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As the owner/servant of a springer spaniel and as someone who is interested in insolvency law, company law and the law of trusts, I was intrigued to read that a springer spaniel named Captain used to accompany his owner, Sir John Vinelott, into the Chancery Division. Sir John's obituary notes:
"He was often accompanied to
the High Court by his dog, Captain, a springer spaniel who would snooze beside
him when he was on the bench, and, in time off from his courtroom duties, go
sniffing around the corridors in the hope of finding scraps of
A number of questions arise from this quote. First, did Captain ever accompany Sir John to Insolvency Rules Committee meetings (of which Sir John was chair between 1984 and 1993) and perhaps more importantly, how on earth did Sir John manage to keep a springer under control in a court room? Interestingly, Sir John was also vice-president of the Selden Society. I have spoken to Professor David Graham QC about Captain, but he does not recall seeing the springer during his frequent appearances before Sir John. He puts this down to his sight, as opposed to the absence of Captain. If any blog readers remember Captain I would be very interested to hear any anecdotes.
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