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The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation was founded in Hong Kong on March 3, 1865, and in Shanghai one month later. In 1980, HSBC acquired 51 per cent of Marine Midland Bank, buying the rest in 1987. HSBC Holdings was established in Britain in 1991 as the parent of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation ahead of its purchase of the UK-based Midland Bank and the impending 1997 transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong from Britain to China. 

Who better to tell bad jokes on the sorry state of the world than 'wigs' and 'pens'?

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2007, 12:00am

It's not quite as secretive as Fight Club but one of the rules of a Wig & Pen gathering is, you're not supposed to write about it. Obviously, CitySeen is breaking rank somewhat, but last Friday one such event was held at the Foreign Correspondents' Club.

As the name implies, it's a gathering of lawyers and journalists who meet to share thoughts and discuss topics of the day outside their normal setting of courtrooms and legal offices. The practice started more than 300 years ago in London, and though the tradition continues, Friday was something of a revival in Hong Kong as the first such mingle in more than two years.

Organised by Law Society ex-president Michael Lintern-Smith (pictured, right) and his firm, Robertsons, it's now less about exchanging views than punchlines. Speaking for the 'wigs' was retired magistrate Ian Candy (left), while FCC president Christopher Slaughter (centre) represented the 'pens'.

'I'm not here to be controversial. I'm not even here to be serious,' Ian Candy stated as something of an opening remark. Both parties then went on to deliver what amounted to amateur stand-up night at the FCC. The verdict: both parties guilty of wilfully trafficking off-colour jokes and groaning stories.

Also interesting was that the event was sponsored by HSBC. Afterwards, the roomful of barristers and scribes drank and ate to their hearts' delight with the bill paid by rich bankers. No comment.


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