Category Archives: Blog


Big match nerves and the law

Peter McGarrickWe are not short of sport this summer. High definition close up TV coverage compellingly tells us what competitors are going through. Every facial expression, every bit of body language, is there for all to see. The tension created by the need to channel the product of years of preparation into one explosive effort is obvious. In many events there is only one chance to get it right.

This may all seem miles away from the office based, reflective, world of the law. But there are some surprising similarities.  An Olympic athlete may have a training programme lasting two years or even more, designed to achieve peak performance in one week of competition.  This is spurred on by the knowledge that rivals are doing the same thing. The margins between success and failure can be very small. An extra bit of effort in training might make the crucial difference. A really big court case- one of Olympic proportions, if you like, is much the same. Years of hard, painstaking work goes into it, designed to achieve the best presentation at the trial.  Cases only reach trial if there is much to be said on both sides- they can be very finely balanced.

The pressures just before the start are enormous.  The rowers in a boat and the members of a legal team on the first day in court are keyed up and ready to go. The rowers can release the tension the moment the race starts, via explosive physical effort.  For lawyers, the tension is there, but cannot be channelled in the same way. They are in for a marathon.

Sporting teams want to do their best for their supporters. This adds pressure. Legal teams have responsibilities to their clients. Failure, for them, will never be pleasant and can be disastrous. It’s tough at the top.

Peter McGarrick  author – Quicklook at Law

Seeing tigers

Aline DobbieRecent action by the Indian authorities has, at least temporarily, closed the nature reserves which try to protect the tiger- one of our planet’s most magnificent threatened species. This is very controversial. Many argue that responsible tourism offers the only realistic source of the money required to keep disastrous development-and poaching, at bay. The animals and the reserves in which they live can be seen as a precious resource.

What is it like to track a tiger?  Each park has the beauty of a wild special place with peace and tranquillity.  A ride through the elephant grass on an elephant in the morning sunlight is a sublime experience. You have to be on the lookout to spot the signs of the big predators and then the urgency is there… the driver and naturalist become very excited, the anticipation mounts and with supreme good fortune perhaps one sees tiger, or leopard, or bear.

My advice is: go to see everything.  Be it a tiny owl sitting in a tree winking at you in the sunshine, a Sambar stag stately in his caution, or a herd of wild pig quietly drinking at a water hole; enjoy and marvel at them all.  If you do not see the tiger, he will often have seen you and may even play games.  He can track you better than you can follow him. If you see him, in his habitat, it is a sight that you will remember for the rest of your life.

There are 500 national parks and wild places in India, but in the long run, unless there is a more integrated conservation policy, these will be overtaken by population pressure.  It is vital to ensure that these wonderful wild places are conserved and enhanced, so that the glorious tiger, emblematic of India, is allowed to live in the wild and thrive.

It is not now fashionable to recall Gandhi’s tenets for living, but I am a child of independence and he will always continue to inspire me with his ideals.  He said ‘The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated’.  He also said ‘All creatures have an equal right to live on this earth.

Please go and see all this wonder for yourselves, enjoy the very Heart of India, and when you are back and standing at a bus stop, or waiting to catch a train, in the grey pouring rain of a winter’s morning, be cheerful. Remember you have seen some of the world’s most wonderful animals – Gandhi also said if we all do a little then we shall achieve a lot. Let us all play our part in conserving the tiger and his habitat in India.


Aline Dobbie – Author of Quicklook at India


Consider a New PR Plan

Like it or not, no matter how good your company or product, the public will not beat a path to your door if they don’t know you exist. Advertising in its basic forms – newspaper, magazine etc. – is expensive and often unproductive.

Public relations (PR) can be an effective way to find new business and build a reputation, and set your company apart from your competitors. Good PR is a carefully planned effort to establish and maintain credibility and to get your message to a targeted public. It’s a way to keep your name in front of the public and build brand awareness.

Members of the public can be very cynical. They have lots of advertising messages thrown at them on a daily basis. But when people read articles, or hear or see something about your company in the news, they’re going to take you more seriously than they might from advertising alone. When was the last time someone from your company was interviewed by the trade or local press? And what about local radio?

Many of your competitors, whether online or offline businesses, might already be actively promoting themselves. Getting your potential customers’ attention takes an ongoing effort.  You need a long-term plan to communicate ideas to the public. Focus on your key brand messages. Until you clearly differentiate the appeals of your company – its products and services – you cannot market your company effectively.

Getting your PR message across will help you and your business to become as a centre of expertise. When trade magazines are putting articles together they will want quotes and opinions from such sources. You know your area and will have views about developments and trends. Make them known. This way, your company, and its executives, will be mentioned prominently in such articles, positioning them as leaders in the field.

Mike Dale  author- Quicklook at Management

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