Oh dear oh dear,
Sometimes I really do feel sorry for our clients. Last year we had a client called Mr S Claus. “Ha ha ha” said the staff. “Imagine if it was Santa Claus.”
Well, I can assure you they soon stopped laughing when an older, portly, white-bearded chap turned up to see me. I’ve got to say; he smelt very strongly of straw. He apologised and said he’d just come from feeding his animals.
The poor chap was in one heck of a state. He told me that his wife wanted to end their marriage. She was fed up with him never being home in the run-up to Christmas, why did she have to do all of the food shopping, make the Christmas cake and stuff the turkey again and furthermore, she was convinced he was having an affair!
Apparently, he had been receiving handwritten letters on a regular basis, and as far as she was concerned, this could only mean one thing… love letters. Then there was the fact that he disappeared for days at a time every December. And why did he constantly smell of straw? Clearly, the person he was having an affair with was a horse enthusiast, in fact, they must be conducting their affair at some local stables!
The poor soul burst into tears; he said he was shattered with his job. As a divorce solicitor, I’m used to hearing this. Many of my clients are overworked, and many of them are distressed when they first come to see me.
Mr Claus told me he was close to breaking point. And then he confided in me that he was indeed the Santa Claus. No reaction from me, it’s always best to remain impassive when clients divulge the secrets of their lives. I’ve heard it all over the years, a bit like a priest really.
He had never been allowed to tell his wife or children who he was. Blimey, I thought, she has been one very patient woman. They had been married for thirty years; that’s a lot of turkeys she’s stuffed on her own. He was, however, able to confirm that one of the perks of the job was having someone available to wrap all the Christmas presents. And, following the recent fad for Christmas jumpers, he was given an allowance so that the whole family could have their jumpers free. Though the younger ones were concerned about the landfill issues from a one-use item of clothing! This job impinges upon every aspect of my life he wailed.
Well, to cut a long story short, I advised him that his employers must allow him to disclose to his wife who he really was. This should be done immediately. I then arranged a round table meeting at our office for Mr and Mrs Claus and also her solicitor. It was imperative that I prevented Mrs Claus from issuing court proceedings. I’m pleased to say that this four-way meeting was a great success. Mr and Mrs Claus successfully reconciled.
I felt that I had tidied up the affairs of Mr Claus quite nicely. I even managed to sort out his will, no easy task given the very unusual pension scheme he has. Now instead of his family receiving 200,000 toys upon his death, they will receive £1.1 million outside of his estate. Thus cutting down his inheritance tax bill.
Feeling rather smug with myself I was astonished to receive a late-night email from Mr Claus just after the Christmas holidays last year. He’d only gone and got himself arrested. Thankfully on his way home from delivering 1 billion gifts. As you can imagine, drinking whiskey in all of those houses on a diet of only mince pies played havoc with his blood alcohol levels. He was arrested for failure to stop, drunk in charge of a vehicle, to wit one sleigh, and being 1,000 times over the drink driving alcohol limit.
Good grief said my husband Michael Robinson, aka Motoring Expert of The North. It’s a wonder the man is still alive. Don’t start the interview until I get there, don’t answer any questions without me present or you will only incriminate yourself and make matters worse he advised.
Michael managed to reach Middle Engine Lane police station very quickly. He insisted on some hot coffee for his client who was in floods of tears again. But Michael knew how to handle matters. It transpired that Santa Claus is really struggling to keep up with his schedule. The deer are getting older; they keep getting stuck on satellite dishes on people’s rooftops, there are drones all over the damned place which has lead to injuries for the reindeer.
It’s got to be said that the police were quite sympathetic – once they’d stopped asking for autographs. They immediately dropped the charge of failing to stop. However, the matter of the drink driving had to go to court.
Once again, Michael Robinson stepped in to help. He was a tad concerned because this was South Northumberland Magistrates Court, the toughest motoring Court in the whole of Christendom. However, he was able to use the Hardship rules to help Mr Claus keep his licence. After all, the impact upon the world would be tragic if he lost his licence. Of course, you didn’t read about this case in the papers because Michael managed to distract the press with a different story that was going on in another court.
I’m not allowed to tell you the names of my clients. However, this client wanted you all to know that when all seems lost Emmersons Solicitors are here to help you.
By the way Steve, our long-suffering client whose ventures we’ve highlighted previously, http://www.emmersons-solicitors.co.uk/news.php says thank goodness none of this involves him any longer.
Thanks to Emmersons, his life is now back on track.
Well, until next Christmas…