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The house always wins

I overheard my solicitor giving another of his clients advice today while I was at court. "The good news is that I've finally managed to get OldSmoothie to review your case." He hesitated whilst the client looked up at him hopefully before continuing: "The bad news is that he says you'll lose."

The client looked completely deflated. Slippery put a consoling hand on his shoulder and without skipping a beat, as if he was a croupier at a big gambling table dragging in the punter's losses, he added: "Now this doesn't have to be the end of it."

"How's that?" asked the client.

"Well so far you've racked up £15,000 investigating the case and £5,000 on OldSmoothie's opinion. Now, a second opinion on the prospects of success from my senior partner would only cost another £3,000 and having already spent the money you have, it seems a shame, well, really, such a waste to, you know, give up just when your luck might be about to turn the corner."

The client looked more worried than ever and I was starting to feel decidedly uncomfortable myself. The problem in speaking up was not only that Slippery is one of my main sources of work but also that there'd be a rather convenient conflict of interest in doing so.

Thankfully, just as Slippery was making his little pitch, UpTights walked past having overheard the whole conversation. As she did so she said to her own solicitor in a stage whisper loud enough for Slippery's client to hear: "Funny how he's not offering to take the risk himself do it all on a no-win no-fee basis. Kind of gives you the answer already, wouldn't you say?"

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister written by Tim Kevan whose new novel is Law and Peace. For more information and to read past posts visit Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

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