Homogenised silk

Monckton Chambers brought a touch of the Caribbean to Gray’s Inn last week with its annual summer party, now firmly ensconced as one of the garden parties to be seen at.

There was a steel band, punch and waiters in bright T-shirts and flowery garlands serving spicy canapés. Even the Inn’s security guard joined in the fun by wearing a parrot on his shoulder, pirate-style.

DLA Piper competition guru Mike Pullen rocked up from a day out at Wimbledon, where he had managed to catch Andre Agassi’s second-round match – the phrase ‘lucky bastard’ comes to mind. Otherwise the talk was all of cartels and price-fixing. One solicitor noted that he had been trying to find a criminal silk to instruct on a cartel case, but every chambers he went to quoted the same price for the silk, leading the bemused lawyer to conclude that there must be some sort of cartel operating within the bar.