Lord Justice Briggs Urges Lawyers to Work With Reform

lord-justice-briggsA senior judge has urged solicitors to adopt “a shared responsibility for success” and to work with rather than against the process of change and reform in the legal industry. Speaking at a recent dinner for the London Solicitors Litigation Association, Lord Justice Briggs (pictured right) said that the legal sector “shouldn’t go on to wish for the impossible or for the preservation of the status quo.”

Briggs said that it was unlikely funding for legal aid would return to the levels seen before LASPO, saying that “the courts service is not like the health service a protected department of state.” He therefore expressed the view that lawyers could not realistically wish for a restoration of something resembling the previous state of legal aid. Neither, he said, should the legal profession “wish for rigidly maintaining the full-retailer basis as the only way in which ordinary people can access legal systems.” Rather, he said, lawyers should engage and work with the process of reform in the legal sector, in order to feed back on proposed changes and play a role in shaping the direction those changes take.

At present, Briggs suggested, lawyers should particularly aim to engage with and provide feedback on proposed changes to the way personal injury cases are dealt with in the small claims court. At present, a personal injury case such as a traffic injury or accident at work compensation claim is only eligible for the small claims court, which often resolves cases without professional legal assistance being needed for either party, if its value does not exceed £1,000. Recent government proposals could see this limit increased to as much as £5,000. The potential for fixed-costs to be extended into the multitrack were also raised by Briggs as a current area of reform with which lawyers should be engaging. Both of these matters, he said, were ones which intersect with “real political issues.”

This is not the first time that Briggs has spoken on the subject of progress in the legal sector, and not the first time his comments have suggested a move away from strict adherence to traditional, lawyer-led models of justice. Earlier this year, Briggs added his voice to those who have spoken in favour of introducing online court systems. These, he said, could allow the public to receive justice and resolve many cases with little direct involvement from lawyers. While some in the legal profession agreed with Briggs’ comments on this subject, others were less keen. For instance, the Civil Justice council raised concerns that this could introduce elements of digital exclusion to the way that people are able to gain access to justice in the UK.

Unregulated Legal Service Providers Performing Better in Key Areas

Research from the Legal Services Board (LSB) has found that the unregulated section of the legal sector is “neither as big nor as problematic as some have suggested.” More than this, however, the LSB has identified several key areas in which unregulated providers of legal services tend to outperform their regulated counterparts.

Unregulated legal service providers are generally both cheaper and more transparent in how they price their services, the LSB reported. Often, these providers advertise prices openly on their website, and make more extensive use of flat-rate fees for certain services. Despite being generally lower-priced, the Board’s research also suggests that unregulated providers tend to maintain strong standards of client service. The LSB also said that unregulated providers are often more innovative than regulated competitors. They are more likely to use technological solutions to improve service provision, and are “markedly more likely to have introduced a new or improved services in the previous three years.”

However, while the research suggests that there are advantages to choosing unregulated providers, there are also disadvantages. For example, clients using unregulated providers of legal services do not benefit from the same extensive body of protections that those using regulated providers have. Furthermore, the research suggested that consumers lack awareness about the regulatory status of providers, the differences between the two, or the protections they have when using each one, suggesting that people may have difficulty in making an informed decision about whether to use a regulated or unregulated provider for their legal needs.

According to the report, levels of satisfaction among those who have used each kind of provider are almost the same. 81% of those who had used an unregulated provider reported that they were satisfied with the service they had received, compared to an only slightly higher figure of 84% among those who had used regulated providers.

The research examined unregulated providers of services relating to divorce, wills, and intellectual property. It found that 5% of all paid legal advice in these fields came from an unregulated provider. Family law was the area in which unregulated providers were found to be most prominent, accounting for 10-13% of all paid advice.

In some areas, the difference between prices for the same service between regulated and unregulated legal providers was extremely marked. For example, it was found that an uncontested divorce could cost between £36 and £172 from an unregulated online provider, where a traditional solicitor would charge £722 on average.

Some professional bodies, however, have claimed that this report understates the levels of risk involved in using an unregulated legal service. Bar Council chair, Chantal-Aimee Doerries QC, said: “Using unqualified and insufficiently insured providers of advice in family matters, which will often involve children, instead of using the services of properly regulated professional lawyers, carries considerable risk for all concerned.”

