Wednesday, 28 April 2010


Sometimes being a divorce lawyer is like running an election campaign. Take the client who once upon a time told me: “It was a disaster - they should never have put me with that woman. Whose idea was that? It's just ridiculous..."

Prejudiced, dogmatic, opinionated, intolerant, narrow minded, blinkered. “Ugh… she’s just a sort of bigoted woman.”

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


Today I want to pay tribute to a brilliant lady, Pauline. She was my secretary and we worked together for over 14 years until her retirement on health grounds at the beginning of last year. When she left, it really was like losing my right arm and half my brain too. For so long I relied on her powers of telepathy, it was as though she could read my mind and it was amazing how many bits of paper she could always find in my in-tray when I had searched fruitlessly for what seemed like hours. She knew exactly what was happening on every file and regularly spoke to clients on my behalf, updating them and offering empathy and kindness. Her humour was superb and we started most days with a laugh. It was her funeral today. Pauline, rest in peace; you deserve it.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


We took advantage of the beautiful spring weather on Saturday to make a foray into the Peak District National Park. It’s strange how one small area can vary in so many different ways. There were, of course, the hills but also the dales; there were areas where there were crowds of people and others where there were none. In some places spring had clearly arrived to deck trees in their greenery and blossom; higher up the desolation and bitter effects of the winter still pervaded. Indeed Derbyshire at the weekend became a microcosm of life generally and as we passed from one valley to another, there were definitely peaks and troughs.

Sunday, 18 April 2010


Presumably many heard Frank Skinner last night on his TV Show, "Opinionated," quip that one of the tiers of his wedding cake lasted longer than the marriage itself, which broke down after only 10 months. Regrettably, how true this must be in so many cases.

Friday, 16 April 2010


For those of you who missed the first live television election debate last night, let me describe it through the eyes of a divorce solicitor as thus:

Two chaps, Gordon and Dave, claimed their love for Britannia and their desire to support and nurture her. There was significant disagreement between them as to how to care for her in sickness and in health, and a huge sum of £6 billion was continuously mentioned.

A third chap, Nick, was the kind of boy who might appeal to Britannia’s mother. Well spoken, apparently trustworthy (or so he claimed), heart in the right place but young and perhaps na├»ve.

Soon it will be up to Britannia to decide. Whether she makes her decision based on looks, style or substance, allow me to predict the outcome in 4 years time: discontent and disagreement; name-calling and public pillorying; estrangement and eventually divorce.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


I have just got back from a brief sojourn in the USA. New York is such a diverse city that it must hold something for everybody. In my case you will not be surprised to learn that I discovered it to be a city of divorce.

Immediately I got into a cab at JFK airport I was greeted by a video screen on the back of the driver’s seat in front of me. A comedy show was playing but across the bottom news items were scrolling. So it was that I had hardly set foot on American soil before I read: “Judge will hear arguments in Dennis Hopper’s divorce case.”

The next day, whilst walking through Central Park I couldn’t help overhearing a conversation; “Single, divorced, whatever,” it went.

From one of those open topped tourist buses which had stopped near City Hall, I heard the guide announce: “And in that building you can get married and conveniently divorced too!”

Then at the next table in an Italian restaurant on 46th Street, a new divorcee was given this advice: “Remember in New York you must not date cheap.”

Finally reading the headlines of the newspaper held by the passenger on the subway opposite me, I saw: “Ex wants a cut, but she won’t get my billions.”

I confess I loved New York.

Thursday, 1 April 2010


My thanks today to John Bolch at Family Lore for his report of breaking news from the BBC. He nearly had the good people of Darlington fooled as he enticed them to queue up Priestgate to get into Latimer Hinks and demand the paperwork for an immediate divorce, in line with apparent Government changes.