OK – so I’m a law nut. I don’t know where this unhealthy interest in the law came from – maybe it was because I had the ‘law patch’ when I was in IBM? They never bought anything, but some of the meetings in those amazing buildings in Chancery (pictured) must have had some sort of latent influence on me. Whatever it is, I follow trials, love law programmes on TV, read transcripts of trials on the net and as some of you may know, I have even attended trials in the Old Bailey in London, one of which I described in the following posting:
One area that has taken my interest to a new level however is Family Law – divorces, pre-nups and the like (J – don’t get too worried – yet!) and it just so happens that a lady with whom I used to work is married to a rather eminent ‘legal eagle’ who makes the news regularly and gives me an excuse for my rather ‘anorakish’ interest in this form of civil law.
Many of us in the UK will have seen the programme, ‘Judge John Deed’, about a rather unconventional high court judge, who takes all sorts of apolitical decisions and cannot be sacked because high court judges can only be sacked by the person who appoints them – the Queen!
Anyway, it was an e-mail from my ex-IBM colleague telling me that she was now a ‘Lady’ which made me look her hubby up on the web to see what was happening – and sure enough, he’s been appointed a High Court Judge and with that appointment goes an automatic knighthood, hence the ‘Lady’ bit, but it was the money side which interested me more.
As a QC representing clients such as Paul McCartney he was raking in an astonishing £1 million a year. Indeed, way back in the late eighties when this girl worked for me in IBM, she used to tell me that taking a week’s holiday cost her about £7,000 as whenever her husband wasn’t working (lawyers and QCs are basically self-employed), he lost £1k a day!
Anyway, what made me think and probably admire the guy is that once appointed a high court judge in the Family Division, his salary went down to a ‘measly’ £160k a year and high court judges are not allowed to take on any other work or be involved with other companies in any commercial way, so asking to be promoted, cost the poor guy over £800k a year!
That’s dedication for you.