I have just returned from a trip to England. I had to go for a meeting, but it hardly seemed worthwhile turning straight round and returning to Adelaide the next day, so I took the opportunity to spend a couple of weeks catching up with old friends and colleagues.
For the last 25 odd years, the Technology and Construction Solicitors Association (of which I used to be Chairman) has held its annual committee dinner at the Garrick Club, in Covent Garden. It has always been a rather jolly, black tie do, with partners invited, but of course, living in Australia, I have missed the last few years. This has been notwithstanding that TeCSA was kind enough to elect me Vice-President after my chairmanship ended, so I have been an ex officio member of the committee for all these years. Having joined the South Australian Bar last year, my continuing in this office is hardly appropriate, but I conspired with my old friends to delay my resignation until Wednesday of last week, so as to enable me attend the dinner on Tuesday, as a “last hurrah”.
Not only was the dinner great fun, but it served as a reminder of the great value that TeCSA has had. Lawyers in competing firms are necessarily professional opponents, but it is greatly in the interests of our clients that we are also personal friends, for that makes it much easier for us to maintain the sort of relationships needed to settle disputes as soon and as efficiently as possible.