User namePassword 

 Print this Issue Home  •  Archive  •  About Us  •  Contact  •  Advertise  •  Merchandise Subscribe  •  Free Trial
Elizabeth Street
26 June, 2008  
Solicitors' Stockholm Syndrome

Once you look past the rheumy eyes, the outcrop of ear hair, and the thinning grey sweep-over, some of those desiccated barristers begin to look quite cute to young female solicitors who are cooped-up with them for days on end

imageThere’s a disturbing malady that seems to strike our youngest, brightest and most glamorous. It’s known as Solicitors’ Stockholm Syndrome.

We’ve all heard about the sad cases of abducted victims, such as Natascha Kampusch, who empathise with their abductors and even fall in love with them.

Apparently it can happen to anyone, and young female solicitors are not immune.

Here’s an instance I know of:

A young female solicitor had been assigned to work on a major case and liaise with counsel for the preparation and settlement of all the evidence.

She arrived with her trolley of folders at chambers and was shown up into the antiquated office of one Mr X SC.

He is overweight and grey with a flaky balding scalp, ear hair, nose hair and bad breath.

His watery blue eyes and lined face decorated with broken capillaries indicate he has spent significant time celebrating his victories.

Mr X SC began to mentally remove her Armani suit and tall Loubotins. She tried not to let her revulsion show.

Nevertheless, she knuckled down and they worked from sun-up to sun-down sorting out the 300-plus page affidavits.

This went on for three or four days. Each night she arrived home so late her man was already asleep and she was up and gone almost before he woke.

Come the third or fourth day and a change began to occur. No longer was this lecherous old barrister quite so repulsive – he started to become endearing.

First, in a grandfatherly way. Then as it progressed, she thought that his festoons of grey ear hair made him look a little like a cute koala.

She even entertained the thought that he is attractive and secretly pondered whether older men are better lovers.

He ceased to be Jabba the Hut and morphed into Sean Connery.

Ultimately the work finished and he treated her to a vintage bottle of Veuve to celebrate. What girl would turn down the opportunity to drink Veuve Clicquot from her birth year?

She became a little tipsy and accepted that tomorrow she would go back to her office and no longer be graced with his presence day in and day out. She was a even little sad about this and wondered if, maybe, she should risk giving him a kiss.

After all, he had removed his wedding ring and all the photos of his grandchildren.

I will stop it right there before I throw up on my desk.

How could we let this happen??? Are our firms secretly pimping us out to these crumbling lotharios to ensure their work gets priority treatment?

No offense to those eminent members of the bar who are faithful to their wives and look like Harrison Ford. (Truth be told I haven’t met any, but the bar deserves the benefit of the doubt.)

As young female solicitors we need to protect ourselves from any tendency towards aberrant behaviour.

Ensure you always have some face time with normal people when you have been cooped-up all day with Don Juan Geriatric.

If you do begin to find that you are falling for one of these ancient creatures, immediately seek help from your girlfriends. They will open your eyes quick-smart to the reality of the crisis facing you.

Once the word is out maybe there’s hope of stopping this epidemic in it’s tracks.

I don’t know whether this difficulty confronts young male solicitors – although I suspect female members of the bar are focussed on higher things than trouser chasing.

I could be quite wrong about that.




Reader Comments

Posted by: Anonymous
Date: June 26, 2008, 2:30 am

Beautifully and wittily said.
Posted by: Anonymous
Date: June 26, 2008, 4:16 am

What a load of drivel. Thanks for contributing to the cause.
Posted by: Anonymous
Date: June 26, 2008, 4:16 am

Too right. On the other hand, if young women keep the old bastards happy, it leaves lots of gorgeous young men available for us older women. Think of your older sisters Lizzie.
Posted by: Anonymous
Date: June 26, 2008, 4:16 am

You describe a well-known phenomenon - one famous silk met his third wife who was then a young solicitor while she was instructing him and their afternoon trysts in Chambers became the subject of legend - far better to have a brief liaison with an ageing Lothario in silk than to make the mistake of falling for the boy in M & A who will catch the same lift with you to Level 98 long after the romance dies!!
Posted by: Anonymous
Date: June 26, 2008, 9:10 pm

Give me a fat break. Me thinks her talents would be better placed writing scripts for Ally McBeal (or whatever that show was called)
Posted by: Anonymous
Date: June 27, 2008, 12:57 am

Did this not happen with a happy ending for a current high judge except that the (then silk was stringy and beaky rather than adipose but was badly stressed out from over work(and in need of natural comfort from the proximate instructress) the cause being he was one of many counsel in an elephanitiasis of a case that ended up a big wet fizzer(making fees only for the cross dressers) but prolapsing Justice because the miscreant key witness to the subject mega-fraud was, of course, excused from giving evidence on the ground he might incriminate himself?