Marilyn Stowe wrote an excellent post yesterday on professional ethics, which I recommend, particularly to new or budding family lawyers. I especially agreed with her advice that lawyers should keep their clients 'at arms length' - not socialising with them, and not seeking their friendship. This is a trap that it is all too easy for family lawyers to fall into, as they sympathise with their client's predicament, but it is a great mistake which can seriously cloud the lawyer's judgement. Whilst obviously caring for their client, the lawyer must remain independent at all times, as Marilyn points out.
In the course of the post, Marilyn quoted Lord Denning, who signed her admission certificate. It was always a regret of mine that I qualified just too late to have Lord Denning sign my certificate - Donaldson doesn't quite have the same cachet as Denning. However, I do now have the great man's autograph, as a very good friend recently gave me a photograph of him (above), bearing his signature.