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  Warding off stuffiness

Ward LJ was well known for making the process of the law less stuffy. Here are some of his best lines.

These have been drawn from www.legalcheek.com:

  • This case involves a number of – and here I must not fall into Dr Spooner’s error – warring bankers.
  • I prefer the instincts of the youthful Mr Justice Stanley Burnton before he became corrupted by the arid atmosphere of this court. It goes to prove what every good oldfashioned county court judge knows: the higher you go, the less the essential oxygen of common sense is available to you.
  • The appellant is a lap dancer. I would not, of course, begin to know exactly what that involves. One can guess at it, but could not faithfully describe it. The Judge tantalisingly tells us, at paragraph 21 of his judgment, that the purpose is ‘to tease but not to satisfy’. By about the end of 2002, or early in 2003, the appellant seems to have begun to tease the respondent. He, being a rich businessman, sought, no doubt, to enliven his lonely evenings in London by seeking entertainment at the Spearmint Rhino club in Tottenham Court Road where the appellant was then employed. Having been tempted, he managed to obtain her telephone number and invited her to dinner. It was not exactly the traditional boy meets girl, ‘Let’s have dinner, darling’ kind of invitation. It was an invitation which she accepted, but entirely on the basis that she would be there as his escort and, as his escort, she would provide the services of companionship and amusement, but for a consideration. That consideration would amount, according to the judgment, to perhaps about £700 or £800 a night for the pleasure of her company at dinner. But the arrangement was made on a number of occasions and, as they went on, the relationship changed and at some time early in 2003 it is common ground that the services included sexual services, for which even more money was paid as a consideration. Whether or not rule 2 of the Spearmint Rhino club had been breached, requiring that you could get no satisfaction, we do not know and fortunately do not have to decide.
  • This is another of that hideous form of litigation called the boundary dispute, a form of litigation which is best not pursued. Just how much is this stupid piece of land worth? What you are arguing over is a few rhododendron bushes. If you live in St Georges Hill, you’ve got money to throw away, presumably. But why throw it away like this? You’re all potty. Disputes of this kind are a most hateful form of litigation; go away and sort it out.
  • The letter written by the wife’s solicitors asking him to remove his belongings is lacking in sensitivity, lacking feeling, lacking in any humanity. This is a totally broken man, an honourable man, and to rub his nose in it like this is not dignified. He ought to be given a reasonable chance to clear a lifetime of belongings. I hope a little milk of human kindness may still run in the veins of those who have won everything for someone who has lost everything. (This judgement led The Mirror to label Ward ‘Decree Nicey’!)
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Issue 86
April 2015

Warding off injustice
Warding off stuffiness


Current issue
September 2017

New rules when suing individuals for fees
To whose benefit?
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