Quotes of the Year
20 December 1999
"It is part of an aggressive expansion plan"
- Tom Jones, partner at Thompsons, defies the laws of mathematics when explaining that the departure of 11 of Thompsons' 55 equity partners will actually make the firm bigger - 15 March.
"I've got 50 partners up my butt trying to find out what's going on"
- A regional marketing manager who contacted The Lawyer about our story revealing that Bupa was considering sidelining City firms in favour of regional practices - 22 March.
"I take the view that this is basically my country and you lot are just squatters"
- Dr Peter Felter, Clyde & Co's head of energy and the lawyer attempting to oust the management board of troubled UK energy group Premier Oil. The Danish-born lawyer is expressing the not very widely supported view that the UK is a Viking settlement - 5 April.
"There's a saying: It's better to be on the inside pissing out than on the outside pissing in. As far as I'm concerned, the council is just plain incontinent"
- Paul Gilbert, chairman of the Law Society's Commerce and Industry Group and former head of legal services at Cheltenham & Gloucester on the Law Society council's decision to scrap one of its two local government seats in favour of a newly-qualified solicitor. Gilbert is now head of legal at United Assurance Group - 17 May.
"There is no place in our judicial system for an ancient, insanitary, decaying mass of congealed horse hair"
- Andrew Dismore, MP for Hendon, who tabled an amendment to the Access to Justice Bill seeking to abolish wigs as the bill progressed through its Commons committee stage - 24 May.
"He's a complete pillock... Every year Mears comes up like a piece of dog turd on your shoe"
- Disgruntled Law Society vice-president Bob Sayer on why the Law Society needed his campaign for president to be contested like "a hole in the head", and his views on former president Martin Mears - 7 June.
"I have to ask myself, having looked at the videos, if this is the best you can do"
- Judge Richard Benson addressing three porn dealers before giving them 18-month conditional discharges - 14 June.
"We're being besieged by open-toed-sandalled hippy vandals"
- An anonymous partner at Maclay Murray & Spens' City of London office in Foster Lane, when J18's anti-capitalist demonstrations got out of hand - 21 June.
"Everyone knows my devotion to my duty, but it's the tickets to Wimbledon"
- Winchester Crown Court Judge, Patrick Wooton, explains the pressing circumstances (the men's semi-finals) that forced him to delay by six months an indecent assault trial likely to last four days - 5 July.
"I have stolen quite a nice paperweight from his office which he left behind"
- Cobbetts' managing partner Michael Shaw on the departure of intellectual property partner Philip Atkinson, who was poached by Eversheds' Birmingham office to head its IP department - 2 August.
"I'm in a portacabin. It's raining, and that's on the inside. We could put Cameron McKenna on the outside of it"
- An excited Adrian Leavey, property assistant at Cameron McKenna, explaining the responsibilities attached to his job as the firm's on-site team leader on a construction site - 11 October.
"This is a Mickey Mouse policy dreamt up in Disneyland"
- The Bar Council's response to Robert Sayer's proposal to abolish the distinction between solicitors and barristers, made during the Law Society Solicitors' Law Festival in Eurodisney, Paris - 1 November.
"Their application to the court looks like a script for 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire'"
- Elan Steiberg of the World Jewish Congress on news that some lawyers were charging £437 an hour for the action brought by Holocaust victims against Swiss Banks - 6 December.
"If a witness wears a Shirley Bassey wig and make-up, how am I to determine that witness is credible?"
- William Taylor QC, the lawyer for the two Lockerbie suspects, when the prosecution asked if key witnesses such as CIA agents could give their testimony in disguise. The judge, Lord Sutherland, rejected the request - 13 December.
"He's not in the office today, he's in the London office"
- The secretary to the senior partner of Halliwell Landau, Roger Lancaster, when asked whether Lancaster could confirm rumours that the firm was going to open a London office - 8 February.