Thursday, 16 July 2020

Memories of Berwin Leighton / Bryan Cave

It's a long time ago now (15 years plus), when I was brought in by a bank to save a couple of lending positions they had.

They had lent to two (2) 'food' producers, one of whom had a great brand (but the factory had 'burnt down' - after a particularly badly handled wage negotiation), the second a cr*p brand (and which 'unsurprisingly' had surplus 'factory capacity').

Berwin Leighton (as was) split the job between two (2) junior lawyers, one of which handled the JV formation, and one / the other dealt with the ongoing JV arrangements. Neither read the other's draft documents - although their client's were expected to read both.

The reelvant 'Berwin Leighton' lawyers were in separate (adjoining) buildings on Lower Thames Street, neither of which the other could (physically) access, they had never met each other (in person > not even a 'beer'), and were unable to organise a three-way (x3) telephone call > on which both were present (without my assistance).

One of them spent eighteen (18) months resisting a requested provision in 'their' agreement (while the other had already agreed to it's inclusion of the same in 'theirs').

We'll ignore why their counter-party #lawyers hadn't worked this out until I got involved, but let's record that six (6) months later they failed / went bust (and were rescued to become Bryan Cave's original London office).

I had to phone the 'Head of Corporate' in each firm, and point out there were several hundred million pounds of equity being prejudiced (by the inexperienced / inexpert - clowns / muppets 'they had put on the job'), and a total of 9,000 jobs (in aggregate) at risk in Manchester and Liverpool.

The moral - Differentiate between 'big firms'> adept at extracting fees from their clueless clients; and expert and experienced lawyers (who may work in 'small firms') > It's like the A-Team (= 'If you can find them' etc.) / Any idiot can hire BCLP (and their ilk) . . . .

Both of the 'Heads of Corporate' are now long retired - So, I feel I'm released from my promise to NOT tell the market about this clusterf*ck . . .


Sunday, 28 June 2020

I'm About To Start Looking At A Draft Share Sale & Purchase Agreement - That Is In Such An Old Format - It Uses 'WordPerfect' Fonts! = Read and Learn!

You 'kids' don't remember an era before the internet, and when not every office worker had a PC on their desk.

Sadly, I do! 

Thankfully, the practice of law has moved on, and most draftspersons use the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of modern document production practices and protocols.

Not all, however . . . .

Every 'I Have A Bad Feeling About This' From All Eight (8) Star Wars Films



Saturday, 27 June 2020


People are often surprised to discover that there are a significant number of 'legal/law' businesses in the U.K. that are completely unauthorised and unregulated, and have quite a 'variable' level of quality and competence.  

I had one recently make contact with my firm, misrepresenting themselves on initially phoning in (= ‘a [named personal friend of yours] referred me to you’); and who then immediately 'backtracked' when I recorded their statement in my first email to them.

Once asked to make the most minor financial contribution to this business, they have now swiftly declared that they have ‘solved’ their issue by . . . . errrrr, doing absolutely nothing – the relevant aspect discussed is carrying on regardless (and everything is exactly as it was)!

They have likely phoned every conceivable Solicitor and Barrister in London who will take her call (received the same preliminary advice - which they don't like - and then phoned the next one)  . . . 

These people are always the same – they want to compete with Solicitors / Barristers (without the overhead costs, and the requirement to be competent - that being authorised and regulated would involve); but when they have a problem – they come straight to try and get legal advice and assistance from Solicitors / Barristers – while never having any ability or intention of paying.

(I guess the old adage that the 'lawyer' who advises himself, has a fool for a client = is definitely true here).

Please 'Be Aware' > That use of a title 'lawyer' or 'legal advisor' means absolutely nothing in the U.K. regulatory sphere (and can accordingly be used by any and every person who has ever failed to take a law exam - and much, much worse)!  

After incorporating about a decade ago, 'this one' had managed to trade an unregulated legal company - which has been insolvent on a balance sheet basis every year since incorporation.

To be fair, their accounts appear to indicate they may have made a surplus of slightly less than GBP £20k last year, and they have got a little under GBP £10k in the bank.

They finally compounded the whole ridiculousness by being total fantasists > as to them indicating being involved in a multi-million-pound acquisition.

What total *rses and time-wasters!

Thank the heck - We’ve reluctantly started filtering 'people like this' with a requirement to leave a voicemail!

However, if you are a 'serious player' - please don't hesitate to make contact.



June 2020

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

If you are thinking of doing any business in the U.S. . . .

If you are thinking of doing any business in the U.S. > put a 'firewall' subsidiary company between the U.K. asset owning / holding company = Top tip from @DanRJohnson x

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Two (2) Words > The Second One Of Which Is "Off" . . . (Never Heard From Him Again)!


Mr. [Idiot Ex-Boyfriend] 


BEmail Only:  Various Email Addresses 




 [Date] 2020 





Our Ref: 

DRJ / SA   







Dear Sir, 


[Successful Business] (and its Sole Director, Ms. [Impressive Businesswoman) –v- Mr. [Idiot Boyfriend] 



We are Solicitors of the Senior Courts in England and Wales, instructed on behalf of [Successful Business] (and its Sole Director, Ms. [Impressive Businesswoman). 


Our client(s) instructed us earlier this year in relation to a considerable volume of historic and ongoing correspondence that you have sent over recent periods to various persons associated with our client(s), post the ending of your business involvement with [Successful Business] and your personal relationship with Ms [Impressive Businesswoman]. 


We have recently been sent yet further correspondence which appears to relate to deferred payments / credit purchases of mobile phones by yourself (personally) - but which you had historically managed to get [Successful Business] to meet the costs of (by deceitful ongoing deductions from that company’s bank account). 


Your invoice is accordingly completely inappropriate, will not be paid by [Successful Business] and should accordingly be withdrawn. 


The present position arising appears to be that the liability for the particular payments will now rest with the appropriate party properly liable for the relevant debt(s) – i.e. you (personally).   


[Successful Business] fully reserves its position in relation to all contractual debt etc. matters relating to the relevant deferred payments / credit purchases. 


Further, this letter is formal notification that your correspondence with any staff member of [Successful Business] (including, without limitation Ms. [Impressive Businesswoman]) is extremely unwelcome and unwanted, and you are placed upon formal written notice of that position for the purposes of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. 


While the contents of this dated letter (sent by timed and dated email) have not presently been brought to the attention of (the Metropolitan Police and / or) [Idiot Boyfriend’s Local Constabulary], if there is any further evidenced attempt to communicate with our client(s), then I have little doubt that our client(s) instructions will be to do so.       


If you feel that you have any legal claim against our client(s), we confirm we are instructed to accept service upon their behalf (although we do NOT accept service by any other means than physical or Royal Mail postal service – i.e. we do not accept service by email or any method other than as stated). 


We bring to your attention that the general position regarding claims brought pursuant to the U.K. Court System is that a losing party in relation to a court action is habitually ordered to meet the other side’s legal (and other) costs – which may be on an indemnity (i.e. £ Pound for £ Pound) basis in appropriate circumstances. 


We trust that this concludes matters, and other than as stated earlier - we will not be entering into further correspondence with you. 


Yours faithfully 



Founding Principal & Business Law Solicitor 

Issued for and on behalf of Equitable Law 


Mob.:+44 (0) 7788 537 187U.K. Cellular (& e-Telephone) 



NO (0) Annexures