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Unleashed | The right to choose is sacred

A client's right to choose who represents them is an essential tenet of legal practice, says Russell Conway. In destroying that, the government is destroying part of the profession

20 June 2013

The guy in reception was just another punter. He had a rather thick wedge of papers in his hand. He kept on saying "I'm being evicted - can you help?" We get quite a lot of those. My firm works for large numbers of tenants and they quite often pop in without an appointment.

The receptionist asked who he was seeing. He tried to blag it, saying that he had an appointment but he had not called in advance. Turning around he caught sight of our photo board which has pictures of all the solicitors working for us. "I'd rather like to see the old guy with the gray hair - he looks like he could help me."

Of course the old guy with the gray hair was me. Having a four day trial coming up I was unavailable, so the receptionist pointed at somebody else on the board. "Not a chance," said the punter, "she's so young I could be her father!" Eventually we managed to book him in with somebody appropriate for his needs.

With age comes wisdom and there is...

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