What firm would make the ‘ginger nut’ its senior partner?

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Jul 20, 2017
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It must be the unbearably close weather besetting London over recent days, but one High Court judge sitting in the administrative division was behaving slightly eccentrically earlier this week.

The little mouse with the trilby hat and press badge that haunts the Royal Courts of Justice and occasionally reports for The Brief was sniffing around a case involving the Highways Act, in which Mr Justice Holman was presiding. The time came for the judge to read out his ruling, and he did so with exaggerated precision. 

Either convinced that the stenographer had not been awarded a gold star for spelling, or that the person in that role was hard of hearing, Mr Justice Holman paused repeatedly to spell out various – apparently random – words. “Route”, “awe”, “viz”, “imprecisely” and “cartography” were just some that the judge slowly spelled. He then finished with a dramatic flourish, saying: “And on that note it ends.” 

Counsel were understandably bemused. Even more so when Mr Justice Holman awarded longer than counsel had asked to agree a draft order with this quip: “Don't stress yourselves out.”

What firm would make the ‘ginger nut’ its senior partner?

How entertaining would a Slaughter and May partner be on national radio or pontificating about Premier League football?

That was the question The Lawyer magazine effectively posed in the wake of the publication of the salaries of top BBC presenters.

While employment lawyers speculated on the raft of discrimination claims Auntie would be fielding, the trade publication pointed out that the highest paid senior equity partner at Slaughter and May was on the same whack as the radio personality Chris Evans (around £2.2 million), while the average senior equity partner drawing at the firm slightly pipped Gary Lineker’s pay. Graham Norton, the flamboyant presenter of a BBC One chat-show, matched the pay of an average senior equity partner at Herbert Smith Freehills. But would you really want to spend any time on the sofa with one the Anglo-Australian firm’s litigation partners?

Meanwhile, The Lawyer’s arch rival, the website Legal Week, stuck to a serious legal angle. Tucked away in the Beeb’s salary report were figures showing that three of the corporation’s in-house lawyers were on the big wedge list. The site reported that Sarah Jones, the BBC’s group general counsel, was in the £200,000 to £249,000 bracket while Peter Farrell, head of legal, and Peter Ranyard, assistant general counsel, fell in the £150,000 to £199,000 pot.

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