Page images

ficate bolders; that, if there was an Association, no busi- in the widow's possession, and one of the daughters said that ness was carried on; and that, if any business was carried her mother had told her that she had made the payments on, it was carried on, not by the certificate holders, or by out of the capital of the son's share, and it appeared that he the trustees as their agents, but by the trustees as the legal bad written to his mother asking her to pay his debts. owners of the property, and that, as the trustees were less Malins, V.C., allowed the payment as part of the son's than twenty in number, section 4 would not apply. JAMES. share, and his decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeal L.J., said that the powers given to the trustees were only (JESSEL, M.R., and James and BRETT, L.JJ.). JESSEL, of the same kind as those which might be given to the | M.R., said that in taking an executor's accounts in chamtrustees of a settlement or & will when the trust property

bers, especially after the death of the executor, the judge was very large. The purpose of the deed was only to exercised a discretion, and did not require strict legal evisecure a good investment of capital by spreading it over a

dence of every item. To require strict evidence would in namber of securities, and thus to obtain the benefit of many cases simply be to rob the estate of the deceased the doctrine of averages-to get a good dividend, and,

executor. If such evidence was required, either every at the same time, to have a good security for the invested | executor must institute an administration action, at the latest capital. This decision in effect overrules that of Jessel. | within a few years after the testator's death, or he would be M.R., in Sykes v. Beadon, a case which the Court of Appeal

mulcted of large sums which he bad honestly expended. recognized as involving the same principle as Smith v.

Though the court would not allow the Statute of LimitaAnderson. BRETT, L.J., added that the same reasoning

tations to be set up against a cestui que trust, still it must do would lead to the conclusion that the opinion of the Master

justice in a reasonable way, and not require strict proof of of the Rolle, expressed in In re Arthur Average Association

every item in an executor's account." JAMES, L.J., said (23 W. R. 939, L. R. 10 Cb. 542), that mutaal insurance

that the court was bound to act upoa reasonable probability associations consisting of more than twenty members are

and fair inference, and ought to set its face against any illegal if not registered under the Companies Act, 1862,

attempt to plunder the estate for costs. BRETT, L.J., said was wrong. He was inclined to think that no transaction

that the rule which the Master of the Rolls had laid down within the association, no transaction between the mem

was a most wholesome one, and it was absolutely necessary bers themselves, would bring the case within soction 4.

for the purposes of justice.-SOLICITORS, J. P. Murrough; COTTON, L.J., said that, if it bad been apparent that the

Bowlings, Foyer, & Hordern. real object of the trust was that the trustees should speculate in investments of a particular class, the case would have stood in a very different position.-SOLICITORS, Ashurst, PRACTICE-ADDING PARTIES-AMENDMENT OF PLEADINGS Morris, & Co.; Baxters of Co.

-APPLICATION AFTER FINAL JUDGMENT_ORD. 16, R. 13.In a case of The Attorney-General y. The Borough of

Birmingham, before the Court of Appeal on the 21st inst., a PRACTICE-MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL-APPEAL-TRIAL BY question arose as to the power of the court to order the JUDGE WITHOUT JURY-ORD. 39, R. 1A-ORD. 58, B. 5A amendment of the pleadings after final judgment in the (MARCH, 1879) (Vide 23 SOLICITORS' JOURNAL,448, 449).-A action. The suit was commenced by information and bill case of Pannell v. Nunn, before the Court of Appeal on the at the relation of a landowner, who was the plaintiff, and in 21st inst., shows that the proper mode of proceeding to obtain | April, 1875, a decree was made, granting a perpetual ina new trial, when an action has been tried by a judge without junction to restrain the defendants from pollating by their a jary, is not yet fully understood. The action was tried by sewage a certain river. And, on the undertaking of the Stephen, J., without a jury, who gave judgment for the de. defendants to carry on certain works for the purifioation of fendant, not finding a verdict on the facts separately from their sewage, and the undertaking of the plaintiff not to his decision on the law, but giving his judgment on the facts enforce the injunction for five years, it was ordered that and the law. The plaintiff gave notice of appeal from the the defendants should pay the plaintiff £6,000 for damages judgment, asking, by his notice, that the judgment entered and costs op to the date of the decree. In September, for the defendant might be set aside, and that instead ! 1877, the defendants' sanitary district was by an Act of thereof judgment might be entered for the plaintiff, or Parliament embodied, with other districts, into a larger that a new trial might be had. This notice was accepted by united district, the powers and liabilities of the defendants the officer of the court in the first instance without any objec

being vested in the new distriot board. In April, 1880, the tion as a proper notice, but afterwards the appellant's plaintiffs took out a summons, ander r. 13, of ord, 16, asking solicitor was informed by him that the notice had been re that they might be at liberty to amend the information ceived by mistake, and that the proper course would have and bill by adding the distriot board as defendants. Bacon, been to apply for a rule nisi for a new trial. The point was

| V.C., granted the application. The defendants appealed. then mentioned to the Court of Appeal (JESSEL, M.R., and The Court of Appeal (JESSEL, M.R., and James and BRETT, JAMES and BRETT, L.JJ.) who said that the practice had

