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the bargain between the parties, and this was a mere collateral agreement. As to the alleged misdescription, the son was not the liquidating debtor. Seotions 8 and 10 of the Act most be construed together, and the residence and occupation which tbe Act required to be stated were those of the bankrupt or exeoution debtor against whose trustee or execution creditor the bill of sale was to be void, and not of someone else. Here the residence and occupation of tbe father were truly stated. The additional statement that he was carrying on business in partnership with tbe Bon did not make the prior description incorrect. It was mere surplussge which was not shown to be misleading or to have misled. Of course it was possible that tbere might be surplus words which would be misleading. Bowen, L.J., ooncurred.—Solicitoes, F. Venn <■ Co.; D. Warde.
Execution—Wrongful Seizure—Direction By Solicitor or Execution Creditor To Shebiff—Extent Of Solicitor's Authority—Liability Of Execution Creditor.—In a case of Smith v. Keal, before the Court of Appeal on the 14th Inst., a question arose as to the extent of the authority of the solicitor of an execution creditor in direoting the sheriff as to the seizure under the writ. The action was brought to recover damages for a wrongful seizure of goods. The plaintiff was not the execution debtor, but had been In partnership with him. The partnership had been dissolved before the Issue of the writ. After the writ had been indorsed by the creditor's solicitors, and delivered to the sheriff, the sheriff's officer had some doubt whether the goods which he was about to seize at the former place of business of the partnership were partnership goods, and he consulted the creditor's solicitors. Their managing clerk informed the officer that they had reason to believe that the debtor had an interest in the business, and that he had better seize the goods. The officer accordingly seized the goods. It turned ont that they belonged Bolely to the continuing partner, and he brought an action against the execution creditor, claiming damages for the wrongful seizure. The qnestion was whether the direction given to the sheriffs officer by tbe solicitors' clerk was within the scope of the authority of the solicitors, so that the exeoution creditor was responsible for the seizure which resulted from it. Pollook, B., held that the direction was not within the scope of the solicitors' authority, so that the execution creditor was not liable, and this decision was npheld by a divisional court, consisting of Pollock, B., Manisty, J., and Stephen, J., the latter learned judge dissenting from the other two. The decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeal (jessel, M.R., and Lindley, L.J.) Jhsskl, M.K , said that he thought the doctrine respondeat superior had been carried quite far enough in our law, and it ought not to be extended. It was no part of the duty of the solicitor of an exeontion creditor to interfere with the duty of the sheriff in levying under the writ. The duty of the sheriff was to levy on the goods of the execution debtor, and he was responsible for finding out these goods. If the solicitor directed him to seiza the goods of another person he was aoswerable like anyone else who directed a trespass to be committed. The sheriff himself was liable if he committed a trespass, and anyone who joined in tbe trespass was equally liable. In tbe absence of authority his lordship was of opinion that it was no part of the solicitor's duty to interfere with the therifTs duty in levying under the writ by giving him directions as to the particular goods which he was to seize, and hi« lordship was aware of no authority to the contrary. Tbe case of Jarmain v. Hooper (6 Man. & Q. 827) had been relied on. It was a decision of tbe Court 0/ Common Pleas in Banc and was not technically binding on the Court of Appeal. But it was decided so long ago as 1843 ; it had been frequently acted on, had never been questioned since, and bad found its way into all the text-books, and the Court of Appeal would not now review it, even if it thought that it had been wrongly decided. The mere fact of tbe age of a decision would not protect it from review if it was contrary to a general principle of law. But tbe question of the scope of a solicitor's authority did not depend on general law, but depended, to a great extent, on usage, and the solemn decision of a court established tbe scope of the authority if it bad not been previously established by usage, and the Court of Appeal would not disturb suoh a decision when it had been acted on for many years. But in Jarmain v. Hooper the solicitor of an execution creditor had indorsed the writ with a wrong address of the execution debtor, and the court held that this amounted to a direction to the sheriff to seize the goods of another person. The sheriff was misled by the direction and acted in obedience to it, and seized the goods of a wrong person. The direction to the Bheriff was indorsed by the solicitor on the writ, and the qnestion was whether the client was bound by it. And the court held that the direction was within the scope of the solicitor's authority, and therefore bound bis principal. They said that the solicitor in giving the direction was taking a step essential for tbe benefit of the client in obtaining tbe fruits of bis judgment, and, therefore, he could not be said to have acted beyond the scope of his authority, though he bad miscarried. It would be wrong to extend that decision to the case of a solicitor who either himself or by his clerk gave a verbal direction to the sheriff subsequently to the filling np and indorsing of the writ. Such a direction was not a step essential for the benefit of the client, and was not within tho scope of the solicitor's authority. The person whose goods were wrongly seized by reason of such a verbal direction had his remedy by action against the sheriff and the solicitor, and that was a sufficient remedy without making another unfortunate persr-n liable. Lindley, L.J., said that it was tbe duty of the execution creditor's solicitor to rill np the indorsement on the writ properly, and if ho make a mistake in doing that, his client was liable. That was tho effect of Jarmain v. Hooper, and his lordship was prepared to stand by that decision and to act on it. The court was now asked to extend it, and to say that the olient was responsible for what the sheriff did, in consequei.co of verbal directions or advice given to him by the solioitor, or his clerk, as to tbe way in which he was to execute the writ. That was beyond the scope of the solicitor's authority. The person who was wronged bad his remedy against all
the wrongdoers, including the solicitor, and his lordship could not see why be should also have a remedy against the innocent execution creditor. The solicitor was not the agent of the execution creditor to tell the sheriff how he was to discharge his duty. There was no reason in principle for thus extending Jarmain v. Hooper, and it would be pernioious to do so.—Solicitors, R, O. Lawson, Manchester; Hare & Co.
