Thursday, 22 April 2010

The dishonest Chambers

Swiss is shocked.

Yes, he really is. He is shocked to the core.

As a child, dreaming of a rosy future when he would make something of his life, drag himself out of the Council estate, work hard at remedial school, really push himself, he always felt that he could reach heights never before seen, or believed, by the Swiss household.

He trusted his ability to count up to ten without moving his mouth, to colour in pictures without sticking his tongue out, to say the alphabet without getting stuck on M, N, O, P like his older brother still does.

Having passed a spelling test one Monday morning in Junior school, he realised that if he set his mind to it, if he studied and worked hard, he could achieve anything in life. The world would be his oyster, and he could really fly high.

He will be the first to admit that it hasn't been easy, and there have been many pitfalls along the way. Not least of which was his realisation that he was, despite his good intentions, a lazy bugger that generally couldn't be arsed to do any homework or listen in class.

Through the struggles, the determination, the constant encouragement from Daddy Swiss, who was convinced that if he could push himself and perform well at school he could become a roadsweeper, Mummy Swiss who thought that there must have been a mix up in the hospital and she brought the wrong baby home, because never before had anyone in the Swiss family been able to do a tie, despite all of that, Swiss marched on with a determination and steadfastness that amazed all who witnessed it.

And fast forward too many years to think about, and Swiss is close to the pinnacle of achievement. Never before has this been imagined. Statues of Swiss have been erected by his school, in a bid to encourage others to work hard, he has been featured in the local press, and on the tv, (Embarrassing bodies), he has slogged his little heart out, worked damn hard, tried, tried, and tried again, resat all of his GCSE's in a bid to pass, nothing stood in his way, because Swiss had a dream.

To be a Barrister.

Someone that was honest, reliable, intelligent, respected and trusted. People laughed at him, they scoffed and ridiculed him, but against the odds, Swiss won through.

And then it has all come crashing down. The dream is shattered. Swiss's faith in the system has been shot to pieces. He is a broken man and thoughts of anger and frustration are coursing through his body.

Encouraged and persuaded by CofL's careers service who were hoping that Swiss would succeed so they could erect a statue of him to inspire others, and by Minx who told him he owed it to the Western World to try, he filled in the Pupillage Portal. He saw that an additional question was being asked by a set of Chambers he was keen to join. 500 words on something he would change about the law.

In a bid to discover more about what they were looking for, he took a trip to London to look at their front door. He had seen important people coming and going, he had followed them to try and learn about their movements, (He should have realised that the guy with DHL on the back of his jacket was not a good choice to follow, to Liverpool!), he phoned up on the pretext of being interested in using them just to hear their voices, to gain an edge, he rooted through their bins to learn their likes and dislikes. It would be fair to say he studied this set of chambers with meticulous precision. he knew them inside out.

He wrote 500 words. He agonised over every single word. The meaning, how the sentence went together. How it flowed. How it looked. He was in top form and submitted his 500 word work of art.

It was rejected as having too many words.

He shuffled a few bits together. Still rejected. he repleaced, 'I reckon it is like that in it' to 'Because' in order to reduce the word count. Still rejected.


Eventually, 472 words was accepted! Can you believe that. What a lack of honesty. Surely thats fraud? Bad form? Utter, utter, nonsense.

Can they not count? Do they move their mouths when they count? Is Microsoft Office not able to count?

Its a mystery at the moment, but Swiss will get to the bottom of it, and will not let this rest. he will take this further.

Once he has finished this weeks round with his mobile shoe shine business he will write a letter (OF MORE THAN 500 WORDS) to someone. He just has to work out who to. But in the meantime.....

Swiss is shocked.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Time waits for no man

Swiss is shocked.

No really, he is. he heard words spoken to a Judge that he never thought he would ever hear.

