A big birthday for The Temple

This is class. The Temple is celebrating 400 years of independence not with a couple of washed-out garden parties but with a big fat festival of music, theatre and debate.

Damn, it looks good. The song recital series, in particular – but then, I’d catch several buses to hear Julius Drake performing chopsticks, let alone accompany Angelika Kirchschlager.

And they’ve even managed to lure one of the world’s greatest pianists, Andras Schiff, to play Beethoven later in the year. (A little bird tells me that he was reeled in by a certain Jonathan Gaisman, resident culture king of 7 KBW.)

Anyway, I suspect the Temple’s open weekend on 19-20 January will be packed, if only because of the questionable Da Vinci Code legacy. The weekend has been very cleverly put together; whoever had the idea of having a light-hearted children’s ‘court’ deserves a pat on the back.

Vivian Robinson, current Inner Temple master, spoke a lot today about demystifying the law. Certainly, it’s pretty neat how Inner and Middle Temples have dovetailed their anniversary with the idea of access to the bar in the wake of the Neuberger report.

Temple 2008 has cost in the region of £600,000, mostly raised by various benefactors and private sponsorship.

Cheap at the price, I reckon.

London may be one of the great financial and artistic centres of the world, but I do worry that career pressures may end up creating a generation of lawyers with no cultural hinterland whatsoever. The legal profession needs more of these events, frankly.

Catrin Griffiths
Editor, The Lawyer