Contract—Insolvency—Repudiation—Action By Company In Liaui. Dation— Set-ofp — "mutual Credit"—Rule In Bankruptcy — BankRuptcy Act, 1869, g. 39—Judicature Act, 1875, s. 10.—In a case of The Mersey Steel and Iron Company v. Naulor, before the Court of Appeal on the 13th inst., a question arose as to the right of one party to a contract to repudiate it in the event of the insolvency of the other, and there was the further question whether, by virtue of section 10 of the Judicature Act, 1875, tbe " mutual credit" clause (section 39) of the Bankruptcy A.ot, 1869, applies where an action is brought by a company in liquidation. The plaintiff company was in liquidation when the action was brought by leave of the court to recover money for steel enpplied to the defendants. The defendants claimed to set off damages for non-deliveries. The contract was dated in December, 1880, and was for 5,000 tons of Bessemer steel blooms, at £5 10s. per ton f.o.b. at Liverpool, delivery 1,000 tons monthly, commencing January, 1881; payment net cash within three days after receipt of shipping documents. Ou the 31st of January, and on each of the first five days of February, certain quantities of blooms were shipped, but tbe exact amount was disputed. The defendants bad paid £881 13s. 2 1., and admitted that more was due, but said that they had a right to set off as much. The plaintiffs claimed £1,713 Os. 9d. The defendants alleged that the plaintiffs had first broken the contract by failing to deliver 1,000 tons in January, audthey counter-claimed for £2,500 damages. The winding-up petition against the company was presented on the 4th of February, and a compulsory winding-up order was made on the 15th. In answer to the defendants' counter-claim, the plaintiffs pleaded that the matters upon which the counter-claim rested arose after t he presentation of the windingnp petition, and that the defendants had not obtained leave, as they ought to have done, to entitle them to make their claim. To this the defendants demurred. At the trial the jury were discharged by consent, and the case was reserved for further consideration before Lord Coleridge, C. J., who decided in favour of the plaintiffs, being of opinion that the defendants had themselves repudiated the contract and bad justified tbe plaintiffs in refusing further deliveries. The defendants appealed and it was contended on their behalf that under section 10 of the Judicature Act, 1875, they were entitled, although the plaintiffs were in liquidation, to set off their claim for damages. For the respondents it was urged that this would be making tbe appellants preferred creditors, and that such a result was not intended by the Legislature. The court (jessel, M.R., and Lindley and Bowen, L.JJ.) allowed tbe appeal. Jessel, M.R., said that tho first question was, what rule was to prevail as to getting rid of a liability to further performance of a contract in regard to the acts or defaults of one party to it? If one party broke the contract, was the other bound to perform it on his part? Tbere was no absolute rule that could be laid down in so many words as to when a breach by one party exonerated the other. The rule of law was properly stated by Lord Coleridge in Freeth y. Burr (22 W. K. 370, L. R. 9 C. P. 208) thus: "The true question is whether the acts and conduct of the party evince an intention no longer to be bound by the contract." Tbe nature of the breach must be considered and the circumstances. In some cases there might be on express declaration, but more commonly the intention had to be inferred. The notion which Lord Branswell seemed to have expressed in Honck v. Midler (29 W. K. 830, L. It. 7 Q. B. D. 92), that there was a distinction between the esse where there bad been part performance of the oontract and where there had not, was not oorreot. In the present case, was there anything to show that the buyers were not ready to pay, or had any intention to repudiate the contrast? The evidence pointed the other way. A payment was due on the 5th of February, but the buyers had heard of the winding-up petition, and their solicitor advised them that they could not, under the circumstances, safely pay the company. That advice was communicated to the company. It was wrong, but even the most skilled advisers might sometimes make a mistake. Then terms were proposed to the liquidator which showed that there was no desire on the pore of the buyers to break the contract. Subjeot, therefore, to the question as to tae winding up, the defendants ought to succeed. The second point was, having regard to the fact that the plaintiff company was In liquidation, whether the defendants were entitled to the set-off. The court was bound to put a meaning upon the words of the Legislature and to attach a rational and benefioial meaning rather than an irrational and injurious one. Irtespeotive of the winding np, there could be no question but that the right to set-off onght to be supported. But had the company a right by reason of the winding up to claim payment in full, and to leave the buyers to prove for damages P Under the Companies Act, 1862, it could not be said that the right of set-off was given. The Legislature had not inserted in that Aot the "mutual credit" section of the Bankruptcy Aot; but by section 25 of the Judicature Aot of 1873, and section 10 of the Act of 1875, the Legislature had intended to alter and improve tbe law. Originally it was intended to unite the Court of Bankruptcy with the Supreme Court, and his lordship had still hopes of seeing that union carried ont by the Legislature. However, by the Aot of 1875 it was not doDe. But an alteration was made as to the liabilities whioh could be proved in a winding np, and as to the manner of doing so. Tho rale as to the mode of proof was to be the same as in bankruptcy. An aooount, in fact, was to be taken on both Bides, and if anything was due after the proper deductions had been made from the claimant's claim, the balance was to be proved for, so that the rule was to be the same in a winding up as In administration and In bankruptcy, If the claim in this
case had been made In the winding np, there would have Been a deduction from the olaim for damages. It wonld have been difficult to say what was the effect of ord. 19, r. 3, If it had not been for seotion 10, because in those rules one did not expect to find any alteration of the law, but only alterations In the mode of asserting rights. The meaning of section 10 was that the same mode of taking the accounts should apply In every kind of procedure. The same equity w»s to prevail. Therefore, fairly applying the Acts and Rules, and allowing justice to be done, judgment must be given for the appellants. Lindley and Bowes, L JJ., concurred.—Solicitors, G. M. Clements; W. W. Wynne.
Negotiable Instrument—Bond Payable To Bearer—Tiieft—Holder For Value Without Notice—Prior Advance—General Ciiaeqe—ConStruction.—In a case of Symons v. MvXkem, before Fry, J., on the 13th inst., the question arose whether where a negotiable instrument (a foreign bond payable to Dearer) has been stolen, and has been deposited by a holder with his bankers, who have received it bond fide without any notice of the theft, they can retain it as against the true owner, claiming a lien upon it for odvanoes previously made by them to their customer, they having made no advance to him at the time of the deposit. The action was brought by the owner of a bond of the Trench Government, payable to bearer, against a bank with whom the bond had been deposited by a customer (who had, in fact, obtained the bond dishonestly, though the bank were not aware of this) in order that they might sell it on his account. They attempted to sell it, but, before it could be sold, the theft was discovered. The customer was at the time of the deposit indebted to the bank in respect of advances whioh tbey had made to him, some of which were secured by promissory notes signed by him. On the back of each promissory note was a oharge signed by the customer in the following terms:—"I hereby oharge all my property now mortgaged to the B. Building Sooiety, and all and every other property, shares, or securities whioh now ore, or which may be at any time prior to the payment of this note, in the possession or power of the holder thereof for the time being, with the payment of this promissory note." The bank claimed nnder this charge to retain the bond as seourity for what was due to them on the promissory notes, and they also claimed to retain it under their general bankers' lien. Fry, J., held that the bond must be delivered up to the true owner. He said that, as no advanoe was made by the bank at the time when the bond was deposited with them, they were not holders of it for value. Nor waa it within the words of the written oharge. The charge was on the customer's property, and this bond was not his property. The language, though very general, muBt be limited to securities belonging to the customer whioh were in the possession or power of the bank. This bond was reoeived by the bank for the particular purpose of selling it; they had a special mandate to sell it, for whioh they gave no consideration. The mandate might have been reoalled at any moment by the customer. Again, the possession of or power over the bond given to the bank was inconsistent with the assertion by them of any lien on the bond itself. The mandate was to sell the bond; if the bank had a lien on the bond itself, they oould have intercepted the sale. The possession or power referred to by the charge muBt be one not inconsistent with the assertion of a oharge by the bank, and the possession whioh they had in this case was for a limited purpose only, and did not come within the ambit of the oharge. —solicitors, Lewis <fc Lewis; Foncione $ Leggalt.