Sheffield Encourages Law Firms to Move North

SheffieldThe City of Sheffield is encouraging law firms to move North, and is particularly urging them to consider relocating to Sheffield. A presentation held at the headquarters of the Law Society recently saw Creative Sheffield and representatives from some of the law firms currently headquartered in the city extol the benefits of Sheffield to an audience of consultants and legal firms from around the UK.

The city’s quality of living was among the main benefits of Sheffield highlighted by speakers. The city has high living standards and a reputation as a pleasant area thanks to its green spaces and large amounts of historic architecture. It is also an affordable place both to live and do business compared to the South, like many Northern cities are, and compared to London especially it offers far lower rents for both commercial and residential properties.

The central selling point, however, was the “pipeline” of graduates from the city’s universities. Speakers pointed to graduates from Sheffields higher education institutions as a constant and valuable stream of fresh talent for firms based in the city to snap up.

According to hlw Keeble Hawson partner Giles Searby, the city has a high retention rate of students. Many graduates, he said, opt to remain in Sheffield when they have completed their studies and make it their home, creating a significant talent pool for companies in Sheffield to tap into.

When other firms move into the city, Searby went on to say, there are benefits both for the firms who make the move and those already in the city. Despite the high student retention rate in the initial stages after graduation, Searby said that if alumni of the city’s universities are to continue to remain for more than a few years they need access to “a full career path within the city region so people can build their lives and careers within the city.” More firms moving to Sheffield and the surrounding area, he believes, will help to provide this, aiding long term talent retention for the benefit of all firms.

Matthew Peacock, a partner at OMC Consultants, pointed to the number of major law firms already holding a presence in the region. 14 of the UK’s top 30 firms, he said, had northshore offices.

“Law firms and lawyers are living in a different landscape to 10 years ago,” Peacock said. “The marketplace has changed and is continuing to change. All firms are under pressure to deliver more for less.”

Mixed Feelings in Legal Profession About Online Courts

Online CourtLegal professionals have been expressing mixed views about proposals to establish an online-only court. The digital court system would allow certain claims to be settled entirely online and without the need for lawyers, and is proposed as an efficient way of handling claims with a monetary value of up to £25,000.

The majority of lawyers and barristers have expressed reservations or outright opposition to the proposals. The Bar Council, in particular, recently warned against the problems it believes would be involved with the introduction of such a system.

The Bar Council called an online court without lawyers a “fundamental departure” from the UK’s current and traditional system of justice. It also warned that creating such a court and funnelling a large number of claims worth £25,000 or less could have “major implications” for the judiciary and, in particular, a “significant impact” on the junior bar.

The introduction of an entire court system that does not involve professional advocacy, the Bar Council said, would enshrine a two-tier structure in the UK justice system. Furthermore, the fact that this court would, according to the proposals, involve case officers with an essentially judicial role that does not neatly fit with any existing legal position would lead to a “shift to a career judiciary of a very different character.”

The Bar Council also said that claims worth under £25,000 play an important role in allowing barristers to build up experience and vital skills in the early stages of their career. Handling many of them through a court system with no need for professional legal advocates, they said, risked hampering new barristers on their journey towards becoming leaders in their field or entering the judiciary.

The City of London Law Society (CLLS), on the other hand, has given its support to the proposals, saying that the creation of the online court would have the potential to bring “huge benefits” to the UK’s justice system. The Society said that it did not object either to the court’s existence in order to handle claims with a value of up to £25,000 nor to the idea of the court being the sole route for handling cases that fall within its remit. This stance places the CLLS firmly opposite not only the Bar Council but most other professional bodies in the legal sector. The Law Society, for example, said that it would not support the handling of anything more than straightforward disputes through such a court, nor the use of the online system for cases worth over £10,000.

The CLLS’ response to the proposals was not entirely without reservations, however. The organisation stressed that a thorough pilot scheme and a rigorous testing process would be necessary before such a court could be launched in full.

LCJ Report Raises Concerns About Justice System

The Lord Chief Justice’s annual report to parliament has raised a number of concerns about the justice system. Among these concerns are a lack of affordability, growing numbers of people representing themselves, and the impact these and other factors are having on the morale of judges.

