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How many barristers does it take to change a lightbulb?

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Bar funnyman Wigapedia returns to Legal Cheek to answer an age-old question…

Lawyers, it’s said, are problem-solvers, often faced with tricky legal questions that require expert skill and attention to consider and ultimately answer. But perhaps the biggest question of all is: how many barristers does it take to change a lightbulb?

Stumped? Thankfully, funnyman Wigapedia has asked a swathe of fellow barristers for their two cents on the matter, and here’s what they think:

The personal injury barrister

The personal injury barrister says absolutely none: in the absence of a full risk assessment, method statement, personal protective equipment review and work-equipment maintenance log for the stepladder and well as a definite history of lightbulb-related accidents going back at least three years.

The claims management company

But of course, the claims management company would say three. One to change the bulb, the second to kick away the ladder and the third to sue the lightbulb manufacturer for causing, permitting or suffering the creation of a trap or danger.

Property barrister

The property barrister would only do so having considered the under-leases and covenants from 1882 onwards regarding the respective obligations of all parties for the provision of tallow candles.

Family barrister

The family barrister would consult the agreed schedule of dates and times where lightbulb responsibilities are handed over as between spouses, cohabitees and ex-spouses which breaks down when a lightbulb actually needs changing and requires a five-day trial to resolve the issue.

Human rights barrister

The human rights barrister would say only one, but the lightbulb really has to want to change.

Commercial barrister

The commercial barrister would say that it requires four partners, a team of junior solicitors and a larger team of associates and trainees, alongside two silks and four juniors to draft the lightbulb change request and the lightbulb acquisition contract.

Professional negligence barrister

The professional negligence barrister would say two. One to change the bulb and another to sue the bulb-changer for doing it negligently.

Chancery barrister

The Chancery barrister would say that it’s such number as may be deemed necessary to perform the stated task in a timely and efficient manner within the strictures of the Light Bulb (Change) Illumination Act 1912 (as amended) and the detailed judicial guidance laid down thereafter.

Intellectual property barrister

The IP barrister would assert that the concept, idea, execution and property in a lightbulb is within the exclusive ownership of their client and any attempt the change the lightbulb would represent an interference with a proprietary right and accordingly here’s an injunction to stop you doing it.

Construction barrister

The construction barrister says that lightbulbs have not been incorporated into the Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) Agreement or the 327 annexes, and therefore they can definitely state there are no lightbulbs to change.

Public law barrister

The public law barrister says that they’d love to change the lightbulb, but cuts to legal aid have resulted in their not being able to afford luxuries such as ‘lightbulbs’ and ‘electricity’, and so they are launching a judicial review of darkness.

But the real answer is: “How many can you afford?”

Wigapedia (aka Colm Nugent) is a barrister at Hardwicke in Lincoln’s Inn in London.

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38 Comments

Lobsterfiend

Surely they would get a clerk to do it?

(19)(3)

s.32 Salmon Act 1986

Surely a pupil? The clerks are all busy today…

(14)(1)

Anonymous

The family barrister would sit around a table with 4 other family barristers, drinking coffee and chatting noisily about great British bake-off for 6 hours, then they’d clock off and make the decision another day

(32)(3)

Anonymous

The solicitor would send the barrister to the lightbulb, forget to give him a ladder, and then sue him.

(20)(2)

Anonymous

The solicitor would unscrew the bulb, get the new one out of the box, stand atop the ladder, screw the new one almost in then the barrister would appear, make the final turn and seek the credit for the whole bulb changing.

(35)(4)

Anonymous

‘Council is instrukted 2 advise generally on how to change the lite bulb, counsel will note that IS have never come across this issue before and would appreciate council to advice generally. We believe the client is a likeable witness and he is rite about everything and he desvers all the litebulbs.’

(41)(7)

Frustrated Writer

The smart young solicitor stood next to the elderly barrister whispering in his hairy ear, trying to mask the hint of impatience in her voice. “Its a bayonet cap. You’ve got to turn it half way, then it’ll stay”. This was the first time she had instructed this counsel, but he had come highly recommended. He had even cleaned, refurbished and rehung a whole chandelier once, at least according to his clerk.

The rotund barrister, his better days well behind him, looked slightly perturbed, glanced back at the solicitor. “Yes, thank you” he said curtly, clearing his throat. The barrister had not yet admitted that he was at his chambers’ Champaign reception last night so had omitted to review the papers his clerk had diligently printed and wrapped in those funny red ribbons only chambers used. So far, he had managed to bluff the client in the dimly lit room, regaling him with a story of the time many years prior that he had replaced a whole double strip light. But he had to get this right, to avoid any embarrassment.

