19 July 1999
Minutes of a meeting between Jack Pratchard, senior partner and Tom Henderson, managing partner of The Firm.
Pratchard: It is simply intolerable that that big buffoon Sayer has been elected to lead the profession. Did you see that he called David Keating "a pillock" and said he was like "dog shit on his shoe". Disgraceful.
Henderson: Yes, it was quite vulgar.
Pratchard: Balls to that. It was pure plagiarism. Don't you remember me using the exact same language three years ago. It was during that hearing at the court of appeal. "You're a pillock, m'lud. You're like dog shit on my shoe," I remember shouting at that damned judge who wouldn't let our barrister have a go.
Henderson: He was going to let him have a go. Just after the other side's barrister had finished his opening remarks.
Pratchard: Well, if Sayer can't come up with his own crude insults, I can't see him dealing properly with government. He could have said "tosser" or "tit-face" or...
Henderson: Is this what you wanted to talk to me about?
Pratchard: Oh no. Did you see The Wombles yesterday?
Henderson: No Jack. It's on Children's television. I was working.
Pratchard: You should relax Tom, putting in overtime like that. I cut down to two hours a week last year, you know, for medical reasons. Anyway, this was work. Can you name all the wombles?
Henderson: Erm. Madame Cholet, Uncle Bulgaria, Tobermory, Bungle, Tomsk, Orinoco and Wellington.
Pratchard: As I suspected you missed one. McWomble! It's the same in the law. To often we overlook our McFriends in the north. As McWomble used his Caledonian nous to help clear up the crisp bags I decided that we're going to expand into Jockland. We need to reassess our international strategy. Things aren't going well in the Balkans. We've lost a heck of a lot of staff from the Kosovo office. The office has been decimated.
Henderson: What! Which firm have they all joined?
Pratchard: No. I mean we've lost them. We can't find them anywhere. And the office has been literally decimated. Most strange. It seemed such a pretty country when I went there. Or am I confusing it with Cornwall?
Anyway, McGregory Donald has been fishing around for a merger partner. They've already turned down some outfit called Dibbs. I'm not surprised. I thought dibbs was something scouts did. Probably some bloody rural firm - between me and you I'm surprised that they didn't win Best Law
Firm Of The Year In The Universe Ever at The Lawyer awards. But if this Jock fellow Donald is presented with a bid from The Firm it'll be - what's that phrase you use - an offer he can't refuse.
Henderson: Why on earth do we want to expand into
Scotland? Is "Cooking things in batter" law suddenly a growth area?
Pratchard: As I believe you know we are the leading firm, according to Chambers Directory, in quarrying law. And there are some big quarries in Scotland. When I last went there I saw a massive quarry, hundreds of square miles of rugged stony desolation. I think it was called Glasgow. And Arthur Andersen bought Dundas & Wilson didn't it? Now you know me. I'm my own man with my own ideas, but if the accountants think Scotland is a good idea then it must be.
Henderson: Does this passion for Scotland explain why you're wearing a kilt?
Pratchard: What do you mean kilt? Oh curses. I've put Mrs Pratchard's clothes on again. Sorry Tom. we're going to have to continue this meeting later. Playbus is on.