The accessibility of justice from a financial viewpoint was among the key concerns raised by the Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, in his latest annual report. Changes to legal aid have left many without financial assistance when it comes to finding professional legal representation, and many have instead appeared in court as litigants in person. Such changes had, he warned, meant that justice was fast becoming something that was “unaffordable to most” and the rise in the number of self-representing people in court is down to the fact that they simply cannot afford third party representation.

However, Lord Thomas also praised the way many legal professionals had handled the implementation of the cuts, saying: “Court staff and the judiciary worked hard to minimise disruption to all court users; they should be commended for their dedication and commitment in ensuring that court business carried on.”

The report also criticised the justice system’s IT infrastructure, which it said was outdated not suitable for purpose. The IT systems of the judiciary, he said, “severely impede the delivery of justice” because of their failings, and rely on an out-of-date operating system version that no longer has available support channels.

Lord Thomas did, however, say that 2015 had been the year that an “agreement was finally reached… after many years of discussions” which would see HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) upgrade their IT infrastructure. HMCTS would, the report said, move over to “a modern system known as “e-judiciary” which provides modern software and cloud-based secured storage.”

The morale of judges was also a significant issue raised in the report. In particular, the Lord Chief Justice pointed to changes to the pension provisions available to those in the judiciary, describing the impact of these changes on morale as “significant.” The report also spoke of “a widespread feeling” among judges “of not being valued or appreciated for their work.”

Regarding workloads, the report claimed that these are rising due to an “emerging trend of increase in cybercrime and crimes related to terrorism” as well as an increase in the reporting of sexual offences. Lord Thomas called urgently for “very significant improvement to forward projections for court business based on offences reported to the police.”

A lack of judicial diversity was also raised as a concern. Female judges, Lord Thomas said, are more present than ever in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal, but black and minority ethnic background judges remain at a “disappointing” level of just 7%.

Sailing in the Canaries: A Clarification Of Personal Injury Law

The law regularly needs updating, so that legal tests and principles reflect modern issues and society. Indeed, sometimes the law needs a clarification concerning a grey area of uncertainty.

One such case that both updated and clarified the law (relating to personal injury and employment) was before the High Court this May- Vaughan v MoD [2015] EWHC 1404 (QB). The case was brought by Spencer Vaughan, 27, of the Royal Marines, against the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

2010 had seen Marine Vaughan taking part in a sailing expedition with fellow Marines. The sailing was organised and arranged by the Royal Navy & Royal Marines, and was considered an adventurous training expedition for the benefit of the personal development and training of the Marines –as well as being good fun, and an experience for all on board.

The voyage was around the Canary Islands. On the last day of the voyage, a lack of win caused the very experienced skipper to delay the sailing of the vessel from Puerto Mogan marina in Gran Canaria. The skipper expected the wind to pick up later that day – and told the Marines under sail training that they had free time until later that afternoon. The Marines promptly went ashore, and took advantage of that unexpected free time by visiting the beach at Puerto Mogan. Whilst at the beach, waist deep in water, Mne Vaughan attempted a “Baywatch style” dive. In doing so, he unfortunately struck his head against a submerged sandbank, and sustained “a fracture of his cervical spine.”

Following the accident, Mne Vaughan started personal injury legal proceedings against the Royal Marines- with the case appearing before the High Court in May of this year. The basis of his claim was that he had been injured as a result of a breach of the duty of care that the MoD owed him. He argued that he was on a “training exercise” at the time of the accident (the sailing expedition), and was therefore covered by the liabilities existing between employers and employees at the time. Therefore, the MoD owed him the same duty of care at the time of his accident as any civilian employer would for a workplace accident.

The MoD argued against this. According to the MoD, at the time of the accident, the Marines were not “on duty” at the time, or working for the Marines at time. Although they were on a training exercise, they had been told that they were on their own time prior to leaving for the beach; as such, they were not under the responsibility of the MoD. Further, although the skipper (Corporal Sanders) had, by law, a duty and responsibility for his crew and the Marines under his command in the vessel, he was not present on the beach at time of the accident. Further, in such a situation, if Cpl Sanders had been present, his permission would not have been asked for such activities as diving into the sea.

It was up to Mr Justice William Davis in the High Court to determine whether the employee/employer relationship and liabilities was present at the time of the accident. In his verdict, he started by summarising the key matters of law. Amidst other such points, to Judge Davis, the overall legal point under debate was, at the time of the accident, did the Royal Marines owe Mne Vaughan a duty of care at the time of the accident?

