Council

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The Jolly Contrarian’s Dictionary

The snippy guide to financial services lingo.™

The Legal Council, yesterday
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Council /ˈkaʊns(ə)l/ (n.)
From concilium, the Latin word for an assembly or convocation of clever people: con- (‘together’) + calare (‘to summon’).
1. A municipal body where mediocre people make bad decisions about local affairs.
2. Not, ever, a legal adviser: not even a mediocre one. That fellow is your counsel. This also comes from Latin: consilium (“consultation, advice”), and the verb consulere (“to consult”).
3. A “clever” name for an alternative legal process outsourcer: the Legal Council. Imagine how much unintentional/subliminal work they’d get. A bit like a band called EXIT or PUSH PUSH or a motel that names itself purely to get the first entry in the yellow pages: Like the Aabaalea motel in Christchurch, New Zealand.
4. A “clever” (that is to say, “tedious”) name for the in-house rock band at a magic circle law firm. Having been in one of those, let me tell you how cool they are. Or maybe I can just let you imagine.

An old, self-regarding and well-paid lawyer sometimes get to be a general counsel. A whole collection of these exotic birds of paradise in the same place (it will have to be a swanky venue indeed) is called an adoration.

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