Married Woman—Bequest To Separate Use—Restraint On AnticiPation—Payment On Separate Receipt—Income.bearinq Fund.—In a case of In re Clarke's Trusts, before Fry, J., on the 15th inst., a question arose as to the payment or transfer to a married woman, on her separate reoeipt, of a share of residue of personal estate bequeathed to her for her separate use, without power of anticipation. A testator bequeathed to his wife an annuity of £40, and he directed his trustees and executors to provide for the same, either by setting apart a snffioient portion of the produce of his residuary personal estate for the purpose, or by purchasing an annuity from Government or an insurance company. The testator bequeathed some pecuniary legacies, and then he bequeathed the remainder of his personal estate to his two daughters, their exeoutors and administrators, as tenants in common, Bo that the same might be enjoyed by the two daughters dnring any and every coverture as separate property, free from marital control and without power of anticipation. And the testator appointed three persons as trustees end executors of bis will. After bis death the exeoutors paid his debts, funeral, and testamentary expenses, and the peouniary legacies, and purchased an annnity of £40 for the widow. The residue of the personal estate then consisted of a sum in Consols, a sum of railway stock, and a sum of oash. One of the daughters was married, and the question arose whether her moiety of the residue oould be paid and transferred to her on her separate receipt. The trustees transferred into oourt a moiety of the Consols, and they sold the railway stock and paid into oonrt a moiety of the prooeeds of sale, and a moiety of the cash. The daughter petitioned for the transfer of the Consols to her, and the payment of the two sums of cash to her on her separate receipt. The husband assented to the application. Fry, J., held that the petitioner was entitled to have the original sum of cash paid out to her on her separate reoeipt. But as to the sum of Consols and the proceeds of the sale of the railway stook, he held that, as they were inoome-produoing funds, the principle of In re Ellis s Trusts (22 W. B. 448, I/, R. 17 Eq. 409) applied, and the petitioner Wbb only entitled to the income for her life, subject to the restraint on anticipation. His lordship was of opinion, on the construction of the will, that there was no obligation on the exeoutors to convert the whole personal
estate into money ; their only duty was to oonvert it to the extent only whioh might be necessary to provide for the annuity, but not further.—Solicitors, James, Son, $ James; Coohson, Wainwright, § Pennington.
Local Board—Incorporation Op District—Vesting Op PropertyGovernment Stock—Transfer—Bank Op England—Public Health Act, 1875, s. 310.—la a case of The Corporation of Hyde v. The Bank of England, before Pry, J., on the 12th inst., a question arose upon the construction of section 310 of the Pohlic Health Act, 1875, which provides that where, after the passing of the Act, a district under the jurisdiction of a local board is constituted or included in a borough, " all the powers, rights, duties, capacities, liabilities, obligations, and property exercisable by, attaching to, or vested in such local board under this Act, or under any local Aot for purposes the same as, or similar to, those of this Act, or under any general Act of Parliament within, or for the benefit of, such district, shall pass to, and be exercisable by, and vested in the council of such borough." In February, 1881, a local hoard (purchased a sum of Codbois, which was registered in their corporate name in the books of the Bank of England. The purchase was made by the board in pursuance of seotion 234 (sub-section 4) of the Public Health Aot, 1875, for the purpose of providing a fund to pay off money which they had previously borrowed for the purpose of private improvements which they were authorized to execute. After this purchase had been made the district of the board was incorporated under an order of the Queen in Council. After tho incorporation the new corporation called on the Bank of England to register the sum of Consols in their corporate name, and to pay the dividends to them, and treat them in other respects as the owners of the stock. The bank declined to do this, and insisted that there must be a transfer of the stock, and that an order vesting the right to transfer must be obtained under the Trustee Act. This action was then brought by the corporation, claiming a declaration that they were entitled to the sum of stock, and to all the rights of registered stockholders in respect of it, and an order on the bank to register the plaintiffs in their books as entitled to the stock, and to pay them the dividends thereon. The bank demurred. Fry, J., held, on the construction of section 310, coupled with other sections of the Act, that the words, "the council of the borough," most be taken to mean the corporate body, which acted by means of their council, and that, upon the incorporation, the stock vested in the plaintiffs, without the necessity of any transfer, and that the bank were bound to register them as the owners.—Solicitors, Sharps, Parkers, £ Co.; Freshfields #■ Williams.
Practice—Solicitor — Delivery Op Bill Of Costs—Perehpto Ry Order—Further Time—Attachment.—In the case of Re Tucker, before Chitty, J., on the 8th inst., a motion was made to commit a solicitor for oontempt of court for breach of an order to deliver his hill of costs. The order in question was obtained on the 22nd of February, 1882, and one application for farther time having already been acceded to, on the 5th of April, 1882, a peremptory order was made|on a second application, giving time until the 18th of April. The solicitor, on the 19th of April, applied a third time for further time, and this application having been adjourned to the judge a second peremptory order was made by Mr. Justice North, giving a fortnight's further time. On the 16th of May, 1882, a fourth application by the solicitor came before Mr. Justice Chitty, who declined to make any order exoept that the applicant should pay the costs of the application, an undertaking being given on behalf of tho parties who had obtained the order not to move for an attachment until the 26th of Slay. Chitty, J., said it was not the usual practice to extend a peremptory order. The course adopted by the Master of the Rolls in these cases, and followed by his lordship, was that when a peremptory order had been once made, and further lime was desired, an order was made against the solicitor applying, who paid the costs of the application. In the present instance an order for attachment must issue, but the writ of attachment would, by the desire of the parties, lie in the office for three weeks.—Solicitors, Bell, Brodrick, §• Gray, for Bewes, Boger, % Hillard, Stonehouse; N. Bennett.