L.JJ.) held that an order to amend could not be made been settled by the decision of the Court of Appeal at West

aftor final judgment, and that the only way of enforcing minster in Potter v. Cotton (28 W. R. 160, L. R. 5 Ex. D.

the judgment against the distriot board would be by com137), and that the appellant would be quite safe in relying

mencing a new action against them.-SOLICITORS, Sharpe, upon the notice wbich he had already given.-SOLICITOR,

Parkers, & Co.; Paines, Layton, & Co. James Goren.

ADMINISTRATION ACTION-TAKING ACCOUNTS OF EXECU. PRACTICE — NOTICE OF INJUNCTION BY TELEGRAM TOR IN CHAMBERS—EVIDENCE OF PAYMENTS.-In a case of | DUTY OF PARTIES RECEIVING SUCH NOTICE-Costs.-In & Raines v. Raines, before the Court of Appeal on the 21st case of Tonkinson v. Cartledge, before the Master of the inst., a question arose as to the evidence which ought to be Rolls on the 16th inst., a motion was made to commit the adduced of payments made by an executor upon the taking defendant, her solicitor, and an auctioneer, who had sold of his accounts in an administration action. The testator, who certain effects which the plaintiff alleged belonged to her, died in 1859, had given bis property to trustees, upon trust and which had been seized under a distress for rent. The for his wife for ber life, with remainder for his six children plaintiff obtained an ex parte injunction against the defendin equal shares, and bad appointed his wife sole executrix. ant on the 2nd of July, restraining the sale under the distress The income of the property was only a little more than £200 about to take place that day at two o'clock at Newcastlea year. The widow from time to time paid debts contracted under-Lyme." Notice of the injunction was sent by by one of the sons while he was at the university, the sums telegram to the auctioneer and the defendant's former thos paid amounting in all to £332. She died in 1877, and solicitor between eleven and twelve. The auctioneer, after after her death the action was brought to administer the consulting with the defendant and her solicitor, continued the testatrix's estate, her representative being a party to it. The sale, and the motion was made in respect of this contempt. question was whether this sum was to be taken as having In answer to the motion, it was alleged that the defendant, been paid out of the capital of the son's share, and whether who was the aunt of the plaintiff, and her solicitor, and the it was to be set off against his share. The set-off was opposed, auctioneer, all believed that no order had, in fact, been made, by some mortgagees of the share. There was no strict and that the telegram was a forgery. It was also proved legal proof that the widow had made the payments out of that the local agent of the plaintiff's solicitors knew nothing the capital. But the vouchers for the payments were found of the injunction. The defendant's solicitor did not, however

communicate by telegram with the plaintiff's solicitors, and & Lambsrt ; Peacock & Goddard ; Thomson, Son, $ Brooks ; only wrote to them on the following day. It also appeared Marson & Greenfield; Dod of Longstaffe; Ramsden $ that the defendant's solicitor bad a London office. The Austin. plaintiff did not now press for a committal, but simply that the respondents might be ordered to pay the costs of the motion. JESSEL, M.R., said he thought he might strain a point in

