Richard Smith QC has got probably the best job in law – for a rugby fan at least.
The Guildhall Chambers silk is legal counsel to the British & Irish Lions, currently on tour in South Africa (see story).
As a result the lucky blighter will be sitting in the coach’s box for the final test tomorrow. Still, it’s not all beer and skittles – as resident lawyer, Smith has had a busy tour.
There’s been no shortage of law-breaking, largely by the South Africans, whose ‘physical’ approach in the last test led to two players being cited by the authorities. (For those who didn’t watch the game, Springbok flanker Schalk Burger was yellow-carded for sticking his fingers in Lions winger Luke Fitzgerald’s eye).
Smith not only advised players and staff on their response to the incidents, which Irish centre Brian O’Driscoll branded a “disgrace”.
Smith also had a hand in presenting evidence to the International Rugby Board, which promptly banned the offending South Africans for several games.
Here’s hoping he has little to do on Saturday other than celebrate a cathartic victory for the Lions.
Meanwhile at the top of the revenue table it’s all change, as Linklaters usurps Clifford Chance and Freshfields as the UK’s largest firm (see story).