The PR end of the legal trade could have come in to its own today; it could have won friends and influence with ease. It just had to move fast.
At 10-ish, news broke that the jury in the SFO case against four Barclays executives had been dismissed.
The jury had been dismissed, note, not the case. By the time you read this, everything may be much clearer, but the Evening Standard wasn’t the only paper desperate for strong guidance, even just hunches, as to what this all meant.
The internal lawyers of every newspaper were all over it of course, but they weren’t really in a position to do much more than note that reporting restrictions are in place and tell us to be careful (we were).
What we needed was clever legal minds talking off the record about what this most likely meant, about what the historical precedents were, about what might have been going through the mind of the judge.
Even if none of this could have been immediately reported, it would have been awfully helpful to know for later. Or to help City Editors get through news conference as inquiring minds demanded to know just what was going on….
This legal eagle is brilliant, we’d have thought. Let’s keep this person’s number to hand…
Instead, we got complete silence. I understand why. I’m just saying it was a good day to be chatty, available and smart.