CHARITABLE USES ACT-PURE OR IMPURE PERSONALTY favour of the auctioneer, and not order him to pay the costs, in -MONEY CHARGED BY BOND ON POLICE RATES.-In & case consequence of the observations of Lord Justice James, in Ec of Re Harris, Jackson v. Governors of Queen Anne's Bounty parte Langley (L. R. 13 Ch. D. 110). It was no doubt the before the Master of the Rolls on the 19th inst., a quesauctioneer's duty to have sent a telegram back to the plain-| tion was argued whether certain bonds charged on the tiff's solicitors, and so bave inquired if the injunction were police rates of the division of a county were a charge on really granted, but as he had his positive affidavit (said by land so as to be impure personalty. The bonds were in James, L.J., in the above case to be sufficient to save similar form, and were signed by three jastices present in him from the contempt) that he thought the telegram a annual general session. After reciting two Acts of the forgery, there was just sufficient to save him from the costs, 2 & 3 Vict. and 3 & 4 Vict., " for the establishment of more especially as there were other persons to pay them. county and district constables," giving the justices power As to the defendant's solicitor, the Master of the Rolls | to order station-houses to be provided in such places certainly thought he had acted with imprudence. He had as the justices should think fit, and for that purpose to an office in London, and he had a telegram between eleven purchase and hold lands and to build and provide such and twelve stopping a sale to take place at two, and it was station-houses, and to defray their cost out of the police his plain duty, if he had any doubt as to the authenticity of | rates, and to borrow money for such purposes, and to the telegram, to have telegraphed to the plaintiff's solicitors charge the fature police rates with the amounts of the and asked them if it was gengine or not. There was ample loans and interest, and reciting the facts as to the time before the sale to bave done this, but he did nothing partionlar loan, the bond witnessed that the justices, in until the next day, when the sale was over. The next day be exercise of the powers in the said Acts, thereby charged did write to the plaintiff's solicitors, with whom he evidently the futare police rates of the division with the amount of was acquainted, and asked them whether the telegram was the loan and interest, the principal being repayable by genuine or not, and at once received the answer that it was. instalments. And the justices thereby, as far as they

The solicitor's duty had been as plain as possible, and he lawfully could, directed and ordered the payments to be must certainly pay the costs of the notion. As to the de- made out of snoh police rates. JESSEL, M.R., said that is fendant, she did not even swear in her affidavit that she | his opinion the bonds were not a charge on any lands. believed the telegram was a forgery, she took the risk of The police rates were not row leviable in the same way as allowing the sale to go on, and she must clearly also be formerly. The machinery now was for the justices to issoe ordered to pay the costs of the motion. The order for costs

a precept to the overseers to levy a rate to pay the neceswould be without prejudice to the question of damages that

sary amount. The justices no longer had any direct right the plaintiff might have sustained by reason of the sale having

to levy the police rates, but if the overseers did not pay been proceeded with.-SOLICITORS, Pitman & Lane ; Coopers ; )

the requisite amount they would be personally liable. The Collyer-Bristow, Withers, & Russell.

justices, it appeared, only paid away the sumg actually

paid them, and they had no actual charge on the rates, and PARTNERSHIP-POWER FOR EXECUTOR TO USE PORTION

all they professed to charge by the bonds on the police rates OF TESTATOR's EsTATE IN CONTINUING BUSINESS-LIA

was the amount actually coming to their hands. The case

was within the second ground of the decision in Thornton r. BILITY OF buch Portion OF ESTATE TO CREDITORS OF FIRM WHERE EXECUTOR GUILTY OF BREACH OF TRUST-In a

Kempson (Kay, 592), and also within the priociples laid case of Re Johnson, Shearman v. Robinson, before the Master

down by the Court of Appeal in Attree v. Hawe (L. R. 9 Cb. of the Rolls on the 19th inst., a question was argued on

D. 337), which case must be taken to have overraled Pines further consideration as to the rights of creditors against

v. Squire (10 Veg. 41), and therefore, on principle and a testator's estate where the executor had, under a power in

in | authority, he should decide that the bonds were not impure the will, carried on the business and had become bankrupt. personalty.--SOLICITOR8, Norris, Allens, Carter ; S. Den The power in the will was to carry on the business in

ning. the name of an infant, and to employ an aliquot share of the residue (being the infant's share) in so carrying it on. It TRADE UNION SOCIETY-PURPOSES IN RESTRAINT OF appeared that the executor had carried on the business, and

TRADE-RIGHT TO SUE-TRADES UNION ACT, 1871 (34 & had used, not only an amount equal to the aliquot share, but that he was, in addition, considerably indebted to the

35 Vict. c. 31), ss. 3, 4.--Iu a case of Duke v. Littleby,

before Denman, J. (sitting for Fry, J.), on the 15th insi., estate. The executor had given bills to several creditors,

the question arose whether an action could be maiatained and was now bankrupt. The creditors now contended that, in addition to the personal liability of

by members of a trade union society, the rules of which

the executor, their debts were also a charge on the share of the testator's

showed that the objects of the society were in restraint of residuary estate. JESSEL, M.R., said he understood the doc

trade. The action was brought by the members of the trine to be this: that, where an executor had a limited power

executive council of the society, which was called an to carry on a business and to use certain assets therein,

amalgamated society, against the officers and trastees of s his creditors had a right to stand in the place of the executor

branch of the society, claiming an injunction to restrain as against the testator's estate, and to have the benefit

the defendants from dividing the funds in their heads of any lien on the assets the executor might have.

