I’ve been guilty of lawyer bashing in the past – which hardly makes me unique.
However, it probably makes me quite brave, since it is a dangerous pastime in Edinburgh, which is absolutely hoatching with LLBs, (it stands for Legum Baccalaureus, apparently), WSs (Writers to the Signet), NPs (Notaries Public), QCs (Queen’s Counsel), PFs (Procurators Fiscal) and every other imaginable flavour of lawyer, each with their own impressive set of Latin abbreviations.
If you were unlucky enought to trip over a lawyer in Edinburgh, there’d be another half dozen there to pick you up, dust you down -and offer to represent you in any number of lengthy, spurious, unseemly or downright ruinous legal actions.
Truth is I’m guilty of the crime of simple human envy. Mea culpa.There is no profession that is quite so adept at liberating others from their cash in such large amounts (whether representing the reckless, feckless and neckless in court, or coining it in from house sales and purchases) and if only I’d been a bit smarter when it came to making those teenage career choices … ach, well.
Just to prove that I’m not bitter I’m going to take this chance to big up the efforts of one of Scotland’s biggest and best-known legal firms, Biggart Baillie. You may be unsurprised to hear that the legal staff at BB helped lighten the coffers of royal charity, The Prince’s Trust by £3000 – but this wasn’t some hefty bill for 15 minutes phone advice (that would have cost six grand!).
In fact the money was handed out to five big Scottish legal firm as part of the charity’s Lions’ Den Professional Challenge – where each firm was tasked, Apprentice-style, to take the three grand and come up with a money making scheme to turn it into £20,000 within six months.
The organisers were rubbing their hands together at the prospect of a big pay day- 5 x £20K = £100,000. In fact the lawyers raised a whoppoing £313k, with Biggart Baillie alone brining in just short of £100,000. BB did there bit by organising Scotland’s first ever National Green Day. That included an environmental exhibition in Glasgow’s George Square, a gala dinner in Glasgow City Chambers, a schools and nurseries competion, the release of a charity single and a charity gig.
David McKinnon of the Princes Trust summed it up perfectly. “I was gobsmacked at the amount raised by Biggart Baillie,” he said. “They have proved they are no Ivory Tower lawyers, but hard nosed businesspeople with an entrepreneurial flair. Their clients can rest easy knowing that their legal advisers truly understand the pressures involved in doing business today.”
However, there were other motivating factors at work. My pal inside BB is Iain McLean, was closely involved in the National Green Day campaign and is certainly beaming with pride at the firm’s achievements – and is pretty clear that the firm did so well because of the fierce compeition with Tods Murray.