One memorable moment at last week’s Global Law Summit was Sir Michael Tugendhat’s indictment of the effect of the current government’s justice policies.

The former High Court media judge recalled that some of his most painful moments on the bench had been making cost orders of tens of thousands of pounds against litigants in person who, despite having a good case, had mishandled proceedings simply because they could not afford legal advice.

Tugendhat wasn’t even supposed to be there: he was a last minute stand-in for Liberty’s Shami Chakrabarti, who had decided to boycott the summit. She turned up instead at the Justice Alliance’s lively Stand up for Justice comedy night. Mercifully, she didn’t try to upstage stand-ups Stephen K Amos, Sara Pascoe and Stewart Lee, announcing: ‘I’m not here to be funny, I’m here to be serious.’

It’s the way she tells ‘em.

Regretting Chakrabarti’s absence from a summit session on encroachments on privacy, chair Colin Passmore of international firm Simmons & Simmons quietly observed: ‘I think she could have made her arguments much more powerfully in person than by her absence.’