among the members of the branch, or dealing with tbem If, however, a trustee or executor had robbed the

contrary to the rules of the society and without the contrust estate and had put the money into his own pocket,

sent of the executive council, and an order for payment to there was no such equity as against the cestuis que trust,

the council of so much of the funds of the branch as should whose money he had taken. The different cases on this

not be required for current expenses. The action arose subject did not exactly decide as to the mode of working out

ont of the refusal of the amalgamated society to support a the rights of the creditors in such a case, althougb, in his strike by members of the branch society. The preliminary opinion, the correct principle was laid down by Tarner, objection was taken by the defendants that the action was L.J., in Ex parte Edmunds (4 De G. F. & J. 488), who | one for enforcing an agreement for the application of the there said that the creditors' right was to resort for indemnity | fands of the society to provide benefits to members, within simply to those aseets directed to be employed in the busi- | the meaning of section 4 of the Act, and that consequently, ness—i.e., to put themselves in the position of the executor by virtue of that section, the action could not be mais. quá those assets. There would, bowever, be no right to put tained. DENMAN, J., held that the decision of Jessel, MR., themselves in the position of the executor, except on the | in Rigby v. Connol (28 W. R. 650, ante, p. 321) was in terms of their replacing the trust estate which had been lost point, and he accordingly allowed the objection, and disby him. His lordship then held that, as the facts were not missed the action.-SOLICITORS, W. H. Brooks; Wool very clearly proved as to the partnership dealings, he would bridge & Sons. not distribute the infant's share until the creditors had had an opportunity of ascertaining the facts and presenting a petition to get the fund.-SOLICITORS, Ward, Mills, Witham,



satisfied that they have been able to advance this important question nearer to a favourable solution.” He would like to know how it was nearer a favourable solution if they re.

frained from taking one iota of trouble. Were Sir Wilfred INCORPORATED LAW SOCIETY.

Lawson and his alliance asleep during the election; and what ANNUAL MEETING.

was the result? It was that they bad 229 gentlemen pledged The annual general meeting of members of this society whole country, who would have been able to put their fingers

on his question. But the most powerful trades union in the was held in the hall of the society, in Chancery-lane, on

upon willing agents in every constituency were unable to do Friday afternoon, the 16th inst.

anything. That was a most extraordinary thing, and when Mr. N. T. LAWRENCE, president of the society, occupied the Law Society went before Parliament, it was the reverse the chair.

of surprising that honourable members treated it simply as a After the election of Mr. Jobn Moxon Clabon as president, body of attorneys, if it refused to ask for that consideration and Mr. Charles Claridge Druce as vice-president of this which it was entitled to. What was taking place in Parliasociety for the ensuing year, and Mr. Charles Ponsonby Wil ment now? The public were saying, “You are a strong mer, of 7, New-square ; Mr. James Ward Russell, of 2, body, you are trade unionists ; it you do not care about reBedford-row; and Mr. Joseph Henry Schroder, of 4, Lio form, we will thrust reform down your throats.” Gentlemen coln's-inn-fields, as auditors for the ensuing year,

laymen, like Mr. Joseph Cowen, Sir Baldwin Leighton, Mr. The CHAIRMAN mentioned the list of candidates for the Rowley Hill, and Mr. Eustace Smith, had broaght in the offices of members of the council :~Mr. Lewis Fry, M.P., of Supreme Court of Judicature (District Courts) Bill, and this Bristol ; Mr. Henry Skrine Law Hussey, of Lincoln's-inn ; was the third session in which that Bill had been introduced, Mr. Benjamin Greene Lake, of Lincoln's-inn; Mr. Henry and yet the report was devoid of any mention of it. Yet Markby, of Coleman-street ; Mr. John Hollams, of Mincing Mr. Cowen went a great deal farther than the council ever dane ; Mr. George Burrow Gregory, M.P., Bedford-row ; | thought to demand ; thus in one section be said, “Any Mr. Charles John Follett, of Queen's-gate ; Mr. Frederick solicitor of the Supreme Court may appear and be heard, Halsey Jansen, of Finsbury.circus ; Mr. Edward Field, of as well in court as in chambers, in any district court, Norwich ; Mr. William Alfred Jevons, of Liverpool ; without being required employ counsel." Had Mr. Frederick Leigh Hutchins, of Birchio-lane; Mr. Frederic the council given any consideration to that Bill of Parker Morrell, of Oxford ; Mr. John Eaden, of Cambridge; the influential member for Newcastle ? He thought the DIr. William Stephens Jones, of Malmesbury ; and Mr. least they could have done was to go before the House of William Edwood Shirley, of Doncaster. Thus they had Commods, and say, " This is a public demand, and we ask fifteen members nominated, and the number of vacancies was that it be conceded"; but the council had done nothing. only thirteen; it would, therefore, be necessary to proceed to There was scarcely a single member of that society who an election by voting-papers under the bye-laws. Scruti was not an intimate friend of some member of the House neers were appointed, and the chairman appointed Wednes. of Commons, or House of Lords ; could not those gentleday, the lith of August, as the day for receiving the men be asked in their places in Parliament to support any scrutineers' report.

