He was feared by his opponents and sought after by clients, which meant he earned more money than most of his peers – some say £3m a year or more.
Then one day, most likely in February, this QC became a candidate to join the highest court in the country, and leave the bar forever.
There were cheers across all the legal sets, except that of his own Brick Court Chambers, as his opponents believed they might actually win a case for a change.
The Court of Appeal judiciary, the Scrooge of this story, was not happy and appeared to lobby against Sumption’s appointment (see story).
It looked like the Court would snatch the greatest prize in the legal profession from the fingertips of the aspiring Sumption.
As it turns out, none of it mattered. Sumption surprised everyone by withdrawing his application and everything went back to normal (see story).
And everyone lived happily ever after.