This country doesn’t need you

Following on from the efforts down under to ban the use of the word ‘solicitor’ in legal circles (see The Lawyer, 28 July), a new transatlantic slant on the perils of being a ‘solicitor’ emerges this week courtesy of Peter Felton Gerber of Canary Wharf’s Feltons Solicitors.

The man who advised investment banker Carina Coleman, aka the ‘tethered goat’, on her successful claim for unfair dismissal, put a call in recently to a potential client in the US. The recipient, a firm of accountants, had a state-of-the-art phone-screening system in place which blocked Felton’s call. Why? Apparently, the US system would not accept calls if the number was withheld, which Felton’s own system does as a matter of course. Even worse, though, was his chosen profession. As the American-accented electronic voice confirmed: “If you are a solicitor, HANG UP NOW.”