Alternative fat cats lap up praise
Put the words “rich list” and “lawyers” in a sentence and it is difficult not include the phrase “fat cats”.
But last weekend, The Sunday Times published its “alternative rich list” as a companion piece to its more established run down of financially loaded Britons and other UK residents – and three lawyers leapt from the pages. The alternative list focuses on celebrating “people who are wealthy not in terms of money, but in other ways that are impossible to put a price on (cinema adverts for a global credit card might spring to mind, but try to stifle them)”.
Leading the way was Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws, the ubiquitous Doughty Street Chambers silk, who if she had a pound for every time she appeared on Question Time would surely have made the main list. Lady Kennedy made the alternative list for having “spent her life championing human rights, particularly those of women and children”, which must have made her a very precocious ten year old.
Her chambers-mate Tunde Okewale also made the alternative grade. The ten-year-call junior is also a human rights lawyer, whom the editors praised for having founded Urban Lawyers, an organisation that “makes legal information more accessible to young people”.
But we’ve saved the most exciting for last – partially because this lawyer is no longer practising law, but who cares about billable hours when you can claim to have swum great swathes of many of the earth’s oceans? Lewis Pugh is described as an “ocean advocate” – he did time at the City law firms Ince & Co and Stephenson Harwood – and he makes the list for swimming with icebergs and having last year helped to create the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area in Antarctica.
The doctor will see you now (or not)
Law firms love a good survey but some attempts to find a good headline are a bit more far-fetched than others.
In the slightly far-fetched category yesterday was the hold-the-presses-style note from Fletchers, a Manchester firm specialising in personal injury and clinical negligence cases. “Almost a quarter of Brits are afraid of the doctor’s waiting room,” it dramatically announced.
The firm’s report, “Waiting Room Woes”, claimed that as a result of this phobia of sitting in a confined space with screaming children and back issues of Women’s Own (is that still published, ed?) nearly 80 per cent of those with the fear hesitate to seek medical advice from doctors, dentists, and opticians. A fear of unearthing health problems was the most often cited reason keeping people from the GP’s surgery, followed by a phobia of medical equipment. Bad experiences during childhood also created a significant problem.