My best childhood friend would have been 102 this year. Gran and I would spend hours doing jigsaw puzzles. Loved them – still do, along with my kids.
It’s all about a challenge, a mountain that’s there to be climbed, has to be climbed - just because it’s there.
In professional life that translates to battles that need to be fought, that should be fought, that simply must be fought.
It’s the spirit that drives me to listen to people who have an issue, to understand and embrace it, step in front to protect them and apply whatever problem-solving skills are required to make it right - at least make it better.
Often, we hope, there’s a commercial return. Yes, OK – money. It does come in useful.
Often there isn’t. The only reward is spiritual – gratitude, reputation, feelgood. But I do it.
Champion? Yes. Hero? Maybe - you decide.
I’m just like thousands of other lawyers, many of them in “small high street practices”, doing what they – we – feel is right and proper.
We’re the people who make up in this context the ‘private sector’ that the Government confidently expects to fill the gaps as it takes away yet more facilities for justice and destroys incentives for private enterprise to take funding risks to keep the wheels turning.
Bankers and insurers are not our masters – as they know only too well. On the contrary, we’re the people who dare to stand up for the little guy, to challenge them and their poodles whose only goal is profit.
But these faceless money machines have successfully pitched camp in Downing Street and Whitehall to urge the relentless attack on every discernible obstacle that private law practice presents to their domination and control of access to justice.
The law will ultimately wither because of the lack of independent and objective practitioners to sustain it.That private sector is going to shrink – maybe all but disappear.
The time is coming when there will be no better option than the 24/7 helpline that is always engaged until the small hours when you may only speak to someone on the other side of the world with a menu of fixed options on a screen – and neither of you understands.
This is the perfect world of bankers and insurers. A world where they do and take what they like at minimal cost, maximum profit and with impunity.
Where there is no longer anyone able to defy them.
Where all opposition is strangled.
Stand up and be counted now - for soon there may be no more heroes.