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‘I’m a silk and you’re not!’ — lawyers’ incredibly childish clash caught on camera

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You could get away with this sort of thing in small jurisdictions — before YouTube

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A televised debate descended into childish one-upmanship after Gibraltar’s Chief Minister tells his lawyer opponent “I’m a silk you’re not!”, having bickered about who has the most legal experience.

Fabian Picardo QC, a barrister and the current Chief Minister of Gibraltar, was taking part last week in a political debate with fellow lawyer Daniel Feetham, who is leader of the opposition Social Democrats party.

During the discussion, which was held in front of a live audience, both men argued over a multi-million pound case involving a contractor and the government.

As they wrestled with the facts, the men — who both used to work at Gibraltar-based corporate outfit Hassans — tried to outdo each other with the length of their legal experience.

Feetham begins the embarrassing exchange, proudly trumpeting:

I am litigator of 22 years experience

Oxford University-educated Picardo responds:

And I am a litigator of 21 years experience.

Noting his crucial year of additional expertise, Feetham hits back:

That’s not an area where you can safely battle with me.

Realising perhaps that he may be coming up short in the eyes of the audience, Picardo snaps:

I’m a silk and you’re not!

The full debate is here, but a shortened clip of the exchange can be viewed below.

The QC line seems to be an odd thing for Picardo to rely on to prove his legal brilliance because, according to Feetham, the chief minister is a “political silk”, which Legal Cheek understands to mean that the title was awarded for his time in political office and is honorary.

Unfortunately, the audience’s cheers for Picardo’s somewhat childish retort reduce the impact of Feetham’s point.

As Picardo continues to grin and enjoy the moment, Feetham — who studied history at Reading University, before completing a law degree at Manchester University — makes it known that he would never accept silk from the Foreign Office, explaining:

Silks are won in the courtroom.

Picardo and Feetham face each other in Gibraltar’s general election next week.

Watch the ‘Thug Life’ version below:

10 Comments

Anonymous

It gets better.

When Fabian Picardo got silk, it was put out that it was a honorary award for which he hadn’t applied.

In other words, it was not an award on merit. Makes the gloating particularly crass.

(8)(2)

Annie Onymous

“I’m a silk and your not” – when he’s only a honorary silk! It would be bad enough if he were a merit silk. I cringed so much reading this that a small part of my soul has shrivelled up and died.

(17)(2)

Anonymous

It reads like a comedy sketch. Like characters Will Ferrell would play very well.

(2)(0)

Gus the Snedger

“I got a TC and you didn’t!!!”

Is the LPC equivalent!

(0)(1)

Anonymous

It’s not though is it.

(1)(0)

Wannabe

It is though. I heard someone raise it in an argument over drinks once.

(0)(1)

Anne

EEEEE EEEEE EEEEEEEEEEH!!!!!!

(0)(0)

Lord Harley of the Toliets

I’ve been decorated and you haven’t.

(1)(0)

Claud.

Sounds like Myerson.

(1)(0)

Pitimax

Not that I’m into Lawyerspeak, but this illustrates the danger of taking a snippet of video in isolation… This was a light hearted moment and a break from much more serious debate.

(6)(2)

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