Leicester Uni property professor pranks solicitor by pretending to be confused law student

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By Legal Cheek on

He live-tweeted the amusing encounter

A property professor was offered some legal pointers by a solicitor after pretending to be a student who was struggling to get to grips with land law.

Taking to Twitter this morning, Martin George, an associate professor of property law at the University of Leicester, explained how he had found himself sat next to a solicitor on a Manchester-bound train. Clocking George’s textbooks, the unnamed male lawyer inquired as to whether the land law guru was a student. Seizing the opportunity for a bit of mischief, the Leicester Law School lecturer responded, “yes”, before informing his followers: “This is going to be fun.”

Kicking off the convo, the unsuspecting solicitor claimed that “Land and Trusts are the hardest” and that George, who is also an academic fellow at Inner Temple, would be “doing pretty well” to secure a 2:2 in either module.

Keeping the chat flowing, George then asked the solicitor if he could explain the concept of proprietary estoppel, as he was struggling to get to grips with it.

Steering the conversation away from black letter law, the solicitor claimed a successful career as a solicitor is all about “networking”, “the cut and thrust of a deal”, and keeping “your big clients happy”.

Having spotted George’s notes on commonhold and leasehold, the conversation returned to land law.

At one point, George even refers to a land law textbook he co-authored — a move which prompts the solicitor to explain how “learned texts” don’t really explain the “REAL law”.

Keen to disclose his true identity, George then points out that his name appears on the front of the textbook they’ve just been referring to.

It’s not clear whether at this point the penny finally dropped.

Update: 15:23pm — 19 February:

George has now tweeted the following update:

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