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Legal Minds

16 August 2019 / by / in

Murdering the English Language

William Topaz McGonagall is widely regarded as the worst poet in the English language. He died in poverty, his public performances were banned and when he did perform for the public, rotten fish was thrown at him.

His best known poem is the Tay Bridge Disaster.

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

McGonagall’s spirit lives on at the FCA, who have revived the most execrable metaphor known to man. The FCA complains that people in financial services jobs with a black mark at one company can still move easily to another firm and there is “some way to go to improve the quality and timeliness of references”. The rogue personnel are described as “rolling bad apples”. Surely, the FCA should be investigated for a crime against the English language.

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John specialises in commercial and civil fraud litigation. Admitted as a solicitor in 1983, John worked in private practice and in-house for a leading life assurance company before establishing Bivonas with Antony Brown in 1997. John has extensive experience in a wide range of courts and tribunals including the UK Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the Divisional Court. He has been involved in a number of important reported cases.