We were going to take a break from office pets this week, but Tim Melville-Walker, partner at West Sussex firm MacDonald Oates, reminds of another side to the story.

Allegedly a district judge in Southampton gained a reputation for eccentricity. ‘If any hearing continued beyond a certain period, it could be guaranteed that there would be a muffled thudding noise from the bench, whereupon the judge would appear distracted, lean to his left and adjust something out of sight, before returning to his normal posture.

‘Only after this well-liked district judge retired did the court staff admit to the presence of his black labrador sitting beneath the bench for the entirety of his judicial career. Apparently the said labrador could only endure a certain amount of legal waffle before wagging her tail (the thudding noise) and requiring a biscuit to placate her.’

Meanwhile, Graham Simm, partner at Taunton family firm Oerton Simm, tells us that Leonard (pictured), an eight-month-old jack russell, recently graduated from Chester College of Law and now attends the firm on a daily basis. Apparently he is a hit with the clients, ‘but not with the window cleaner, whom he seems to dislike greatly’.

Thanks for the doggie snaps. But Obiter was wondering, are there no legal office cats out there nowadays?