demand of the council ? He was almost ashamed to be a The CHAIRMAN said the next business was to read the member of a society which could put forward such a report of receipts and disbursements of the society. As helpless report as that, and he was seriously grieved that account had been circulated in print, he assumed that for the reputation of their profession when he found such a the meeting would consider it read, and he therefore moved, body pioning their faith to sach a document. "That the accounts, receipts, and disbursements of the Mr. PROUDFOOT approved of the report as a whole, society for the year ending 31st of December, 1879, be re but in one respect he wanted insoro

tion. At preceived, and approved, and signed by the president."

eent solicitors were at liberty to make bargains with their Mr. CLABON seconded the resolution, and, after a short clients, assuming that the clients were willing to do so, discussion, it was carried unanimously,

and certain forms were gone through so tbat there could The 'CHAIRMAN next moved, " That the annual

be no advantage taken of the client at all. Now, it report be received, and approved, and entered on the appeared from what he read in the report that an mninutes."

endeavoar was being made to fix an amonnt, either in the Mr. CLABON seconded the resolution,

way of percentage or otherwise, so that solicitors should be

bound to take up certain business wbether tbey liked it or Mr. EDMUND KIMBER said he was rather astonished that a

not. Jf toat was what it meant, he for one most strongly report of this kind should be moved by the chairman, and objected to it, for the solicitors would always get the seconded by Mr. Clabon, in the perfunctory manner in which had been, or that it should fall on the meeting like a dead might be fixed, clients would always object to pay that per

worst of the bargain. Whatever amount of percentage letter ; was there nothing upon which anybody should wish to

centage or commission, unless they were perfectly satissay something ? He would simply trouble the meeting with

fied and it agreed with their ideas. He therefore suggested two or three remarks, and would ask it to observe the latin maxim, er uno disce omnes.

for the council's consideration that they should give the At page 16 of the report, dealing with the subject of the call of solicitors to the bar, the option both to the solicitors and clients to enter into these council told them that action in Parliament had been un.

bargains if they thought proper. fortunately rendered impossible by the dissolution and the

The PRESIDENT said the question of obtaining audience change of Government; he simply asked why? How was it

for solicitors at quarter sessions was one the council con

sidered of considerable importance. Notwithstanding that Parliament having been dissolved, and it being well known thoughout this country that the most important

wbat Mr. Kimber had said, it was hopeless to suppose persons concerned in the election of new members were

that a Bill for that purpose could be passed during the the solicitors in different provincial towns, the council

present session of Parliament. As to the question of positively looked upon the dissolution of Parliament almost mentioning bonours obtained by the candidates during as a dissolution of the society and of themselves, and said,

their examinations in the Law List, the council had devoted “We can do nothing.” Why, this was just the time when a

much attention to the preparation of a calendar, in which society like that ought to do something, and ask of those all the distinctions attained by their members should be persons who try to get into Parliament what they intend to recorded, and he would take ihat opportunity to say that do on the questions the society intended to bring before

that would be the more satisfactory mode of noticing sach Parliament. But nothing of the kind had been done. The distinctions. With reference to Mr. Kimber's observations, members were told in that slipshod manner that “ action in

their report stated certain important facts with reference Parliament has been unfortunately rendered impossible by to the important question of facilitating the admission of the dissolution and the change of Government”; let it be solicitors to the bar, and also the approval by Lord Cairns published far and wide tha: the Incorporated Law Society of of the object of the society's Bill for dispensing with the England and Wales, thought to be the strongest trades union in three years' interregnum in the case of solicitors of five the kingdom, failed before a dissolution of the House of years' standing. Mr. Gregory bad done all that it was Commons. Then, as to the next sentence, how could the possible for a private member of Parliament to do, but be dissolution of Parliament be an “adverse influence" ? He had not yet been able to obtain a hearing, as wben bis would like the council to explain that sentence. But, motion came on the House was on the point of being counted motwithstanding this adverse influence, the council are out. It was a subject the council had diligently worked

