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J. Cosmo is a model of calmness and reasonableness.

But will not budge on his requirement.


Dear Mr Kalu,

Thank you for your letter. Its contents have been read and understood.

Regrettably I am running a business and my experience has found, time and time again, that I must maintain professional standards.

People will come to me with matters of enormous earth shattering importance and seek my help. I put to them the same package that I put to you: here are my costs, as a sign of good faith I require 1% up front.

Invariably, absolutely without fail, the clients who pay this amount immediately turn out to be good clients and will almost always have their case settled to their complete satisfaction.

Equally invariably, the clients who refused, bitched, squirmed and baulked, these clients turned out to be a lot of trouble and heartache. More often than not they decide not to pursue the matter or look for a less ethical lawyer elsewhere.

Nowadays I do not take clients who will not pay 1% up front.

It makes for a much more happy life.

With regard to your client? I can see that her reluctance to pay may be due to government supervision and that she may well be an exception to my rule. But she would be the first such exception and I am loathe to take on the risk and bother.

You must admit that the amount in question is very small. I would normally charge more than that to write a letter. This correspondence with you is not only taking up valuable time, it is costing me money.

The fee is a good will gesture. It would not require Mrs Abacha to mortgage the family silver, nor would it be such an amount that would attract attention if someone else that she felt she could trust sent it on her behalf. If bank transfer is a problem, you could look at Western Union or even send it by post.

But if you wish to engage my services, I need that gesture.

Yours most sincerely,

J. Cosmo Newbery,
Newbery & Associates.

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