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Messrs. Frobisher & Haslitt Options
vkhu
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 11:40:28 AM
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Quote:
MESSRS. FROBISHER & HASLITT, the solicitors on the east side of Russell Square, counted amongst their clients a great many who had undertakings established in France; and the firm was very proud of this branch of its business.

"It gives us a place in history," Mr. Jeremy Haslitt used to say. "For it dates from the year 1806, when Mr. James Frobisher, then our very energetic senior partner, organized the escape of hundreds of British subjects who were detained in France by the edict of the first Napoleon. The firm received the thanks of His Majesty's Government and has been fortunate enough to retain the connection thus made. I look after that side of our affairs myself."

I can't tell if "Messrs. Frobisher & Haslitt" refers to the law firm itself, or the author is talking specifically about the 2 owners, a Mr. Frobisher and a Mr. Haslitt. Which would be the case here?

Also, I'm having a bit of trouble understanding the word "undertakings." I read that as, "This law firm had lots of clients with businesses in France." But then the paragraph below made it looks like it should be read as, "This law firm had lots of clients with distinguished achievements/reputation in France." Once again, which one would be correct?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 11:50:12 AM

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Hi vkhu.

My understanding is that the law firm (the solicitors on the east side of Russell Square) have the clients. Some would be dealt with by the senior partners (MESSRS. FROBISHER & HASLITT, two people) personally. Some clients would be dealt with by junior partners and employed solicitors.

The law firm is called MESSRS. FROBISHER & HASLITT.

*************
I think your first thought was correct - the clients have business-dealings with France, and have businesses based in France.
The second paragraph is simply an explanation (a very interesting story) of why they have so many connections with France and French businesses.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
vkhu
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 12:01:02 PM
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That make sense. Thank you for your help.
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 12:19:25 PM

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In British legal circles the term undertaking has a certain meaning.

Quote:
“a statement, given orally or in writing, whether or not it includes the word “undertake” or “undertaking”, ... to someone who reasonably places reliance on it, that you or your firm will do something or cause something to be done, or refrain from doing something”


Taken from this document.

https://www.barcouncil.org.uk/media/548779/undertakings_-_final__nov_2016_.pdf

It could be that undertakings means that clients have many agreements with people in France rather than physical businesses.



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vkhu
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 12:31:48 PM
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So another interpretation would be some of the clients were well-connected in France?
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 7:12:00 AM

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It could mean either or both at the same time, there may be clients that have contacts and are well connected in France and others that have businesses.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
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