After a pause,

at, and which they would continue to pursue to the atmost the matter with the view of asking that some attention of their ability. With reference to the question put by should be given to it. Mr. Proudfoot, a solicitor would always have an option in The PRESIDENT said that, with regard to solicitors' re. the matter, and was not obliged to conduct a matter of muneration, their position was this: the late Lord Chancellor business in a way he might object to.

had introduced Bills relating to dealings with land which would Mr. Miller would like to say a few words upon the have rendered it absolutely necessary that a total change subject of the call of solicitors to the bar, as it was one should take place in the system of remuneration of solici. upon whioh a very large pomber of the profession bad a tors. Before his Bill was prepared the council drafted out very strong opinion. It seemed to him that they had been a clause the object of which was to secure the initiative of trying for some years past to get the slightest attention this society in any proposal which was to be brought befora paid to the request that they made-a very reasonable the judges, and they felt most strongly the point which Mr. request—that if a solicitor had been admitted a solicitor Devonshire had mentioned. No doubt was extremely for five years, he should be admitted at once to pass the important to resist a new scale of charges being forced upon final examination for the bar. He asked whether it was them by some authority without their having the chance of not possible for the council itself to bring in a Bill, during rejecting or resisting them. The Remuneration of Solicitors the next session of Parliament, giving authority to the

Bill, now in print, was not the Bill of the council, it council to fis such an examination as they might think

was Lord Cairns' Bill, and the council would do its best necessary. He was prepared to move a resolation to that

to maintain its own view of the matters the measure compre

hended. effect, so that the attention of the publio and the Legislature should be forced upon the subject.

The CHAIRMAN then put the motion for the adoption of The PRESIDENT said he was much obliged to Mr. Miller,

the report, and it was carried unanimously. for it gave him the opportunity of saying that the view of

Mr. James Walter, of Dulwich, moved the following resothe council was that their proper mode of proceeding further lution :-"In view of the protracted negotiations by the Law would be in the House of Commons, as they had tried the Society with the benchers of the several Inns of Court for House of Lords as much as they could do. The pressure re-adjasting the relation of solicitors with the respective Inns put upon the Inns of Court by Lord Cairns in addition to the

of Court, and their enforced exclusion from the practice of action in the House of Commons, would, he believed, have

either branch of the professiou for three years prior to bring prevailed ; but next session the council would consider what called to the bar-Resolved–That the Council of the Law it could do in the House of Commons, which he hoped would Society do forth with present a petition to the Lord Chau. be a more favourable place for the discussion than the House cellor, praying his lordsbip to re-introduce his two Bills of of Lords.

1875: the one to re-organize the Inng of Court, the otber Mr. EDMUND KIMBER suggested that a special circular

to establish a school of law or legal university." should be sent round to the members calling their attention

In the course of an animated speech, Mr. Walter said to the matter.

they had had it from the president himself that it was Mr. HOWLETT, of Brighton, as a member of one of a

utterly hopeless to expect the Houses to act for themselves number of associated law societies, said that unfortunately

to do solicitors justice. Two commissions bad sat on this Mr. Gregory's motion from various circumstances had never

subject, one in 1846 and the other in 1855, and it was shown come on, but he knew that numerous members of Parliament

that the Inps of Court had no legal constitution, that they had been spoken to and had been in the House ready to sup

were mere clubs, and based their supremacy upon mere selfport Mr. Gregory.

assertion. If a club in Pall Mall said that no one sbould Mr. KIMBER: Then I want to know, if that was the case,

enter the army unless he was a member of the Pall Mall how it was the flouse was counted out ?

Club, it would be said such action was unconstitutional, and Mr. ELLETT, of Cirencester, hoped that no change would

it had been proved to demonstration that the Inns of Court, have the effect of preventing the common form business in the position. The House of Commons came to the conclusion

in the matters they controlled, were in precisely an analogous district registries being transacted by means of correspond- that the benchers were a private society only, without recoga Those of them who lived in towns in which there

nition from the State. It was quite time the Law Society were no district registrars must do one of two things, either employ agents or pass their papers tbrough the post, and

determined to be played with no longer by these obstructhere was no difficulty whatever in transacting common form

tioniste. Public opinion was moving in the same direction. business through the post. They did not at all seek to op

The Times had written in support of such reform ; the bold any principle that was objectionable, but they said it

world was sick and tired of the system and the abseace should be a part of the duty of the district registrar to receive

of security that a barrister would supply the service for

which he had been paid. The then Mr. Lowe, ia bis through the post, and return through the post, all papers relating to common form and probate business.