Costs—Motion To Dismiss For Want Of Prosecution—Order To Deliver Statement Op Claim—Expiration Of Time—Ord. 29, R. 1.— In a case before Chitty, J., on the 8th inst., a motion was made by the defendant, under ord. 29, r. 1, to dismiss the action with costs for want of prosecution. It appeared that the plaintiffs statement of claim had been struck out by the judge in chambers, liberty at the same t:me beine given to him to deliver a new statement within fourteen days. Tho plaintiff, shortly after the expiration of that time, delivered his statement, but was thereupon served with notice of the present motion. Chitty, J., said that the defendant seemed to have shown sharp practice. This was not to be encouraged. There would be no order on the motion except as to costs. He would give the defendant the option of either having no costs or of having the costs made costs in the action. The defendant chose the latter alternative, and the plaintiff's statement of claim was directed to be treated as having been duly delivered upon an ordar for extension of time.
Limited Company—Petition For Reduction Of Capital—CancellaTion Op Paid-up Capital—Companies Act, 1862, General Orders, n. 20—Companies Act, 1877, s. 4.—In the case of The North Mills Spinning Company (Limited), before Chitty, J., on the 9th inst., an order whioh was made upon petition for the reduction of the capital of the company by cancelling paid-up capital, which had been lost or was unrepresented by available assets, contained, as drawn up, a direction that notice of the registration of the order and minute of the schedule thereto should be advertised once in the London Gazette and once in a local paper. This was mentioned to the court, and it was submitted that the order should have omitted the direction as to notice
by advertisement, as tbe rednotion of the capital of the company did not, within the Companies Act, 1877, s. 4, involve either the diminution of any liability in respect of nnpaid capital or the payment to any shareholder of any paid-up capital. Chittt, J., after consulting with the registrar, stated that it was not the cUBtom to omit tbe direction unless the court had assented to do so when the matter was at the bar. The direction would be dispensed with in the present instance.—Solicitor, Greavet.
Practice—Costs—Taxation—Costs Op Reference — Solicitors Act, 1843 (6 & 7 Vict. C. 73), s. 37.—In a case of In re Upperton, before Chitty, J., on the 8th inst., a motion was made for special directions as to the taxation and payment of the costs of a reference to taxation of a bill of costs due from one K. Brailsford, directed to be taxed under an order taken out by the solitors themselves. The order in question was tbe usual one under 6 & 7 Vict. c. 73, s. 37, containing (inter alia) the direction, " In case the said E. Brailsford shall attend upon such taxation, that if such bill, when taxed, be less by a sixth part than tbe said bill as delivered, the said master do tax the said E. Brailsford his costs of snch reference, and if such bill, when taxed, shall not be less by a sixth part than the said bill as delivered, the said master do tax the petitioner his costs of snch reference." E. Brailsford, although served with notice, did not attend the taxation, either in person or by his solicitor, but wrote several long letters to the taxing master. The sum taxed off did not exceed one-sixth part, but the taxing master declined to tax the costs of the reference, on the ground that E. Brailsford had not attended personally. The 37th section of the Act enacts that, "in case any suoh reference shall be made upon the application of the party chargeable with such bill, or upon the application of such solicitor," &c, "and the party chargeable shall attend upon such taxation," the costs of such reference shall be paid according to the event of such taxation, "that is to say, if snch bill when taxed shall be less by a sixth part," &o.," then the solicitor shnll pay such costs, and if such bill when taxed shall not be less by a sixth part, &c, then the party chargeable with such bill making such application, or Bo attending, shall pay sueh oosts," Chitty, J., said that there had not been an attendance within the statute and the order based on the statute, and the sole question was upon the construction of an order which his lordship was not in a position to alter. The condition in the order appeared to govern both the alternatives which followed, and the taxing master would, therefore, have been wrong had he allowed the costs of the reference when the condition of attendance of the person chargeable had not been fulfilled. The result was that solicitors proceeding under such an order (which was quite in accordance with the Act) must, if the party chargeable did not attend, be content to have their bills taxed, and themselves pay the costs of the reference.—Solicitors, Baiter; Folder f Upperton.
INCORPORATED LAW SOCIETY.
A special general meeting of the members of this society was held at tbeir hall, Chancery-lane, on Friday, the 9th inst. Mr. C. C. Druce, presidrnt, took tbe chair, and upwards of 200 gentlemen were present.
The meeting was convened for the purpose of considering whether any further action should be taken by the society in the cases of The Law Society v. Waterlow Brothers $ Layton and The Law Society v. Shaw <t Blake, which, as our readers will remember, were actions brought against the firms referred to to recover penalties on the ground that they had acted as solicitors, contrary to section 26 of the Solicitors Act, 1860. These actions were tried in Hay, 1881, before Mr. Justice Grove, the jnry being discharged in each case by consent; judgment was entered for the society, and execution stayed, it having been arranged that, in view of an appeal, a statement of facts should be handed to the judge to be appended to his notes. The appeals were beard in February last, the court holding that the defendants did act with respect to a proceeding in tbe Court of Probate, but that they did not contravene the provisions of the statute, for that they did not act as proctors in their own names, or in the name of any other person; this judgment being based upon the view taken by the court, that the law stationers charged the solicitors a messenger's fee only for the time occupied in attending at the Probate Registry, and that, therefore, what bad been done did not come within the restrictions of the Act. The council had since taken counsel's opinion as to the advisability of carrying tbe case to the House of Lords, from which the followiog is an extraot :—
"We consider that the judgment of the Court of Appeal reduces the question to one point—viz., whether, in doing what they did, the defendants acted as proctors. If they did not act as proctors, we consider that it might, on the same principle, be held that in attending summonses at chambers, they would not act as solicitors. We are still of opinion that the relation of master and servant must subsist between a clerk and a solicitor in order to enable the former to bo the alter ego of the latter for the purpose of the solicitor's acts, and, having regard to the importance of the principle at issue, we advise an appeal, and think there is a very fair prospect of success."
Tbe circular convening the meeting stated that tbe council, aoting on this opinion, had taken the necessary steps towards appealing to the House of Lords, but before proceeding further tbey thought it right to take the opinion of the general body of the members on the subject.
The President said : Gentlemen, this is the second special general meeting we have had this year, being the commencement of a new regime. The present meeting is convened, as you will have learned from the circular, to consider the course we are to pursne in the actions we have brought against Messrs. Waterlow and Messrs. Shaw & Blake, by reason of their transacting, through their clerks, that which we have been advised is solicitors' business.
