James Caan played an unsophisticated and ruthless mercenary (Santino Corleone) in The Godfather. His namesake is now given space on your front page to argue a similar philosophy.
It would be nice to believe that the cause of the gross commercial inefficiencies described by the private equity investor was a desire to achieve justice for the client. The painful truth is that it is, in the main, laziness and incompetence. That much we may well be able to agree on. However, Mr Caan’s failure even to attempt to place this issue within the wider context of the chronically low levels of access to justice is the type of flaw that has brought our profession to its current pretty pass.
Is it really being seriously suggested that the route to success lies in effectively saying to an impecunious litigant seeking redress for some gross injustice: ‘Unless you pay me my firm’s hourly rate (carefully calculated to allow me three holidays a year and a private education for my children), you’re on your own’?
I agree that ‘profit’ is not a dirty word; but I also happen to believe that ‘injustice’ is a filthy word. If I am being told to adopt a ‘not my problem’ approach to my clients’ misfortunes, then all I can say is: ‘omerta’.
Terry Ballard, Bexhill-on-Sea