evidence before the committee, said, “ My own impression The President said at the time the report was printed | a university in a state of decay." What Lord Selborne

is that the Inps of Court, as they are at present, constitate the matter was under discussion with the associated Law proposed to do was to make a central board, which should Societies, and the council was therefore unable to slate the have the conduct and rule of the whole profession, meeting conclusion at which they had arrived. The council came to under one common roof. He considered the council ought the following resolution :—"That the practice of sending to go forward with a firm front, not going on their knees to papers to district registrars by post is convenient and should pray for this and that; therefore he asked the council to adopt be continued ; that if it be necessary to pay fees for the the resolution, and he asked the meeting to support the transaction of such business, such fees should be paid by council in so doing, because in the negotiations which had stamps ; and that if any addition should be necessary to the taken place the benchers had been driven up to this point, emoluments of the registrars, in consequence of the increased “ We almost think six months would be enough "_but there trouble, it should be by addition to their salaries.”

was all the difference in the world between thinking and Mr. DEVONSHIRE asked the president to give some acting. He knew as well as possible, from the position and additional information as to the principle upon which the character of these respectable old gentlemen, ebat if this council were acting in reference to the question of deter resolution were carried, and Lord Selborne's scheme was also mining and fixing the remuneration of solicitors. It ap. carried, they would give all the solicitors asked. peared to him that the proper principle would be for the Mr. EDMUND KIMBER seconded the motion. solicitors themselves, through their accredited representatives, Mr. CHARLES FORD, as an amendment, moved :-“That, the Council of the Incorporated Law Society, to take the in the opinion of this meeting, the time has passed for seekinitiative, so far as practicable, in fixing or indicating such ing, at the hands of the benchers, a modification of the rules a scale of remuneration as would be reasonable and proper, rather than have a tariff fixed for the solicitors by the bar, and that it be an instruction to the council to seek

of the Inns of Court, as affecting the call of solicitors to the judges, or by those who might be supposed to advise the legislative interference upon the subject without further judges. This would seem to be the rational principle on delay.” The council felt themselves, in 1874, called apon that judicial, or official, sanction must to a certain extent something. For his part be felt convinced that

, when the which to proceed. It would be expected by the profession to do something on this matter, and the council had done continue, ut the principle, and mode, and extent of public thoroughly understood this question, they would say remuneration ought certainly to be suggested in the first in- it is a most monstrous regulation of the Inps of Court. stance by the solicitors themselves. He merely mentioned Mr. CLABON : As to the Bills, I am not at all sore at the


present moment we should like those Bills. At the time for the purpose he suggested : the fund he alluded to wasthose Bills were prepared we were merely the nominees of the examination fund-that received from examination feesthe judges, and now this society is an examining body. The which was amply large enough, amounting during the past subject would require to be very carefully considered before year to upwards of eight thousand pounds, to say nothing this society assented to the proposal for a school of law. The of some other fees which might be reasonably included in the society has not been lethargic; a little wisdom is necessary fund indicated. The balance-sheet of 1878 showed no less as well as a little energy. As far as I remember I believe a sum than ten thousand pounds received for examination the subject of our admission to the other branch of the pro fees, whilst the amount expended was under four thousand. fession is a matter on which the council have done all they Section 8 of the Act provided that all moneys paid to the can. The amendment is I think a proper one; the time has society in pursuance of the Act, in respect of examinations, come when we must act independently of the benchers, and shall be applied by the society to the expenses from time to ask help from every honourable member. I therefore second time incurred for such examinations, and there might be the amendment with pleasure.

made a very large surplus applicable to the establishment of Mr. PROUDFOOT thought that a great deal too much was scholarships and studentships. made of this question. There were very few solicitors who Mr. Rance, of Cambridge, seconded the resolution. had lived a prosperous professional career who wished to The CHAIRMAN : The question of the policy of establishchange their status ; and what would the public gain if a ing scholarships and studentships has never been deliberately solicitor could walk from that hall to the Temple and be considered. It would require careful consideration ; but the admitted to the bar ; was it possible the interest of the pub- | preliminary question is the question of means. It must not lic would be better attended to then than at present, and be lost sight of that, besides the payment of salaries to the fees made lower? The rules at the present moment lecturers, there is the cost of those rooms which have been were as good as rules could be, and if a gentleman desired specially built for the examinations, in respect of which to go from that branch of the profession to the other it was there is a considerable debt now hanging over us. There is quite right that he should take a little time in order that he also a very large part of the general expenses, in this way, might prepare himself for the different sphere which he was in the shape of salaries to servants, as a very considerable desirous to enter; and if he was a young man it was quite part of the business which is done here concerns those ex. proper he should have three years, if necessary, in order to aminations. Besides that, we are now called on by many prepare himself and make himself perfect for the position he gentlemen who complain of so many parts of this building was going to take. There was not one solicitor out of a being used for these examinations to erect new rooms for hundred who wished to avail himself of the admission to the this purpose, and I am afraid, in the present state of the bar, and when he did get there he would do no good. finances, it would be impossible for us to undertake this