Whether wa were rightly advised or not is hardly for me to say. The judge of the first court, Mr. Justice Grove, decided in our favour, and the matter then went up to the Court of Appeal, and the Lords Justices decided the other way. Before carrying these proceedings to the House of Lords, as the council feel that they themselves, following the example of the judges, were not entirely unanimous in the matter, we thought we ought to take the feeling of our constituents as to the expediency and wisdom of bringing these appeals before the highest tribunal. In this case, as in all others, if we were assured of success we would undoubtedly go on—not only that we might succeed, but also for the purpose of vindicating a principle of great importance and weight. On the other hand, we might fail. I do not wish myself, in the position I occupy, to influence the meeting at all, and I think tbe most convenient mode of starting the discussion will be that some member should make a motion on the subject. Mr. Keen will probably move that the appeals ba proceeded with.
Mr. Grinham Keen.—It will simplify matters if I at once mako the motion that we proceed with our appeal.
Mr. Bromley.—Would it not be desirable that we should havesome explanation more in detail as to tbe present proceedings in this litigation?
Mr. Keen.—The case has heen fully reported. The aotion is against law stationers for applying for grants at the Probate Office—in fact, acting as proctors and solicitors, and action has been taken by the council, as tbe circular shows. The names of the counsel are Sir Hardinge Giffard, Mr. Reid, aad Mr. Fitzgerald.
Mr. Bromley.—Is tbe opinion in writing?
Mr. Keen.—Yes. It is quoted in your circular.
Mr. Finch.—la the case before the meeting?
Mr. Keen said it had been before the members in three annual reports. Those members who had taken an interest in the proceedings of tho council had watched it for the last three years. The council had reported it most fully. He proposed that the society should go on with the appeal for the following reasons :—The first reason was that the Probate Office was an office of the High Court of Justice as well as the Queen's Bench Office |or Chanoery Offices. It was ao office of tbe High Court of Justice. The work to be done there in applying for grants and letters ot administration was not a messenger's work. It was a clerk's work, or a proctor's work. Tbey all knew in their practice that in suing to Somerset House and applying for grant and letters of administration tbey must be able to answer the objections of the olerk of the seat, and satisfy his queries, and it depended upon the way in which this was done as to whether the business in hand was put forward or retarded. Therefore it was not a messenger's work, but that of a principal or a clerk. If the decision which had been given held good, then a messenger could practise in chambers in the High Court, and could argue a summons before the judge at obambers. They might even send a commissionaire out of the streets to argue a summons in chambers. He had always understood that a solicitor had the sole right to practise in the High Court, and that barristers bad the sole right of audience, but if that was not the case tbe alter ego of the solicitor might be anybody ; ergo, the solicitor had no longer the right to practise. Lord Justice Brett, of whose judgment he wished to speak with the greatest respect, was not quite consequent in the remarks he made. He said, in the first instance, that it was a messenger's work, but in the latter part of his judgment he said that if this messenger did the business to the satisfaction of the authorities, that Seemed to be everything, and nobody could complain. But the Somerset House people complained to the council. The council had heaps of letters. They, so to speak, had put the council in motion. Therefore, it was either a messenger, or a clerk, or a principal that ought to go. If a messenger, bow could it be a question of whether he did the business properly or improperly? That, he (Mr. Keen) ventured to say, was the inconsequent part of the decision. It was no messenger's work, it was a clerk's work or a principal's. It is the solicitor's part to practise in the High Court, and take the proceedings, and it is the barrister's part to speak. If this state of things were altered, it would bo a most dangerous result for the profession, and for the public. The matter seemed to bim in a nutshell. If it was a proceeding in tha High Court of Justice, then it was a solicitor's business to take that proceeding. Could his alter ego be the servant of a thousand masters P Ha (Mr. Keen) said most emphatically, "No." This question of law stationers was a most serious one. He had received a letter from a gentleman, not long since, asking him to give nn appointment to his law stationer, in order that he might attend at bis (Mr. Keen's) office, and compare an abstract of title with tbe deeds. He ventured to bring before them the extreme danger of shilly-shallying as to whether they should go on with the appeals. He hoped they would, and therefore moved that the society do prosecute this appeal to the House of Lords.
Mr. Osbaldeston seconded the motion.
Mr. Paine (vice-president) thought it right to state to the meeting that tiers were two sides to the question, especially as it did not touch a very large proportion of the profession at all. He was not a London agent or a country solicitor, but it touched a London agent one way, and a country solicitor, who chose to resort to the practice complained of, another, and if there were any culpability it was on the part of tbe country solicitor, and not the law stationer against whom they were proceeding. He wished the members of the society to be aware that there were serious difficulties. They had the unanimous opinion of the Court of Appeal, composed of three learned judges, which was given right off. It seemed to bim, by the admissions which their counsel bad, no dou bt, properly made, that the judges could not turns to any other conc lusion. They rightly held that the stationer was a clerk to the solicitor. All the proceedings were taken in the solicitor's name, and with tba greatest possible deforence to the very eminent counsel they had consulted, tha chances were very much against their succeeding on the appeal. If tbey did not succeed, twelve months henoe they wonld have spent £1,500, and be just where they were at present. As one of the trustees of the members' interests, he thought it his duty to bring this before them.
Mr. Finch entirely agreed with the general observations of Mr. Keen. They were met to consider a proceeding which involved the ontlay of a considerable eom of money, and he thought they should consider whether they were likely to succeed in the appeal. They had the unanimous opinion of the Conrt of Appeal, and he thought it was a good decision, and had not heard anything to bring him to the conclusion that it was not. The two cases presented to the Court of Appeal involved very distinct propositions. First, they embraced the aetion of country solicitors employing London law stationers to do certain work; and, secondly, they involved ihe action of London solicitors employing law stationers to do work, whioh were very distinct questions. A further point was whether the work done waB or Wbs not a proceeding under the Act. The judges were unanimous in saying it was a proceeding in a court. That being so, the inference was—and the judges referred to t—that the country solicitors were dearred from employing any but London solicitors to do that which their London agents could do. That seemed a fair decision, The other point was as to whether or not the law stationers employed were acting as proctors. He could not see how anyone, looking at it in the light of common sense, could for a moment doubt that the law stationer employed by a solioitor, the solicitor's name being upon the papers, was acting simply as an agent or clerk, and would goback to the solioitor for further information. The law stationer so acting in the mere administration of mechanical functions—
Mr. Kern.—Not mechanical.
Mr. Finch.—They are so stated in the decision; I am merely quoting.
Mr. Keen.—The decision is wrong.
