Only Swerve If You Mean It

Both my legal and natural fathers were lawyers. My mother’s long time husband’s father  was one. My brother is one. His four children are all set . My son’s best friend is a barrister.  The man I was best man for is one. Our favourite cousin’s boy  took that dusty path. . Two of our best friends  are lawyers and their  sons and daughters feed in the same trough. Our dear neighbours are both  trained lawyers. So hating  lawyers is hating my life blood, my family, my neighbourhood,it is hating myself. Fine,that makes it so much better. And I know the joke about the difference between dead lawyers and dead cats on the road. One has wheel marks going round it. I am not alone.

The march of lawyers continues.In t\he past thirty years the number of solicitors has gone from 40K to 140K. The Devil makes work for idle hands. I remember doing a story about boys at a top prep school-Kings Wimbledon. They researched the kids in each year about their career ambitions. As teeny seven year olds they naturally wanted to be spacemen, cowboys, soldiers. But by the time they had left at 13, they had worked out who had the biggest cars, the  blondest wives and had the time to come and watch the  big games. They wanted to be lawyers. They dont create wealth,except their own,they just feed on others.

Conveyancing and handling wills,what  do they do?Is it related to what they charge? Come on, they suck and they suck blood. Show me a City scandal that hasnt been signed off by lawyers. Every where you turn its the lawyers whose nose is longest and whose nostrils are widest.

So suddenly  in this dark world dominated by men in robes and leather lined rooms I saw a chink in the clouds. A shaft of sunshine. The learned Giles Kavanagh who trousers £500K a year and his solicitor wife Anne Marie had for five years gone toe to toe in a divorce. The split in assets, the maintenance, how much for the three kids(they have taken it well) were all up for grabs.And grab  they both tried. Nothing  so self righteous as a lawyer,one of the reasons why you drive on instead of swerving. On and on they grabbed. Up and up went the bills. Until the £3.2m house had been reduced to £100,000.

I remember talking to a woman in such a position and questioning her logic in paying these kinds of  costs. She told me nothing mattered but making her ex husband feel pain. Similarly I know men who would rather  go bankrupt than let their  ex wives get a penny.

Meanwhile my hope that at least two lawyers have been punished  is sadly  unbalanced by the fact that the £2m  spent has gone to other lawyers. who no doubt see it as further proof of their social indispensability rather than just a function of a ruinous monopoly in a sophisticated society.

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