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Blackstone QC auctions off personal wine collection worth £9 MILLION

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An insight into the eye-watering sums sloshing around the commercial bar

Ian Mill QC

A Blackstone Chambers silk has sold part of his private wine collection with an estimated value of up to £8.6 million.

Ian Mill QC, a sports and entertainment lawyer, flogged over 6,000 bottles of luxury tipple at auction in New York.

The sale, grandly titled The Collection of Ian Mill QC, took place in the triple Michelin-starred Le Bernardin restaurant. Prices ranged from a bargain basement $250-$450 (£190-£350) for a three-litre bottle of Benjamin Leroux with a creased label to $60,000-$90,000 (£46,000-£70,000) for a case of Corton Charlemagne Coche-Dury 2005 (as served at the Legal Cheek Christmas party).

Mill’s career spans commercial, intellectual property, sports and media law, with clients over the years including Bob Geldolf, Ed Sheeran, David Beckham and Radiohead. He’s also a restaurateur with a stake in swanky City eatery Cabotte, and according to wine auctioneers Zachys is planning to open his own restaurant in California’s Wine Country.

Representatives from Zachys sat down with Mill before the sale to hear a few of his reminisces about drinking wine, describing his anecdotes as “dripping with charm”. One particularly fond memory is of the annual dinner of Morris & Verdin, a wine merchant in which Mill was an investor:

“Ian remembers Dominique Lafon literally swinging from the rafters at a wine dinner, with Ian looking on, confident he was about to witness the demise of one of Burgundy’s greatest talents. To give you an idea of how heady these bacchanals were: Ian also remembers a particular evening at which Jasper Morris stood up to announce that he had just had his 100th glass of wine that evening”

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Mill bought the wines in his collection from UK wine merchants or London-based auction houses, starting in 1985. Zachys describes this as “surely one of the most compelling wine-collecting stories ever written”. The wine itself was labelled “one of the most important collections of fine wine, and particularly fine Burgundy, that has come to market in the past decade. One could even say century”.

There were 1,308 lots in the sale, with most lots made up of multiple bottles of the same wine. All told there were over 6,000 bottles in the auction, with a pre-sale estimated value of between $7 million and $10.7 million (£5.6 million to £8.6 million). All but three lots were sold.

The most expensive sale of the day, including a commission of 23.5% to Zachys, was $74,100 (£59,000) for six magnums of Chambertin Clos de Beze Armand Rousseau 2005. Alex doesn’t pay us enough to wade through and add up the value of all 1,305 sales, but it’s safe to say that Mill’s bank balance will be several million healthier following the auction. Most QCs have to work for at least a month to bring in that kind of money.

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22 Comments

Realist

Good article, thanks. Nice to see that elements of the legal world are thriving – good luck to them.

Kirkland NQ

On a related note, anyone know how to fit 6,000 bottles of wine in a Lambo? I had some spare change left after my latest shopping trip to NYC so I thought I’d pop to the auction to pick up a few small Christmas gifts for my various service providers and staff.

Anonymous

We all know you likely drive a Skoda let’s be real

QChoad

Lmao you do realise barristers make vastly more wadd than you as a mentally-retarded solicitor right?

Anonymagic

This is 10/10 fake news

Anonymous

Earning that much while taking a 6 weeks solid off over every Summer, and all of every Christmas, Easter, Whitsun and half term period too.

Whig Wig

I didn’t even know what Whitsun was until I went to the Bar and found out it was my 11th and 12th weeks off each year.

In House

Wait – You get paid to do this?

Jeremy Corbyn

Just in time to avoid nationalisation. We were looking forward to enjoying Mr Mill’s wine at the annual meeting of the National People’s Standing Committee. Fellow members of the Intelligentsia are irate.

Anon

It’s restaurateur, not restauranteur …

John Curran

Wow – how much do commercial silks earn on average!!

Legal Officer with a 2.ii

He started collecting in 1985, so the £9million figure comes from the wine’s value as an investment, not in reference to his billings.

They do try and emulate the lifestyles, tastes and hobbies of their wealthiest clients, who ironically don’t need to go into an office 5 days a week.

Fair play to Ian.

Anon

Just because he made a good investment is no reason to call him a fake person.

Legal Officer with a 2.ii

I’ll say what I want about who I want, OK?

Anonymous

You are an obnoxious tool with anger issues and limited wit, OK?

Legal Officer with a 2.ii

Whatever mate, you’re the loser posting on LC not me.

Observer

@ Legal Officer with a 2.ii, Dec 12 2019 11:31am

Er…

Legal Officer with a 2.ii

And you are, what, a Supreme Court judge, right? Brain surgeon? No? Living at home with mummy and jobless? Ah thought so

Alex

Never thought I’d say it, but good bantz in the last paragraph. Way above average LC.

Poorhouse dweller

Ian Million QC?

Legal Officer with a 2.ii

Peak LC success is standing out from the crowd and having law students copy your username. I’m genuinely flattered.

Next, it’ll be covert Twitter photos of me doing Sukodu on the Tube.

Please, ask nicely first though. Thanks!

Hmmm

Sudoku…

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