Obiter always enjoys a legal conference. The artificial lights; those sticky pastries with glazed fruit in the middle that come with morning coffee; ticking off the inspirational speaker’s inevitable Wayne Gretzky quote on your bingo card.

Most of all, we love the ‘leave your business card’ competition for a chance to win champagne or a weekend break.

Alas, last week’s Modern Law conference in London was in the spirit of the age. The card raffle dangled the golden carrot of ‘one day’s compliance audit’ worth £1,500. Beats a couple of nights at a five-star hotel and spa any time, no?

Sadly, justice minister Shailesh Vara almost certainly missed out on some free compliance, hurrying away after his carefully scripted 15-minute speech. Those expecting marmalade-dropping insights were disappointed, with one wag remarking: ‘If you added up the people in this room, Vara’s just wasted about 32 hours of billable time.’