Unique: why the Scrooges turned to the regulation 

John Leech’s 1843 illustration of Scrooge being visited by “Marley’s Ghost”.

“My ancestor, Ebenezer, about whom Dickens wrote an terrible story as being in want of redemption, was fairly as adaptable as as we speak’s mega-rich.,” writes HUGH SCROOGE (aka Selby), on this “CityNews” Christmas unique. 

I DON’T like Charles Dickens. Dreadful man. Let me inform you why. 

Hugh Scrooge.

My household, the Scrooges, have been distinguished in our neighborhood for generations. We have been distinguished, are distinguished, due to our wealth, our cost-cutting abilities and our admirable tax-minimisation schemes.

My ancestor, Ebenezer, about whom Dickens wrote an terrible story as being in want of redemption, was fairly as adaptable as as we speak’s mega-rich. 

Simply as they arrange tax-effective charities in order to have their good works paint a patina over extra wealth, so Ebenezer used “just-in-time” Christmas-time generosity to rebrand his enterprise picture. 

Ghosts previous, current and future, are simply Dickens being Dickens – figments of his overactive creativeness. 

Ebenezer was so astute that he recognised {that a} shining wall of respectability was a much better approach to purchase and maintain wealth than his enterprise dealings. 

His insights are why the Scrooges turned to the regulation greater than a century in the past. There are wealthy pickings, be it feast or famine in the remainder of the economic system. 

We don’t have a public motto, however our unofficial one is, “Let your greed be our information”. It’s our secret signal.

You’ll discover us in tax havens, particular financial zones, in CBDs the place the multinationals have naming rights over the most important, shiniest buildings, and even in public administration centres, the place now we have persuaded the general public servants that industrial legal professionals and litigators ought to be welcomed contained in the tent of energy. 

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Our computer virus is a lot extra refined, and efficient, than the unique. We will “enter the gates” even whereas we stay outdoors, such is the ability of AVL.

We’ve guiding rules that we share with our sympatico purchasers. Among the many diverse definitions for “rules”, we Scrooges subscribe to this one: “A elementary reality or proposition that serves as the muse for a system of perception or behaviour or for a sequence of reasoning”.

Notice that this definition avoids any overt “love-thy-neighbour” nonsense akin to Dickens wished Ebenezer to embrace. “To thy personal self be true” sits properly alongside this definition.

Our first tenet is a “win-win” for us and our purchasers. It’s, “maximise the return on each greenback and each minute spent”.

Our second tenet is “inflict ache, early, usually and in elevated quantum as time passes”. Put one other means, their ache causes our pleasure.

Our third is “by no means apologise, by no means repent”.

Let me share with you some samples of how we get and keep wealthy at everybody else’s expense.

These multimillion company fines from authorities regulators that drive down shareholder dividends, replenish the federal government granaries, however depart the accountable administrators with all the things besides their annual bonus: we’re there from the outset, on all sides, giving recommendation in chargeable six-minute items. 

Class actions present the identical alternatives, however this time the canvas is a crowded scene, like a Bruegel market. We fund from so lots of these out there, take an enormous chunk of the payout, and distribute what’s left over to those that put their belief in us. 

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They gave us bread and we give again sourdough with deli toppings and pastries. They’re ever so happy with their vindication and we’re much more happy with the gelt. 

On the private degree there are the implausible alternatives that come up in defamation actions. Either side declare to be appearing on rules. Perhaps they’re – noble sentiments and such like. 

I don’t fake to know their motivation, solely easy methods to exploit it. One can’t put a realistic worth on such precept, and so the sky is the restrict for authorized prices, our prices. 

There’s a peculiarity in defamation regulation that enables a profitable plaintiff to recuperate all their authorized prices from an unsuccessful defendant. Close to 100 per cent restoration as a substitute of the standard 60 per cent. That is nearly as good as being left alone in an unguarded treasury. Tears of happiness stream as I give it some thought, concerning the final time, and the knowledge of one other time.

Gullible readers of Dickens’ story will keep in mind the clerk Bob Cratchit and his grievously ailing son Tiny Tim. 

At the moment’s Scrooges make use of a surfeit of recent regulation graduates every year. We watch them battle amongst themselves – Cratchits scratching – in order that solely the fittest survive into the second and later years. Naturally, these survivors purchase our values and rules. They study that to provide a bit one should take rather a lot.

Oh, how we love Christmas. Blessed are we who obtain the texts and emails for pressing billable motion within the New Yr.

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The Twitter dove that appears to be in free fall – what a bonanza for we Scrooges in all places. It’s like Robodebt and monetary scandals – the presents that carry on giving.

Tips on how to contact us? Look below any letter of the alphabet. Please do get in contact in case you have funds to burn or a ardour to battle on precept it doesn’t matter what the fee. Blissful Christmas!

Hugh Selby is a lately retired barrister who loved showing in felony jury trials and instructing about them.



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Ian Meikle, editor