Mr. SAUNDERS (Birmingham) said the benefit would expense. accrue in the case of a young man who had entered on a Mr. W. M. WALTERS, of New-square, pointed out that career and found he had made a mistake. The argument they could not at present analyze the accounts and say how the bar had always made use of was that a solicitor, from much was devoted to the examinations; four thousand seven his position and connections, would be able to take a posi- hundred pounds were devoted entirely to the examinations, tion and clientele with him which would give him an advan and the disbursement balance of twelve thousand pounds tage over members of the bar, unless a period of restriction then remaining might be considered as belonging, half to the was enforced. He thought whatever changes had been made examinations, and balf to the general business of the society. did not remove the necessity for a law university.

It would be better to proceed steadily and with caution, but Mr. GRINHAM KEEN (London) said theirs was the only if people would come forward and make endowments, class which was under such a peculiar ban, the accountant, studentships and scholarships might be given; at present it law stationer, or anybody else, could carry on his business would be prudent to hold their band. up to the very time he presented himself, but solicitors must Mr. Dodd, in reply, said that four thousand pounds of leave off business and starve for three years before they debt had been paid off during the past year ; that was got could be admitted.

out of the examination fees, so that they were paying off the Mr. SHIRLEY (Doncaster) thought that to ask the Lord debt at the expense of the articled-clerks. As to endowChancellor to re-organize the Inns of Court was going ments, the society had always looked forward to endowments, beyond what was right. Solicitors did not constitute the and, at last, bad only one, and that of small amount. The lower branch of the profession, they all belonged to one society had twenty thousand a year income, and half of that grand profession, and the wiser plan was always to consider was received from examination fees and other matters which that, and be useful in their day and generation.

came within that term. If the examination fees were not Mr. GREEN considered that practical common sense was sufficient, by all means raise them; they were now lower rather learned in a solicitor's office than at the bar, and if in proportion than medical and other examining bodies there were many young men going over from the office to charged. chambers it would lead to its introduction. There were heaps The CHAIRMAN then put the resolution to the few of people at the bar who had begun in the society's branch inembers who remained in the hall, and it was lost by 16 of the profession, and had succeeded at their ultimate calling, to 9. and to such a few years' experience in a solicitor's office A vote of thanks to the president for his conduct in the would be of advantage.

chair was passed, at the instance of Mr. William Williams, Mr. WALTER, in reply, said there had been five years of seconded by Mr. Melville Green, for which Mr. Liwrence attempted legislation, and they did not want another five returned his sincere thanks. years to elapse before legislation was accomplished. Those benchers wonld defend their monopoly to the last, nothing short of a wrench would get it out of them, and, therefore,

SOLICITORS BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION. he would not accept the amendment.

The usual monthly meeting of the board of directors of The PRÉSIDENT put the amendinent to the meeting and this association was held at the Law Institution, Chancery. declared it carried ; and it was then put and adopted as a lane, London on Wednesday, July 14, the following direcsubstantive resolution.

tors being present :-Mr. Sydney Smith (in the chair), Mr. G. R. DODD (London) moved, “That this society takes Messrs. Brook, Hedger, Kays, Keen, Lee (Salisbury), this opportunity of expressing its great satisfaction at the Pennington, Rickman, Roscoe, Rose, Styan, Veley (Chelmsrecent institution of examinations for honours at the final ford), Walters, and Woolbert ; Mr. Eiffe, secretary. A sum examinations. That, for the further encouragement of per of £280 was distributed in grants of relief to gods bound, or about to be bound, under articles of clerkship, sitous solicitors, and to the necessitous families of it is, in the opinion of this society, now expedient to establish deceased solicitors ; fifty-one new members were ad. scholarships and studentships, to be awarded at the prelimin mitted to the association ; a vote of thanks was passed ary and other examinations, and that for such purpose a sum to the Right Hon. Sir James Hannen for presiding at the of not less than £500 a year be paid out of the funds of the late festival of the association, and to the members of the society. That the council be respectfully requested to make Legal Practitioners' Society” for a donation of all requisite arrangements for carrying out the last resola- £18 189. 10 to the funds the sociation ; and other tion, and to frame the necessary regulations." He said he general business was transacted. should be met with the answer that they had no fonds, but that if they had the funds they could go on. He contended they had the funds and were perfectly justified in using them



« PreviousContinue »