this one is in a different league to "I thought the hearing was next week" or "I had a puncture on the way to court".
At a hearing in the High Court yesterday relating to the validity of an alleged marriage, Martin Pointer QC informed Mr Justice Bodey at the last minute that his client was unable to attend to give evidence, as he had been recalled by the ruler of Dubai to attend a meeting in Riyadh. Now, most people could not get get away with this, but when your client is Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, the head of Emirates Airlines and a member of Dubai’s ruling family, I suppose it does have a possible ring of truth.
For this impressive piece of hearing-avoidance, the Sheikh receives my 'Best excuse for missing court' trophy.
Unfortunately, Mr Justice Bodey was not so impressed, saying that he had been left "frustrated".