Dragon Dictate

I think I’ve just been a bit sick in my mouth.

I was vaguely aware of the rather unpalatable financial remedy case involving a Saudi billionaire and his pirelli calendar model wife. The facts were only matched in their soporific effect by the brain aching exposition by Haydn J of whether or not a Saudi Billionaire can avoid his wife’s claim for financial relief by claiming diplomatic immunity. A trip to the Court of Appeal didn’t make it any more appealing a read (in a nutshell the court has jurisdiction, he can’t get away with it that easily). I can’t say I was on tenterhooks waiting for the next instalment of the edifying spectacle that has been unfolding in the Mail and Guardian and Telegraph (no doubt elsewhere, I can’t bear to look). There was a reason I gave up money work (no, it was not to concentrate on my calendar modelling career).

Today I received an unsolicited invitation by email from one Patrick Elliot to blog about this case, which I am told is in the High Court over 5 days this Friday (take popcorn but eat it quietly). I was helpfully provided with a “Case Summary” (press release), complete with media friendly quote from the Husband, and some suggestions about some angles I might like to cover that the press regrettably have not done to date. The email regretted that the press have to date concentrated on “sensational” matters rather than the interesting “legal” issues.

Someone else may, and no doubt I’m not the only one who has received such requests, but I’m not going to be the one giving a platform to this. The husband has leading and junior counsel who can and will run his arguments to greater effect than I on Friday. Hell, if he wants to tell the world about his emerging interest in legal policy he can start up his own blog. I treat his request with precisely the same amount of respect that I treat those dubious guest blog post requests or SEO paid for link requests.

The outfit emailing me, if you fancied instructing them next time you want to garner public sympathy for being massively rich, are called Dragon Advisory. Amongst other esoteric things they provide “litigation support” (love it – glorified fee-paid McKenzie Friends?)

Dragon supports clients in areas of finance, law and public reputation, in work that often has a legal twist.

Patrick Elliot, as it happens, turns out is a solicitor of almost 20 years standing, although not in the field of family law (you don’t say).

Patrick devises smart, cohesive solutions for clients who face unusual, or complex, business challenges and opportunities, often with a legal dimension.

He has nearly 20 years’ experience as a solicitor, specialising in litigation, commercial and intellectual property, insolvency and restructuring and has worked at a number of well-known law firms including Simmons & Simmons, BLP and Addleshaw Goddard and most recently as a restructuring partner at Brown Rudnick where he advised on many high-profile cases including Enron, TXU, Lehman, MF Global, Madoff and The Cooperative Bank.

Prior to qualifying as a solicitor, Patrick worked for the International trading company Jardine Matheson in Hong Kong. He was educated at Edinburgh University and Eton and is an officer in the Insolvency Section of the International Bar Association.

I’ve declined the invitations from Elliot to discuss this case for my own or the public’s better edification. My only enquiry was to seek confirmation that the husband in this case is indeed Mr Elliot’s client (answer “well guessed”, unless it’s some elaborate false flag operation by the wife, which even I think unlikely).

I don’t regret for a moment leaving a world* where people employ “communications professionals” to massage the public perception of their unpleasant matrimonial litigation, in the hope of securing some advantage. Frankly Mr Shankly, if you’ve got enough money to pay for a service that

provides intelligent advise [sic], strategic communications and commercial guidance. Our clients include leading financial and professional services firms, private individuals, luxury goods brands, real estate and property companies.We deliver brand positioning, communication, capital investment networking, crisis and reputation management, litigation support and group bondholder actions.

then you’ve got enough money to pay the woman you once loved a decent settlement. The rest of us have better things to do. Like trim our toenails. Or be a bit sick in our mouths.

Mr Elliot may not have factored in to his risk assessment the fact that I deal pretty relentlessly over the last month with people without two chocolate coins to rub together, whose assets comprise a phone with a smashed screen and no credit on it, and whose children are being taken away forever because the abuse they suffered as a kid has made them struggle to parent as they would want. Consequently I’m afraid I’m all out of warm feelings for a billionaire who wants to tell the world all about his “generosity” to his wife through yours truly (in all equity I’ve only marginally more empathy for Miss Pirelli). I recognised early on I had a pathological inability to empathise with the filthy rich yet dysfunctional. I suppose Mr Elliot was not to know.

I don’t know much about PR, but I’m really not at all sure of the wisdom of Dragon Advisory picking me as their mouthpiece of choice…


*okay I admit it, I never had clients this affluent. Mine were mainly the worn out wives of heating engineers and plumbers.

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