A traumatised Debbie Matthews recounts some of the incredible scenes she witnessed at the number one Christmas party ticket in town
It’s the night of the barristers’ chambers Christmas do – the most anticipated social event in a lawyer’s diary. The ivory invitation has been proudly propped up against my computer for three months, and my fellow female colleagues and I have all bought new outfits for the occasion.
We walk there, or rather hobble through the snow, having made ourselves up in the office toilets beforehand, trying to look as though we always wear tight pencil skirts, expensive perfume, killer red suede heels and lip gloss to the office.
As soon as we enter chambers, we are greeted by a barrister with an oil slick where his hair should be. He hurriedly splashes a glass of plonk in our hands. Meanwhile, another older barrister sleazes up to us, placing an arm – Hugh Hefner-style – around the waists of me and a female colleague. We make our way up the stairs.
On the landing, I pass a young trainee lad with a look of fear and excitement in his wide eyes as he’s dragged into the ladies toilet by a much older solicitors’ clerk with red smudged lipstick. To my right is ‘Silver Fox’ (pictured), the highest earning barrister this side of the Humber Bridge, who, with a glass of champagne in his hand, is all over his mistress, a court usher. Obviously he encouraged his wife to stay at home.
I get hit on by a nervous and pale barrister who brims with geekiness. But after my fourth glass of the dreadful wine he has become incredibly handsome and devastatingly witty. I laugh with wild abandon at his awful chat up line of, “Come into my room and see my latest briefs?”
I notice one of the newly qualified solicitors heading to the exit with three men draped around her. NQ beckons me to go with them; they’re off to the best nightclub in Hull, she slurs. I turn to ask Geeky if he’d like to come, too – just as NQ throws up on my red suede shoes.
Next day, walking past chambers I see the office carpets thrown outside in the street. Lawyers: whatever they say about us, we know how to let our hair down. Merry Christmas!
For previous instalments of Debbie’s tales of legal life, click here