge caution, the ‘paymaster’ will get its way. Naturally, the concept will apply to the non-lawyer owners of alternative business structures. I wonder what the Solicitors Regulation Authority is doing about that.
Anthony Shuttleworth, Menneer Shuttleworth, Bexhill-on-Sea