Hottest ticket in town? Last week it was Court 71 at the Royal Courts of Justice, where a bench including the lady chief justice and master of the rolls is hearing Churchill v Merthyr Tydfil – the Japanese knotweed ADR case.
While knotweed itself is no joke, the opening day had moments of humour. When counsel observed ‘there are some good solicitors and bad solicitors’, the lady chief justice quickly chipped in: ‘There are some good and bad barristers.’ Appreciative chuckles all round.
Meanwhile, Sir Geoffrey Vos capped a characteristic barrage of penetrating questions by observing ‘you probably think I am obsessed with the law’. Perish the thought, Sir Geoffrey, perish the thought.
A semantic point raised a smile with Obiter when the master of the rolls said he did not expect the word ‘hardships’ to be used by those making submissions on behalf of the Social Housing Law Association.
Of course it was only a matter of time before the temptation to introduce a pun became overwhelming. The dam broke in an exchange between Vos and bar chair Nick Vineall KC.
‘A knotty problem, you might say.’
‘Yes, to get into them, one would need to get into the weeds, one might say.’
They’re here all week.