Everyone loves The Master. Seeing him arrive at the Royal Courts of Justice is reminiscent of the opening scene of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. Austin Powers struts his stuff through the film’s version of Swinging Sixties London, packed with be-micro-skirted beauties, smiling Bobbies, bright red buses and psychedelic everything else. Everyone knows him, everyone smiles and says hello. Everyone he passes is greeted with a personalised quip or question. Barristers suddenly ignore their clients, solicitors hang up their mobile phones, the court clerks turn cartwheels as he passes, the Associates swoon, the judges… well, the judges. The judges LOVE The Master. He appears before them almost daily, often in several different cases, and he clearly knows them all well.
One judge seems to have a particular fondness for The Master. Their banter is almost excruciating at times. At the end of one hearing the judge concerned turned to opposing counsel and said that The Master would draft the required order, as The Master was the junior of the two. Both counsel looked confused and started to stutter, slightly embarrassed being as it was already clear that The Master would be doing the drafting being as it was his application.
‘Sorry, I do like to tease [Mr Master].’ Ingratiating smile. Yuck.
In another case it became evident that the same judge has developed a dislike for the instructing solicitors. The Master was asked to admonish them for failure to comply with the practice direction. It was very minor and most judges wouldn't even have noticed, never mind brought it up. He has another case with the same firm in the afternoon, this time with several significant breaches of the practice direction. As he was leaving court, he turned to the judge, mentioned the case and the firm, and continued, ‘I’ll be adopting the position for that one, Your Lordship.’ I couldn’t see if he winked or not, but it wouldn’t be hard to imagine.
They love him, he loves it, there’s a whole lot of love going around.