Mr. Finch could not see what the solicitors had to complain of in that respect. He was not a London agent and, therefore, perhaps, did not take tli.it degree of interest or exhibit that degree of prejudioe which might otherwise bo the case ; but if he had been he did not see what they had to complain of. The country solicitors, with this decision before them, surely would no longer go on employing law stationers in this way. The judges had hinted at the fact that a country solicitor may be liable to a penalty if he does; and after such a rule had been laid down for their guidance would they set it at naught? He did not believe it, and, until they did, he would not believe it; and if they did, instead of going against the law stationer, the society should go against the country solicitor. He thonght it a serious thing for the society to take a case from the Oourt of Appeal to the House of Lords. He had not seen anything to induce him to think that the decision would be reversed. Here was an opinion quoted in ihe circular:—"We consider that the judgment of the Court of Appeal reduces the question to one point—viz., whether in doing what they did the defendants acted as proctors." He asked bow any of them, after reading that, thought they could persuade the House of Lords to declare that the law stationers were acting as prootors in doing this work P Then the opinion continued—" If they did not act as proctors, we consider that it might, on the same principle, be held that in attending summonses at chambers they would not act as solicitors." Anything more far-fetched and fallacious than an allusion to the attendance at chambers he did not know. Attendances at chambers were for the purpose of doing only that which a skilled person could do. They did not send a commissionaire to argue the summonses at chambers, but if they wanted to send one to Somerset House with their papers why should they be debarred from doing it P Then the opinion said:—" We are still of opinion that the relation of master and servant must subsist between a clerk and a solicitor in order to enable the former to be the alter ego of the latter for the purpose of the solicitor's acts." He felt quite sure that everybody injtbe room, when his business was pressing, must have sent out to a law stationer, and have said, "Send me an extra hand or two," and was not he, for the time, a cleik to the solicitor? The stationer charges the time of the man, and the solicitor made out his bill to his client and charged for his time as a clerk. He had been a little misled in the matter. He had read the statements in the annual reports, which he had no doubt were conscientiously and fairly given, and no doubt his want of intelligence had misled him. In the report for 1880 he found this statement:— "In the last annual report, the counoil adverted to the irregular practice of employing law stationers to transact non-contentious business in the Probate Division of the High Court, for and in the name of solicitors, on terms of remuneration or agency." Of course, if the law stationer was remunerated as an agent that was a serious matter j but they had it on tbo case before the Court of Appeal that there was nothing of the kind. The law stationer did not charge agency, but merely a small fee in remuneration for the time that he had been employed. But they were not there to discuss the morale of the thing or the general conduct of law stationers. They mnst keep their minds close to the case before them, and reading the judgment and the caso, and seeing that the facts were not in dispute, he had a very strong impression that the House of Lords would not reverse the judgment, and what were the society going to get for it? He, for one, did not wish to be debarred from sending a law stationer to Somerset House, or even a commissionaire, and if the country solicitors were doing that which was a just matter of complaint according to the decision, tbey were probably liable to a penalty, and, if that was ao, let them be proceeded against. The law stationer was not the proper party to be attacked.
Mr. Bromley could not help wishing that tie council had kindly taken the members into their confidence before commencing this action, whioh was a grave step to take. They ought 10 have set out carefully the strongest cases that could be instanced, or waited for stronger cases, if necessary, before they inttitnted proceedings. He was sure, however, that the council had not acted without consideration. They had instituted the proceedings, and they had been prosecuted to a certain point, and it was now a distinct question whether they should not follow the proceedings to the Honse of Lords. The coancil were asking the members for an indemnity for the past and for their sanction for the stepB to be taken in the future. He thought it wise that the proceedings should not be abandoned, but that they should be carried to the highest |
Court of Appeal. Mr. Keen had spoken of law stationers attending summonses. Such cases wonld bave strengthened the matter very much, but here, unfortunately, it was confined to the aotion of certain law stationers who were, in the first instance, set in motion by the country solicitors, and it was, at least, a debateable question whether the acts complained of were not merely ministerial acts that could be done by any messenger or agent. He thought they would lose ground morally if they failed in these actions, and they had better follow counsel's advice and carry them to the House of Lords.
Mr. H. H. Richabdson suggested that they should accept the decision of the Court of Appeal and go to Parliament and obtain an Act for preventing the injury complained of. As the society's balance-sheet, recently put into the hands of the members, showed that the balance at the bankers was rednced from what it was last year, he thought they should have a special fund for the purpose of proceeding, should the meeting arrive at the determination to carry on the appeal. It would not be fair that the general body of the members should be taxed for the special behoof of the proctors. He thonght those gentlemen had brought it upon themselves by their own misconduct. They charged country solicitors for Work which they did not do, and wanted to share in the fees for affidavits which they never drew.
Mr. Osbaldeston observed that if the society weut to the Legislature as suegested, for an Act of Parliament, they would be met with the inquiry, "Why haven't you been to the House of Lords P"
Mr. Pritchard, as a member of an old proctorial firm, denied that the proctors acted as had been stated. He had never, in all his experience, known a prootor to charge for work which had not been done by him. It appeared to him that none of the speakers had touched upon the main subject. If they permitted the judgment to stand as it was at present, they would be letting in the thin end of the wedge, and they wonld be having the unqualified persons trying how far they could go, and thus bringing upon them an amount of litigation which they wonld not be able to prevent. If Mr. Finch had proved bis case that a solicitor, if he pleased, could say to a law stationer, "Do this and do that," and the law stationer would become his clerk for the purpose of doing it, why could not he send up a law stationer to issue a writ P He would be his clerk for the time being. It was of the greatest importance to the profession at large that any attempt to interfere with the privilege solicitors possessed of practising in the courts should be stamped out.
Mr. E. Lonomore (Hertford) thought there should be no question between the London and country solicitors. He very much regretted that there should be any solicitors so regardless of the interests of their profession as to put law stationers in a position to act in these matters. Country solicitors bad a slight excuse that they saved their pockets, but that any London solicitor should act in this way Wsb to him extraordinary. The great difficulty of the country solicitor at a great distance from the office was to obtain a knowledge of the correct form of practice, and a law stationer on the spot was better able to ascertain the proper form of affidavit and so on than a country solicitor many miles away. He believed that affidavits were frequently prepared by the law stationers and sent to the country solicitor to be sworn. The cases brought forward were not so strong as might have been procured, and he was inclined to think law stationers did much more than they admitted in their defence that they had done. It seemed to him perfectly clear that the relationship of master and servant mnst exist in order to enable an unqualified person to do the acts of the only person entitled to perform them under this Act. There was one argument of Sir Hardinge Giffard's that had not been adequately dealt with in the judgments, and that was that the country solicitor was not qualified at all to go into the Court of Probate, and surely if a law stationer acted in the Court of Probate for the country solicitors he acted in the names of persons not duly qualified to appear there. If this decision is law, there will be nothing to prevent country solicitors employing their law stationers to do all their London agents at present do for them.