Quoting from his speech,

“The duty [of care] cannot be greater than the duty that would be owed by an employer i.e. the duty covers the performance of the “work” done by Marine Vaughan and anything reasonably incidental to that “work”. If his activity was outside the course of his “employment” the Defendant owed no duty qua employer.” (p.13)

From p.14, it is evident that the Marines themselves all considered themselves to be “working” for the MoD throughout the voyage;

“Marine Vaughan said that he considered himself to be on duty for the whole time that he was deployed on the training exercise i.e. from the moment he left to travel to the Canaries until the point of his return. He took that view because he had been ordered to go on the training exercise. Marine Barnett was of the same view for what amounted to the same reason. His rationale was that, because Corporal Sanders could have exercised control over him on the morning of the 23rd January had he wanted to, he was on duty. Marine Keenan also said that he was on duty for the whole of the period of the training exercise. He commented that a Royal Marine represents the service at all times whether in or out of uniform. Corporal Quirk was of the view that the issue was a grey area. He said that, had he gone to the beach and told the Marines to go back to the boat, they would have had to do so. To that extent they were on duty. Equally, the Marines at the relevant time were free to do whatever they wanted.”

This would (probably) include matters such as the trip to the beach. However, the same paragraph also illustrates the grey area present. According to MoD publications referred to by the Judge, even the MoD recognises that even when participating in adventurous training and other supporting military activities (and definition “on duty”) there are times where the participant can be said to be “off duty”.

The skipper clearly had stated that the Marines had free time that morning, there being no work to do on the boat- and had given them no further instructions or orders. Indeed, he was unsure as to where they had gone, demonstrating that at that moment he was no longer in charge of them –despite absolutely having responsibility for them. As such, Judge Davis at p.16 is drawn to the conclusion that the Marines were of duty whilst on the beach. It is as if the Judge is somewhat reluctant to make that admission, but is forced to by the logic of his line of reasoning and legal argument.

Throughout, Judge Davis returns to the point that the Marines in question had considered themselves on duty throughout. At p.17, this is called into question:

“The proposition that the Defendant should have treated the Marines as being on duty because the Marines thought they were on duty is not sustainable; not least because the Defendant – whether via Corporal Sanders or otherwise – had no reason for believing that this was what the Marines thought.”

Although the verdict is fairly obvious at this point, Judge Davis still has further issues to clarify; the conclusion in relation to “on duty” does not determine the issue of whether Marine Vaughan was acting in the course of his “employment” (p.18). Even though on adventurous training, and indirectly working towards their mental and physical fitness – of great importance to the Marines – once again, it cannot be said that the Marines were on duty

Judge Davis throughout gently (and it seems with reluctance) proves the point that, although there was responsibility and a degree of liability throughout, the Marines at the time of the accident cannot be said to have been under the command and control of the MoD at the time of the accident. As such, there was no employer/employee liability- and therefore no breach, causation or any of the usual elements of tort. At p.38, Judge Davis dismisses the appeal.

Although clearly at work, and indirectly working for their employer, the Marines were not considered to be under employer/employee liability at the time of the accident on Puerto Mogan beach. Not just in the military, but in many situations in civilian employment there is often that “grey area” which can surround some accidents at work, or personal injuries, and whether the individuals or managers concerned were “on duty” or “off duty.” Sometimes, despite being on duty, or at work, the exact nature of the situation or environment might similarly call into question whether the employer owed the injured employee a similar duty of care at the time of the accident. Despite having responsibility towards employees at all times – sometimes, that responsibility does not translate in to liability.

That grey are of personal injury law still persists. Vaughan v MoD goes some way into clarifying that very matter. As such, it is a welcome addition to the canon of case law surrounding personal injury and work injury claims. Vaughan v Mod is also useful for personal injury law as it similarly helps to clarify the distinctions between “on duty” and “off duty”.

One phrase that Judge Davis uses or paraphrase several times in his concise verdict is the concept that, for there to be a liability, the Marines (or employees) must have been performing duties “reasonably incidental to their work.” As a benchmark or test, it is s useful phrase. Despite itself being flexible and open to interpretation, “reasonably incidental to their work” does provide some clarity.

