Wednesday, 3 March 2010

My day in court..

Do you have a boss? How do you feel about him or her? Mine is absolutely wonderful! I joined his firm many years ago as a junior. I was newly qualified and was keen to prove to my employer that taking me on was the best possible decision he could have made. I suppose in working so hard to establish myself in the firm, I made a good impression on him, because, although I left him after about four years to join another firm as a partner, he welcomed me back with open arms when I returned to his firm after that other firm was closed down, having run into difficulties with our professional regulatory body. The regulation authority suspended the practising certificates of all of us who were at that other firm, but just months later I was back in practice. Indeed, I alone am still practising of all those that were at that firm, because my current boss stood by me and assured the regulation authority that he would provide me with the supervision and support that the regulatory authority had imposed as a condition for my returning to practice.

The law is that when a firm is closed down, as my former firm was, the partners at the firm are liable for the costs incurred by the regulation authority in effecting that firm's intervention and closure. A series of invoices were sent out to me and the other partners, amounting to a sum in the region of £50K, said to be the costs for the intervention and closure. Now, because I'm the only one of the former partners remaining in practice, (the others have ignored all correspondence from the regulation authority), I am having to face the brunt of this, (carrying the can, so to speak), whereas the actuality is that none of the issues that gave rise to the intervention in the first place can be attributed to me personally. I just happened to have entered into partnership with the wrong bunch of people and got myself into the mess that I find myself in. Through all of this, my boss has quietly supported and encouraged me. He assures me that he is confident that I have no personal involvement in the matters that led to the closure of that firm.

Today was the hearing in court of the court case that the regulation authority has instituted against me and my former partners to recover its costs arising from the intervention/closure. The hearing was in the afternoon, so I thought I'd attend the office in the morning and deal with some pressing matters before heading to court later. On arrival at the office this morning, I was informed by his secretary that my boss had left the office ten minutes earlier, on his way to court, to be with me at the hearing. This surprised me. I had neglected to explain that the hearing would be in the afternoon, simply because I had not expected that he would want to attend. So I quickly rang him on his mobile phone, told him the hearing was in fact at 2pm and he turned around and returned to the office. Hours later, after quite a busy morning, I peeped into his room to say that I was leaving for my hearing. To my surprise, my boss insisted on attending the hearing with me, which meant that he had to drop everything he was doing, (and there was a lot on his plate too..).

He stayed with me throughout the hearing and waited with me for hours while the Judge considered the matter. Of all the defendants I was the only one present in court and the case did not go very well for me. To put it in a nutshell, I've learned my lesson about being very careful when entering into a partnership with people you hardly know. And its a lesson that I've learned the hard way too.. But I've also learned that there are in fact people, like my boss, who are genuinely kind and dependable. His presence at the hearing and his words to me afterwards helped to lighten the burden on my mind. I have always respected him, but after today, my respect for him has grown and taken a new dimension. He is truly an extraordinarily wonderful man and I am blessed to have him as my boss.


Don sid kachumbari said...

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful and touching aspect of your life. I am inspired by you and your boss.Hats off to you both all the way from Nairobi Kenya.

Anengiyefa said...

Thanks buddy. I think its important to acknowledge that there are still some fine people out there.. :)

Naughty feeling said...

A pillar of strength n stability for u. You truly are blessed and you should appreciate him.

Anengiyefa said...

Yes NF, I agree with you. I consider it a privilege to have him as my boss..

Anengiyefa said...

Hello Beauty,

Well, the fact of the matter is that even if they took me by the ankles and held me upside down shaking me vigorously, nothing close to 50K would come tumbling out of my pockets!

I had warned them earlier when they first made the demand. I even said, short of slitting my throat and selling my blood, there was no way they could recover 50K from me. Yet they went ahead to obtain judgment regardless, incurring additional legal costs in the process.

"Lex non cogit ad impossibilia", "The law will not ask of you that which is impossible". The law cannot force me to pay money that I don't have. And since I won't be robbing a bank anytime soon, there won't be any 50K to give them! And they better start getting used to the idea that recovering 50K from me is a pipe dream. Its not as if they were not forewarned... (In truth, even if I had the money, I cannot conceive of myself counting out 50 big ones and handing it over to an already wealthy organisation..)

On the publishing side, its something I've always dreamt about...the quiet life, sitting under a tree by the sea side, writing stories.. I wish I knew how to go about getting stuff published and/or whether any publisher would be interested in what I write..

THERishouldbeAPY said...

What an awesome story! I'm glad you were able to have someone, literally, in your corner in court; your boss has great integrity, as I'm sure do you for him to come to your defense! Its so important to try and keep all bridges in tact when quiting/leaving a job (just once have I set a bridge aflame and watched it go down in a glorious blaze).

I hope things get better or they reverse the judgment. £50,000 is a lot, lawyer or not.

Good luck! ♥