Mr. Taylor remarked that if it was the opinion of the council that nothing whatever could be done by a solicitor except through his clerk, that was entirely opposed to the opinion he had always entertained, and if that was the only ground for the opinion they had formed it was one that could not meet with the approval of the meeting. If these solicitors were liable, whether country or not, the council Bhould proceed against them; if they were not liable, then they could, by legislative enactment, be made liable, but it seemed to him they would be uselessly throwing away money to prosecute the appeal. Let them consider what the result would be when tbe deeision of the Court of Appeal was confirmed, as undoubtedly it would be. Would not their position be then muoh worse t Tbey had already gone a very expensive way to work in employing an onuido solicitor instead of doing the work through their secretary.
Mr. H. H. Bubnb, speaking as a country solicitor, eonld say for himself that be had never employed a law stationer to go to Somerset House for the purpose in question, or for residuary accounts, or for anything else. Country solicitors had every facility for sending such accounts as could be posted through the post. Their own clerks wrote the letters, and if the judge of the Probate Court, with the assistance of the Treasury, would give them the same facility for proving wills by correspondence as they possessed in the district registries, all this which was complained of would be at an end. Of course, in tbe cases referred to by Mr, Keen, where explanations were necessary, the clerk or the principal or the London agent must attend, but these cases were extremely rare. He believed it would be a perfectly foregone conclusion that the council would be beaten.
Mr. H. E. Gribblb thought that two questions were being mixed up. It was open to them individually to discuss whether they would be beaten or successful, but as a body they must rely upon the opinions of the eminent connsel they had consulted. It was certainly as much for the interest of the country as the London solicitors that this thin end of the wedge should be kept out, therefore he wonld decidedly vote for the council being guided by the opinion of their counsel.
Mr. Woodward supported tbe resolution. He thought they ought to do
their utmost to stamp out the encroachments of law stationers. A proposal had been made to him a few weeks Bince by a well-known West of England firm of solicitors that an equally well-known firm of law stationers should attend at his office to settle the transfer of a mortgage.
Mr. T. Clarkson argued that if the solicitors could go and get this adventitious aid of law stationers, why not then that of accountants and the number of other people who were always anxions to do the work of solicitors without being properly qualified. There never was a time when there were so many attacks on the solicitors as the present, and it behoved the members to do all they conld to put a stop to them. He had observed an advertisement in the Times of that day as follows:—" Lawyers' costs. A qualified gentleman of large experience is prepared, without payment, to investigate solicitors' bills of costs, whether paid or not, and to recover overcharges possibly given up by town or country clients as lost." It had been suggested that they would not succeed in their appeal. They should not allow themselves to be debarred from carrying it on for that reason. There were grounds for appealing, as they had been advised by their eminent counsel, and he thonght it would be but the proper course, out of respect to that opinion, to prooeed.
Mr. F. R. Parker said this was not the time to discuss whether the council were right in entering upon the course they had adopted; the proper time for so doing was when the council had reported it year by year. He very much doubted whether it was wise to start it originally, but, having arrived at its present stage, he thought they would be both cowardly and foolish if they did not take the matter to the highest court. He agreed that they might be beaten, bnt that would not be any misfortune, for it would pave the way te further legislstion if it be needed. This was about the most important litigation the society had ever started, and it ought never to be left as it was. It was of even greater importance to the country than to the London solicitors. He did not know if all those present were aware of the manner in whioh these stationers obtained their work. Certainly the country solicitors did employ them, but they did so at the instance of a very pressing messenger or traveller sent round by the law stationers, and he knew of a firm who aotually employed a solicitor to travel in the country to obtain orders. Could a solicitor descend to a lower stage? He did not think he could, and he thonght that he, as well as the law stationer, should be put down. If the deoision of the Court of Appeal was right it amounted to this, that it was a licence to poachers to intrude upon the preserves of solicitors.
Mr. J. W. Budd remarked that they were all agreed in one object, and that was by every reasonable means to pat an end to the aggression of unauthorized persons upon the privileges of their profession. The sole question was whether it was desirable to prosecute this appeal as one of these means, and he was strongly of opinion that it was undesirable to do so. He was afraid that by their own admissions in the aotion tbey had put themselves out of court. The case had been very carefully considered by three able j udges of appeal, who had given an unanimous and unhesitating opinion against them upon the particular point upon which they were asked to appeal. He thought it a very strong measure to appeal against an unanimous deoision of that kind. It must also be borne In mind that the council were the guardians of the money of other people, and they had to consider whether the end justified the expenditure which would have to be incurred. He did not hesitate to say that there were a great meny present who would never advise a client nnder similar circumstances to appeal, and he could not help thinking that they would be acting more wisely to wait nntil they found some more suitable occasion for prosecuting the end which they all had in view—namely, the prevention of aggression upon the profession—and this he did not think would be secured by prosecuting this appeal.
Mr. J. Moxou Clabon remarked that the simple result of the action would be that if they were beaten they would not be able next year to pay so much off their mortgage as would otherwise have been the case. The word "shame " had been mentioned; he thought it would be a shame if they stopped in the middle of this action. It would be no shame to be beaten.
Mr. Joseph Dodds, M.P., said that the council were by no means unanimous on this question, and therefore thought it desirable to take the opinion of the members. Mr. Parker had answered many of the observations whioh bad been made with regard to the course adopted by the counoil, and especially the suggestion that they had come there for an act of indemnity. Tbey had done nothing as a council that required an indemnity. As a country solicitor he might venture to express his own opinion. There were oases in the country where it was almost necessary that they should employ law stationers. (No, no.) He must adhere to his opinion. It was a practice which ought to be avoided in every oase where it was possible, bnt there were cases in which the country solicitor should be allowed to exercise his discretion. But it was not a question whether they should attaok the law stationer or the oountry solicitor, it was simply a question whether, as business men having entered upon a matter of this kind and taken the opinion of the Court of Appeal, they should rest content without having it finally settled as a question of law. He did not think there was one among them who would not say to a client in similar circumstances, "You may be beaten, the chances are that yon will; but there is a very large stake in it, and you must have the matter settled by the final Court of Appeal." He ventured strongly to recommend that they should not stop where they were, but that they should obtain the decision of the final Court of Appeal, and then oonsider what course they should pursue.
Mr. Salaman contended that the issue was whether the solicitors, as a respectable body, should give way to the law stationers and tonters of London. If so, let them relinquish the proceedings.
