‘Dakar won’t start’

Lawyers love a challenge. So when technology lawyer Gavin McGinty and property specialist Andrew Todd, of Pinsent Masons and McGrigors respectively, were given the chance to take part in the mammoth Plymouth to Dakar Rally, they jumped at it.

Sadly the duo’s attempts to drive the 4,000 miles to Dakar in West Africa in a car that they bought from eBay for the princely sum of £100 (the maximum budget allowed for the purchase and preparation of the motors) ended in misery. The 1970s Chrysler Town & Country, named ‘Beauty’, gave up the ghost in France.

McGinty, alias ‘The Bandit’, said they took a big risk in getting an automatic car because, once the gear box failed, it was impossible to find a replacement. On top of that, this year’s rally imposed a further requirement that all cars had to be left-hand drive.

The lawyers were completely unsupported in the challenge: there were no marshals, no checkpoints, no back-up crews… And when Beauty broke down, the team had to try to fix her themselves.

Tulkinghorn would not be so churlish as to suggest that the fact that technology lawyer McGinty was unable to fix his wheels says more about ‘technology’ lawyers than it does about the state of the car.

Despite the failure to complete the course, team Abroath Smokey (Todd) and the Bandit raised a respectable £5,000 for the Association of Children’s Hospices.