Pausing to suppress the belch forming in his stomach, the aging counsel reached back up, slotting in the bulb as instructed. Turning the bulb in his hand as instructed, the light promptly illuminated, bathing the room in the warm orangey glow, showing the client’s grin. The barrister turned to the client, nonchalantly stepping down from the upturned bucket and brushing his finger nails on his gown in the internationally recognised gesture of “no problem”.

The client looked back, clearly both impressed and relieved. “He’s so great” he said, raptured to his solicitor “I’m beginning to wonder what I need you for!”. The solicitor barely disguised her eye roll. Her bill for staying in the office most of last week reviewing and considering various light fittings and the newest regulations on energy saving bulbs, she knew, would be challenged. The barrister’s would not.

(17)(2)

Popcorn eater

ROUND 3

(2)(0)

Anonymous

“Champaign reception”. Only a solicitor could write that.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

I suspect someone has too much time on one’s hands.

Had it been amusing it would have been worth it ………………………….!

Perhaps a career in social work might suit better.

(0)(5)

Anonymous

I’ve had a few sets of instructions like this!

(0)(0)

Not Amused

I think these are worth a titter.

In reality I fear matters are far worse (and this is the reason our senior judges, who are all ex barristers, fail to achieve any meaningful reform). Most barristers would write an extremely lengthy and detailed opinion explaining how light bulbs function and how they can be changed. They would examine previous incidents in which a light bulb had been changed identifying both the pros and cons. They would focus heavily on the risks. They would ultimately conclude there was an overall 60 to 65% chance that the changing of the bulb would succeed. They would advise that the bulb be changed, send off the opinion, go to lunch and just *assume* that the bulb will be changed.

(17)(2)

Anonymous

Im sorry, but did you actually take time to write such an article? Who knew Barristers had so much free time…

(21)(2)

Not Amused

Jonathan Sumption rather famously wrote his books on the history of the Hundred Years War in his lunch hour.

I’m not sure you should be snide about barristers having the time to do other things.

(23)(1)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(1)(0)

Gavin from xxl

So we’re banned from speculating about Alex’s literary output now?

(3)(0)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

This article is so scrotum-achingly lame I may have lost a kidney.

(17)(4)

Doctor Doom

I’d like to know how scrotal problems lead to kidney failure.

(5)(1)

Pinkman LJ (as he then was)

Science, bitch.

(3)(1)

Doctor Doom

Please elaborate.

(0)(0)

Pinkman LJ (as he then was)

Whilst it is true that it is rare for scrotal problems to cause a kidney (or any organ for that matter) to fail, it’s not impossible if the scrotum happened to be the initial site for a nasty virus or bacteria to enter the body. Say, from an unfortunate venomous bite of some sort or from the use of a dirty needle (heroin is a helluva drug). However, on the facts, the poster is not likely facing any of these issues.

The pain felt in the scrotum could actually be result from kidney failure itself, rather than the pain in the balls caused by reading this poor attempt of literature being the root cause of both. If that’s the case, it is a very unhappy coincidence that poster had to deal with such unfortunate medical conditions whilst being subjected to Legal Cheek. My condolences, bitch.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Agree – obviously written by a dimwit

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Funny but all completely wrong answers, we all know barristers would just get the clerks to do it and add it to the list of things they’re vastly underpaid for

(9)(2)

Anonymous

The commercial barrister is plainly right in advising the need for four partners, a team of junior solicitors and a larger team of associates and trainees, alongside two silks and four juniors.

Because many hands make light work.

(23)(0)

Anonymous

You have won the Internet for today. Illuminating stuff.

(0)(1)

Anonymouse

How many criminal barristwrs would it take to change a light bulb?

None. The light bulb can surely change itself using the Criminal Procedure Rules (revised) and Better Lightbulb Management with the assistance of discretionary judicial intervention if warranted.

(13)(1)

Barry F G

One or two of the comments are mildly amusing. The article itself however is DEEPLY UNFUNNY.

(3)(6)

Anonymous

So agree Barry – a seriously appalling article written by a dimwit student

(1)(1)

Anonymous

What???!!! No criminal barristers…?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Can’t afford lightbulbs in criminal courts

(6)(0)

Criminal Hack

Yes. Successive governments believed that justice didn’t need to be done. The present one believes it doesn’t need to be seen either. Installing lightbulbs would make that aim more difficult to realise.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Proper illumination does not help the court achieve the overriding objective in CrimPR Part 1. All pretty standard policy.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

How many social workers does it take to change a light bulb?

(0)(1)

Anonymous

One, but only if the light bulb is willing to change!!

(2)(0)

Anonymous

One to change the bulb and another to put your kids into care.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Great article

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.

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