It is only too easy to be injured at work, despite all the best precautions, and the liability of employers regarding health and safety at work. Given the flexibility of the modern working environment and workplace, it is also only too easy to receive an injury in a situation where it is uncertain whether an employer still retains that liability along with their responsibility. Vaughan v MoD goes some way into defining where that liability starts and ends.

Major London Firms Move Towards Flexible Working

Linklaters, a Magic Circle legal firm, has become the latest major City practice to move towards a flexible working model. With staff at legal firms around the country praising the benefits of flexible working arrangements and increasing concerns over the work/life balance available to legal professionals, more and more firms are now looking into ways of offering flexibility to their staff.

In the past, the legal industry has been criticised as a slow-adopter of flexible working principles. However, the sector now seems to be beginning to catch up as a number of prominent firms have announced flexible working schemes of late.

Herbert Smith Freehills, a major international legal firm, also recently announced a flexible working initiative. The firm’s UK staff will now benefit from more choice when it comes to time and location for carrying out their work.

A Linklaters spokesperson stressed the firm’s commitment to providing flexibility to its employees so far as client and colleague needs allow. However, it was also emphasised that the firm does not believe a “one-size fits all” policy to be truly workable. The spokesperson said: “The only thing a policy can do is draw a line that makes it clear that because people have a variety of needs, the ethos around flexibility is one that the business supports.”

At present, roughly 7% of the firms staff are working on a flexible basis. The flexible working arrangements that these employees have access to are formally built into their employment contracts with the firm. Linklaters piloted a flexible working scheme in London, aiming to break down people’s preconceptions around the idea of flexibility in working arrangements. This pilot scheme offered employees to work from home for one day every week if they chose to do so.

“Some did [choose to work from home], some didn’t,” the firm said, “but the option was open to all, talked about and championed. Since this pilot we have had other groups adopt this approach,’ the firm said. We don’t look at progress in this area through the number of formal employee flexible arrangements that we put in place.”

When Herbert Smith Freehills surveyed staff about its experiments in flexible working, it found that three quarters believed that this kind of approach could boost overall productivity. Almost 90% of surveyed staff also said that the option of working from home was either somewhat important or very important.

The concept of flexible working has strong bearings one one of the big topics for the legal industry at present. A number of recent surveys and studies have looked at the challenges involved in a legal career, and identifies difficulty in achieving an effective work/life balance as a key problem. Flexible working could significantly improve things in this area, and help staff better balance their private and personal lives in some significant ways.

Online Sentencing System Proposed

Sir Brian Leveson, head of the Queen’s Bench Division, has proposed an online system of sentencing for minor offenders. The suggestion was made as part of the most recent round of proposals delivered in an effort to find ways to speed up the criminal justice system through the use of information technology.

Back in January, Leveson proposed that physical court proceedings could be replaced by an online hearing process for many low-level offenders. Addressing the Modernising Justice Through Technology conference, he seemed to take the idea of reducing the burden that more minor cases place upon the system even further.

Speaking just a day after his previous proposals for boosting the efficiency of the UK’s criminal courts received the backing of the Lord Chancellor, Leveson suggested that sentences could be handed out to those who had committed only low-level offences automatically. Fines could then be paid online with a debit or credit card, he proposed. This would be used in relatively straightforward cases where defendants have entered guilty pleas, so that establishing guilt would not be an issue.

“It should be possible,” Leveson suggested, “to use recognised sentencing guidelines to identify a prospective sentence which the person who has just pleaded guilty can accept if he or she chooses to do so.” Then, they would simply enter their payment details in order to pay the fine and the process would be concluded in a single, virtual session. This would bring the process of handling guilty pleas for minor offences somewhat in line with the process for traffic offences. Indeed, Leveson compared the process to road fund licenses and parking fines.

Defendants would also enter their income and outgoings to ensure that the fine would be appropriate. This information would, of course, be checked for accuracy.

In his speech, Leveson suggested that this would allow, “the right to a hearing being reserved for those who ask for it, perhaps because they have particular mitigation.” The rest would be able to accept the suggested penalty and bypass the need for a hearing, thereby reducing the workload of the courts.

“A very large bulk of standard, low-level work which is presently very expensive to process may be resolved without a formal court appearance or hearing,” Leveson said in summing up.

