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Tales from practice: back to the future

20 October 2006

The preparations went on all day, with carcasses of meat and dozens of fowl of different sizes and descriptions being prepared in the cellars of the Great Hall. Young children struggled past with huge platters laden down with swan, venison and mutton. It was not quite as splendid as the feast that took place a few days earlier in Dublin to mark the end of the Crimean War (involving three tons of potatoes, 250 hams, 200 geese and 250 joints of beef), but it was close.

At 6.30 pm, the carriages started to arrive, disembarking their distinguished occupants into the foggy gloom of a London autumn. Gas lights hissed. Street urchins wailed. The drains stank.

The occasion was the celebration of 150 years of the Solicitors Star Herald (a publication that had undergone many metamorphoses since its conception in 1706 as the Attorney Argus). The great and good of the legal profession proceeded into the Great Hall of the recently formed Law Society, where a bewigg...

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