More Binding Than Marriage
by Philip V. Nicholls
"Herein lies another lesson: make sure you know who you are getting into bed with when entering a partnership. ...any advice that I would give to a young attorney now would be to make this of paramount consideration over and above any financial benefits, for whereas you may seek to bring a traditional marriage to an end, a legal partnership, as I have found out to my cost, can be a virtual noose around your neck."
Philip Nicholls joined Cottle Catford in January of 1987 after completion of his masters at Manchester University. That ended his academic education, but did not prepare him for what he was ultimately to face. After a relatively uneventful eight years, during which he became one of the youngest partners at a major law Firm in Barbados, his life began to spiral out of control through events he describes with clarity and emotion. As the most junior of three partners, his battle with colleagues who should have been mentors to him has left him far worse off twenty years later than he was at the time of the troubles.
Through it all he has had to battle the unethical actions of some of his brothers at the bar, with the result that he alone has been called to account for the defalcations of his former legal partners, who today remain oblivious to the misery caused to him by their callous and cowardly refusal to stand up and acknowledge their responsibilities. His twenty-year journey takes the reader behind the scenes to some of the nasty practices in the legal profession, but as will be seen from his description of other events he has been involved in, these traits are really the failings of human beings and not just of lawyers. This memoir makes for compelling reading, not only for persons in the law profession, but also those interested in human behavior.