For one lucky solicitor, time to almost meet the pope.

How does a solicitor secure an audience with the Pope? Obiter notices the bar is set quite high.

Speaking at a Linklaters Pride reception at the Royal Academy’s ‘Renaissance Nude’ exhibition this week, firmwide managing partner Gideon Moore recalled almost meeting His Holiness.

While admitting that a papal audience was an unusual ambition for ‘a Jewish guy from Yorkshire’, there was reason for hope.

Gideon, who advocates for the interests of LGBT+ lawyers on the Linklaters’ executive committee, reckoned he had a hefty calling card – a report on the dangers and discrimination faced by LGBT+ people in former British colonies.

And this seemed to work! An audience with Pope Francis was scheduled, for which Gideon set off with another supporter of the report, Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws (Helena Kennedy QC).

Sadly the day before the scheduled audience, Gideon and the ‘Red Baroness’ received an email – the ‘hugely popular’ Pope had been double booked. There followed a meeting with the Holy See’s prime minister ‘in a basement with no photos’.

But if either lawyer fancies another go, Obiter has a sure-fire Plan B: appointment as UK ambassador to the Holy See. As the Twitter cover photo of current head of mission @SallyAxworthy confirms, this guarantees an audience to present your plenipotentiorial credentials – and it happens above ground level, in a room with windows.