Mr. E. Kimber said that it appeared to him that the question was one between monopolists and the outside public. The solicitors were the monopolists, and whilst they were so were entitled by every means in their power to prevent others from infringing that monopoly. He was not of opinion that they wonld succeed in their appeal, but he was of opinion that they 01115lit to fight it. He should like to ask Mr. Dodds whether he thonght
the present House of Commons, or any other House of Commons, would be in favour of extending the monopoly of the solicitor profession? Every single committee that had sat in the Houses of Parliament upon any legal question at all had given most undoubted proof that they were of opinion that tbo monopoly should not be extended.
Mr. Keen, in reply, observed that the council had taken the members fully into their confidence in 1879, and told them they were going to try the question, and the members all agreed to it. Everything was laid before counsel ; the cases wore most carefully seleoted, and everything done in the most careful manner possible. Since these actions had taken place the council had received a letter from Mr. Freshfield to the effect that a large business was being done in distringas by law stationers. That was what was coming, and therefore what he wished to say was that if they did not take actions in matters of this kind a blow would bs struck at the usefulness of the society wbich could not be exaggerated.
The motion was then put and carried by an overwhelming majority, only six hands being held up against it.
SOLICITORS' BENEVOLENT ASSOCIA TION. The twenty-second anniversary festival of the Solicitors' Benevolent Association was held at the Star and Garter Hotel, Richmond, on Wednesday, Mr. Francis Thomas Birchak presiding. About 100 guests sat down to dinner, amongst whom were the President of the Incorporated Law Society, U. K. (Mr. C. C. Druco), the President of the Hull Law Society, the President of tho Cambridgeshire Law Society, the President of the Bury Law Society, Mr. John Pearson, Mr. Gordon Whitbread, Mr. Joseph Dodds, MP., Mr. E. Waugh, M.P., Rev. J. G. Lloyd, M.A., Chairman of Board (Mr. P. Rickman), DoputyChairman of Board (Mr. H. T. Sankey), Mr. Arnold W. "White, Mr. Samuel Bircham, Mr. H. Roscoo, Mr. Major Bircham, Mr. N. T. Lawrence, Mr. W. J. Karrer, Mr. E. J. Bristow, Mr. J. Mackrell, Mr. W. M. Walters, Mr. P. B. Brown, Mr. W. W. Woolnough, Mr. W. F. Blandy, Mr. G. Keen, Mr. F. T. Velev, Mr. T. W. Budd, Mr. T. H. Budd, Mr. S. Harris, Mr. E. W. Holt, Mr". E. Wason, Mr. H. Sowton, Mr. T. Skewes-Cox, Mr. C. Burt, Mr. H. J. Francis, Mr. H. C. J. Groves, Mr. G. E. Steward, Mr. F. W. Steward, Mr. R. Pennington, Mr. J. W. Russell, Mr. W. E. Shirley, Mr. J. C. Barnard, Mr. D. C. Taylor, Mr. N. Hanhart, Mr. A. R. Gillman, Mr. E. Low, Mr. H. Briggs, Mr. G. R. Dodd, Mr. H. F. Lawes, Mr. H. 8. Styan, Mr. J. A. Rose, Mr. J. H. Kayes, Mr. W. B. Brook, Mr. E. Hedger, Mr. S. Smith, Mr. J. Lewis, Mr. R. E. Mellersh, Mr. W. H. Roberts, Mr. W. Elgood, Mr. R. B. Jones, Mr. R. M. Bower, Mr. J. Tarry, Mr. F. E. Sawyer, Mr. J. Lidiard, Mr. R, Jones, Mr. A. Windus, Mr. R. Prall, Mr. H. Brandon, Mr. R. Pidcock, Mr. H. W. Trinder, &c.
"The Queen, tho Prince and Princess of Wales, and the other Mcmbors of the Royal Family," having been proposed by tho Chairman, and duly honoured,
The Chairman gave, "The Army, Navy, and Auxiliary Forces," coupling with it tho names of Mr. Arnold W. White for the Navy, and Major Bircham for the Army, remarking, en passant, that the former gentleman at an early period of his life had tho honour of serving in that branch of tho forces for which ho would respond.
Mr. White and Major Bircham having acknowledged the toast, Mr. W. Mblmoth Walters, in submitting "The Bench and tho Bar," observed that if the Chairman had claimed their loyalty, as lawyers, for a toast to Her Majesty tho Queen, he (Mr. Walters) could do no leas than claim their suffrages, as being loyal to the bench and the bar, for a toast which was always received with enthusiasm amongst solicitors. It was true that the bench and tho bar monopolised the prizes of the profession. The solicitors wore not entitled to those prizes, and therefore they had no feeling of envy towards those who were, and when their friends at the bar were raised to the bench there was no feeling amongst tho solicitors that thoy had been wronged thereby, but they were able to rejoice in the promotion and to encourago those who were promoted. The solicitors also felt that, to a certain extent, these promotions were a recognition of their foresight in discovering the powers that existed in tho individuals who had been raised to the bench, and had put them into tho positions which had brought them into tho foremost ranks of tho bar, and had thus enabled them to roceive promotion. The solicitor must be content with a more modest ambition; and he might well seo before him, on entering upon his career, the inscription, "All hope abandon ye who enter hero." If ho wanted to attain to highor ends ho must go next door—to tho bar. Ho (Mr. Walters) was not ono of those who would wish that the bar and the solicitor branch of tho profession should bo amalgamated. Each had his own work to do in his own place, and tho interests of the client, and of tho difFeront branchos of tho profession, and of tho public generally, wore better served by a division of labour than by an amalgamation, which, in his opinion, would only result in confusion. At the same time, the solicitors could look calmly on, and, without any fooling of envy, congratulate their friends who obtained tho glittering prizes of tho profession. But if the solicitor had not the showy rewards which fell to tho lot of some, he had oftentimes the satisfaction of having won the confidence of his client and the esteem of his brethren—no small object of ambition. Theso wero times of change for the bench and for tho bar. They had been let alone till 1852 when tho Common Law Proceduro Act was passed; but since then there had beon the Judicature Acts, New Rules, Acts of Parliament, and Amended Acts of Parliament, and all things pilod one on top of the other, till tho clearest head had been in a state of confusion; but their friends on the bench had suited themsolves to tho various circumstances, and found thomselves equal to tho work which came beforo them. And he might be permitted to say of the bench, that it fully maintained tho lustre which had marked it in, previous ages. No ago would compare with the present in respect to tho purity of the administration of justice. Such a thing as corruption was unknown now-a-days. Now-a-days such a thing as the