Swiss, being an amenable chap with good intentions coursing through his veins was asked to go to Court with a friend of a friend who we shall call Dave, who was owed some dosh, having lent some to a work colleague, Derek, in 2002. The money was due to be returned in full by 2004, and when requested by Dave, who seemed a decent enough bloke, Derek told him to *&£% OFF. At this point, Derek seems like a twat and Dave is a good guy, and thats how the story unfolds.

Dave resigns himself to never getting his £3000 back, and time was a healer, and in the end it seemed like too much trouble to bother with.

Time moves on.

In 2010, Derek bumped into Dave, who asked if the money would ever be forthcoming. Derek not only repeated the previous comment, but threw in a few threats.

Dave became a tad irritated at this naughty behaviour, so made an application to the Court for the return of his £3000 plus interest. Fortunately, there was a written agreement concerning the loan, in which the amount, mention of interest and a pay back date were the only terms.

Derek made a counterclaim which amounted to £3,500 for some reason which however you read the words did not make sense. Something about being let down, spending money trying to find Dave to give him the money, and general expenses incurred as a result of the item purchased with the loan being stolen. Little Derek felt that he shouldn't have had to suffer the loss.

Dave and Swiss turn up at Court and in walks Derek, who you could tell was a cocky bastard that needed to be taught a lesson, and Swiss was the man to do it.

The Judge opened up with the agreement and Derek admitted the loan, admitted that he owed the money and waved a cheque for £3000. Then Derek asked for one in return for £3,500. The Judge then, in Swiss's opinion, spent too much time discussing the theft of the item, the steps taken to find Dave and exploring the Counterclaim. As far as Swiss was concerned, it was irrelevant.

Eventually, with Derek interrupting every 2 minutes, talking the Judge down, and glaring quite a bit, the Judge decided that she had heard enough and would pass Judgment. And then the words were spoken. Swiss was shocked. The Judge was flustered. The Court room was silent and all eyes were on the Judge to see what she would do. (OK, so there were only 3 of us in there, but you could have heard a pin drop) The words? Well.....

'Can you get a move on, I wanna get back to work'


The Judge began to give Judgment which basically revolved around the written agreement, money was owed, interest accrued, and if anything else had been important to the parties it would have been written down. As nothing else was, the agreement was the deciding factor.

Derek let out a HUUUUGE sigh, looked at his watch, wriggled in his seat and said.....

'Come on for God sake, I have got a job to get back to'

Pindrop time again.

Judge decided that the £3000 was due and had to be paid. Derek threw the cheque across the Court and stood up. The Judge said, AND NOW IF YOU WILL SIT DOWN WE CAN WORK OUT THE INTEREST YOU NEED TO PAY.'

'Oh for God's sake, can you hurry up'

Have you ever sat in class with a calculator in hand trying to work out the interest rate over a period of time, without a great deal of success? Well Swiss has done it in Court! So has the Judge! While Derek huffed and puffed, Swiss and the Judge were finding ever more ingenious methods of working out how many days there had been in the last 8 years, leap years, bank holidays and dirty weekends in Hastings, until eventually a figure was agreed upon, despite the huffing and puffing of Derek, and the Judge pronounced the interest that had accrued.


Derek wrote out another cheque amidst scenes of dramatic arm flailing, pen writing, huffing, flourishing cheque book, ripping cheque out quite dramatically, and then launching it in the general direction of Dave.

Lessons learned that day.

1. The Limitation Act works. 6 years worth of interest is handy.
2. Judges don't like to be hassled.
3. If the hearing is listed for 3 hours, be prepared for 3 hours.
4. Be polite and courteous to Judges.
5. If you are owed money, use the Courts.
6. If you lend money, get a written agreement.
7. If someone is in a rush, you can create delay by punching a calculator and giving the Judge a different figure to the one they have worked out, resulting in a 'Lets start again shall we' comment.
7. Swiss is a bloody good bloke, despite his inability to use a calculator.
8. If you owe money, pay it back.

From a £3000 loan, Dave secured payment of £6200. Not bad for an hour in Court.

Swiss was shocked, really he was.