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Not a Penny More

Old Smoothie popped round to UpTights’ room yesterday.  They have a case listed against each other next week and he wanted to try and settle it early.  OldSmoothie is for a mother who was knocked over by a drunk driver and seriously injured.

“The Clerks tell me we’re against each other next week,” said OldSmoothie.

“So it seems,” she replied curtly.

“Yes, well.  As you might imagine, she’s not in a good way and I’m keen to settle this if we can and avoid her having to go through the ordeal of a court hearing.”

“I’m sure you are, OldSmoothie.  On a CFA by any chance?”

“Still your old charming self UpTights, I see.  Anyway, my instructions said you might have an offer for me.  No point playing games with each other at our age.  What’s your bottom line?”

“Touché OldSmoothie.  At least you’ll always be the elder.”

“So what can you come up with?  We’ve already said we’d go away for £200,000.”

“Fair enough [OldSmoothie].  You’re right.  Cutting to the chase.  The very maximum we’ll go up to is £120,000 and not a penny more.  No games remember so that’s the absolute tops.  Not a single penny more.  Understood?  Not a penny.”

“Understood.  Not a penny.  I’ll go and take instructions.”

OldSmoothie left and then returned about an hour later.

“Well UpTights.  I’ve taken instructions on your offer and it is rejected and we counter-offer with £120,000 and…”

He paused, for effect,

“…one penny.”  He smirked directly at her.

“I hope you’re joking.  I don’t believe that’s what your client would have said.”

“Funny sense of humour, my client.”

“As if.  Completely out of order.  What if I say no and your client loses the offer?”

“But you won’t UpTights.  I know you too well.  You wouldn’t want to lose face with your beloved cash cow of an insurance company over one pence.  Now, off you go and take instructions if you really need to.  You might want to get back by 3pm as my solicitors will start preparing the trial bundle and incurring even more costs after that.  Cheerio!”

Cheerio?  I thought that was just a breakfast cereal.  Anyway, as he waltzed out, UpTights was fuming as you might imagine.  She didn’t say a word to me even though she was walking round the room at a hundred miles an hour and steam might almost have been coming out of her ears.

At one minute to three, she rang OldSmoothie and fired into the phone, “Agreed OldSmoothie.  Never ever do that to me again” before slamming it back down.

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister written by Tim Kevan. You can buy the latest BabyBarista novel, 'Law and Peace' on Amazon. The cartoons are by Alex Williams, author of The Queen's Counsel Lawyer's Omnibus.