Lacking in Specification: Life as a Country Solicitor.


David C Murray

By David C Murray
Senior Partner at Gebbie & Wilson

Lacking in Specification:  Legalese for “Talkin’ Mince”

The first and last time I appeared in Court (yes, as a Solicitor – behave yourself!) was in 1983.  It didn’t go so well and I vowed then to give litigation a wide berth in future.  Strathaven’s Petrocelli I am not and it is now 34 years since I’ve been in a Courtroom. I think I’d have made a good Court Lawyer if that hadn’t involved appearing in Court.  I enjoyed preparing written pleadings best.  I remember, when drafting Defences to a Court Action, I’d throw in every argument I could think of.  I’d then end with a legal flourish: “Irrelevant et separatim lacking in specification” – which translates, into the native Strathavenese, as “And another thing foreby a’ that, yer talkin’ mince – and it’s no’ even guid Preston’s or Alexander’s mince!”

I could have called my blog “Talkin’ Mince: Life as a Country Solicitor” – and perhaps that would have been more accurate; but it somehow doesn’t have the same professional aura about it as “Lacking in Specification:  Life as a Country Solicitor”.  So “Lacking in Specification” it is.  I hope you enjoy it.  You can tell me you think it’s mince if you like – but I’ll only agree with you!


Et separatim…

For more of my mince:   Follow me on Twitter @etseparatim  or read my blogs at

For mince of an infinitely superior quality:  Go and see Scott Alexander at James Alexander & Son, Butchers in the Common Green or Jim Preston at James Preston Butchers in Green Street (


Et separatim…

Interested Fizzog – shame about the website


Fin Wycherley, CEO Supersize Media, Facebook Guru and Skype Coffee Connoisseur.

At the Lanarkshire Business Show last week, I had the pleasure of attending a seminar on Social Media Marketing presented by Fin Wycherley.  Fin’s infectious enthusiasm for and obvious mastery of her topic prompted me to message her my thanks for her most interesting and thought provoking talk.   In responding, Fin commented that she remembered my “attentive face” from the seminar but had noticed that “there is very little traffic” going to our website.  My first thought was  – Question: Is “David has an attentive face” a testimonial I can put up on our website? (Answer:  you’re pushing it a bit there mate).  My second thought was, given the lack of traffic to our website, what’s the point anyway?  So I think I need Fin’s help and fully intend taking her up on her kind offer to “have a Skype Coffee” (if I can quaff my Nescafe and work my iPhone at the same time – which is not a given).  Maybe I should just rename my effort    “Irrelevant and Lacking in Specification: Life as a Trafficless Blogger”.

Et separatim…

Hi Scott:  Don’t have a website yet?   I guess its time for your coffee break then.  Fin’s Skype ID is FinWycherley 

Et separatim…

And the Installation Art Award Goes to…

La La Land!  (Aw come on @etseparatim!  That might have been mildly amusing a week ago but you can do better!)

O.K., start again…

Et separatim…

And the Installation Art Award Goes to…

… Bruce the Investec Glasgow Zebra!

Iain, Bruce and @etseparatim


This comes after the shock withdrawal from the contest of frontrunner Iain Macdonald, Investec’s Divisional Director.  It seems that Iain is not in with the bricks after all and has announced his retirement!

A graduate of the Speirs & Jeffrey Football Academy in the 1970’s, Iain now leaves the stockbroking arena after only 46 years in the industry.  But perhaps this isn’t quite what it appears.  Retirement?  Aye right – Transfer more like!

Iain is in fact returning to his first love, the beautiful game.  A.C. or Inter?  Iain’s not saying; but @etseparatim has it straight from the zebra’s mouth that our hero is heading for Milan, complete with football kit.   Bruce refuses to elaborate.

Iain has been my friend and trusted adviser for some 30 years and – whether in studs or slippers – I wish him a long, healthy and happy, well deserved retirement.


Et separatim…

Downselling: the Art of Understatement Marketing

Counter-intuitive, (oxy)moronic – and pure genius


My pals Tom and Eleanor are downsizing. Last month they began marketing their West End flat for sale, in the traditional way, via a well respected Glasgow estate agency.  Their flat sold well – and within a fortnight – but I reckon Tom could have achieved the same result on his own, using only his following downselling  “advert”:-

“A garden flat in North Kelvinside” I proffered when asked about our new family home 28 years ago. “A dunny in Maryhill” came the instant verdict from the office wag. Well, after buying a new flat 275 metres away, we have put our family home on the market #desireabledunny


Et separatim…


Solicitoritis: a disease rare in the general population but prevalent among the legal profession.  Symptoms include an obsession with detail, a tendency to over-analyse and an often uncontrollable urge to start every sentence with “What if…?”.   Solicitoritis is not contagious but sufferers should avoid discussions with other lawyers as this often exacerbates the condition

Et separatim…

Q & A

Q:  Is “Solicitoritis” a word I can use in Scrabble?  (Trisha from Hamilton)

A:   You could always give it a go Tricia but since I only made it up last week, I doubt if it’ll have found it’s way into the Official Scrabble Players’ Dictionary quite yet! (@etseparatim)

R(iposte): Please don’t tell my wee sister Anne Kelly: I might get away with using it lol x (Trisha)