"There was no mention of this in Chitty on Contracts"
Lawyers have recalled the worst jobs they were forced to do as trainees, offering their experiences like a crappy corporate badge of honour.
The disclosures were prompted by a recent story about a Trowers & Hamlins trainee who was assaulted after the firm sent him to confront squatters alone.
One lawyer recounted an equally dangerous mission they were handed as a trainee: "I recall serving orders with penal notices/injunctions on a regular basis. My favourite was being met at a farm by a man threatening to 'set his geese' on me whilst waving a frying pan in my face."
Another lawyer was instructed "to unblock the men's toilets with a coat hanger on my first day at a new firm. I'm a woman. No way was I doing that under any circumstances."
One lawyer reeled off a list of humiliating, but possibly character-building tasks, that they had to undertake as a trainee:
"1) Buy tights for my training supervisor (I was an innocent boy from the country at that point in my life).
2) Ask a road digger to stop digging the road outside our offices (as my then training supervisor could not "hear herself think over the racket").
3) Board a ship whilst it was at anchor in the north sea to interview the crew of a vessel regarding the suspicious death of one of their number (the captain promptly asked me if I could procure women and drugs for him and then had a panic attack when I declined to assist).
4) Serve (freezing injunction) papers on a man who had arranged the defenestration of an Indonesian judge
5) Take two Korean businessmen to a "burlesque" show (a genuinely unpleasant experience as they seem to get very over excited).
6) Paid facilitation payments to a port official in Port Harcourt (was in actual fear of my life so think I am ok on that one).
7) Flew to Dubai and back again in a day to have documents executed on a ship sale contract (sorry Greta)."
And some tasks are beyond the pale, as one lawyer remembered: "When I was a trainee at Slaughters, I was once asked to hand deliver a document to a non-Magic Circle lawyer."
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