However, Leveson also warned that there were “elephant traps” to be aware of in adopting such a system. In particular, he pointed to a past history of failures in IT projects and also said that “some of [his] colleagues” may be reluctant to move away from paper files.

First Libor Manipulation Criminal Trial Begins

The first criminal trial relating to manipulation of Libor – an important interest rate – has begun. Tom Hayes (pictured), a former London trader with Citigroup and UBS, is facing trial in London for alleged manipulation of Libor rates.

“Libor” stands for “London Interbank Offered Rate.” This is an interest rate used by banks not just in the UK but across the globe in order to price their financial products appropriately. Libor plays a key role in setting prices of many financial products, including some with multi-billion pound values.

Hayes is accused of trying to rig Libor rates for personal gain in what a “thoroughly dishonest and manipulative manner.” He is facing eight criminal charges, each for conspiracy to defraud, taking place at various dates between 2006 and 2010. It is claimed that he lied about the rates at which the banks he worked for were borrowing money. The incorrect data he provided went into the calculation used to set the Libor rate and affected the results. Having provided the faulty data, he was able to predict the effect it would have and take steps in order to profit. In the wake of the news that Hayes and others in the banking industry have been acting in such a way, the method through which Libor is calculated has been revised in order to eliminate this avenue of interference.

His motive for committing these offences, according to Mukul Chawla QC who is acting for the prosecution, was simply greed. In making this accusation, the prosecution is using the defendant’s own words. At Southwark Crown Court where Hayes is being tried, jurors have heard that the defendant himself said to investigators: “The point is, you are greedy, you want every little bit of money you can possibly get.”

“That’s how you are judged,” Hayes concluded, “that’s your performance metric.”

The prosecution acknowledged that a number of people besides the defendant in the current trial were involved in the alleged offences. However, Mr Chawla contends that Mr Hayes acted as “the ringmaster at the very centre, telling others around him what to do and in a number of cases rewarding them for their dishonest assistance.”

Overall, the prosecution accused Hayes of obtaining “the help of a large number of people across a large number of different financial organisations” in order to dishonestly and criminally manipulate Libor activity. At times he approached other parties directly, and at others he approached them through middlemen. With their help, the prosecution claims, “he tried to rig, and in many cases succeeded in rigging, the rates at other banks.”

The trial is expected to last for 10-12 weeks.

First Solicitor Qualifies Through Equivalent Means

Robert Houchill has now become the first person to qualify as a solicitor through “equivalent means,” an alternative to the training period traditionally required before qualifying. Houchill, a senior paralegal, qualified after providing evidence to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to show that through his work he had reached the same standard as somebody undergoing the standard training period.

Houchill is employed by Bates Wells Braithwaite, in the London firm’s immigration department, and has been a paralegal for four and a half years. He has now  become the first person to become a qualified solicitor through the Training for Tomorrow programme, a scheme created by the SRA as a way to make the path to qualifying as a solicitor more flexible. The Training for Tomorrow programme formed part of a set of education and training reforms the SRA brought into force last year.

The introduction of “equivalent means” enables workplace experience within the legal sector to be recognised by the SRA. If the experience in question is held to be equivalent to that which would be required as part of a training contract or other recognised, formal training period, then this too can be recognised and qualification granted. Applicants do not have to have worked within the legal sector for any minimum period in order to apply for qualification through equivalent means. They must, however, provide evidence to show that they have achieved strict standards, equivalent to those expected of candidates qualifying through more traditional routes.

Houchill completed an LPC but did not go on to undergo a period of recognised training or to secure a training contract with a legal firm. However, after reviewing his case and the evidence provided, the SRA was satisfied that his years as a paralegal had brought him to the same standards and granted him the same skills as would be expected of a trainee.

According Houchill, that the distinction between the work carried out by solicitors and the jobs of paralegals was growing less stark, making his experience as a paralegal more valuable than it might once have been in preparing for practice as a solicitor.

“I am sympathetic to people who are anxious this is going to undermine the profession or reduce the quality of people being admitted,” said Houchill, who claimed that he would still have preferred to qualify through a traditional training contract.

“But the SRA has made it a demanding process,” he continued, “and you have to provide evidence you’ve done an awful lot to prepare. I’m not falling into the profession, I know it well.”