Why did the lawyer cross the road? / Geldgierige Anwälte

On June 7th, the South China Morning Post had an article by Polly Hui headed Chief justice laments rise of greedy lawyers and beginning ‘Mercenary considerations had assumed greater prominence than ethical standards in the legal profession, the chief justice said yesterday….’ The rest is not available without registration, so I quote Roll On Friday:

Mr Justice Li cited the case of a client who asked his lawyer for a breakdown of his bill. The itemised account included a charge for “recognising you in the street and crossing the busy road to talk to you to discuss your affairs, and recrossing the road after discovering it was not you”.

I suspect Mr Li was using an old chestnut to illustrate the ridiculous details in invoices. But I suppose you never know.

LATER NOTE: Yes, this does seem apocryphal: I have now found the same story was told by Mr Li at LAWASIA in 2003.

The story is told of the lawyer who rendered a bill to a client which contained a charge for an item which read “To recognizing you in the street and crossing the busy road to talk to you to discuss your affairs and recrossing the road after discovering it was not you”.

I had forgotten all those solicitors’ invoices using ‘to’ instead of ‘for’.

1 thought on “Why did the lawyer cross the road? / Geldgierige Anwälte

  1. There is a German-translator Solicitor back in England who, ‘as far as I am aware’, still uses that preposition to preface his invoices: ‘To translation of your (ultra-urgent etc.)job …’.

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