Legal colleagues come down with a bout of late-night fisticuffs

AN occasion such as the annual dinner held at the Foreign Correspondents' Club by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators - a rich blend of lawyers, architects, accountants and the like - is the epitome of propriety, where refined manners and old-fashioned courtesy are of the essence.

Which is probably why two of the guests at the dinner - one a professor, the other a senior reader at the City Polytechnic law department - decided the pavement outside on Ice House Street was the most suitable locale for a late-night bout of fisticuffs.

What brought about this uncharacteristic outburst of unlawful behaviour between two people whose daylight hours are spent dissecting the niceties of the law is the cause of much speculation.

Although of late things at the law faculty have been somewhat stressful indeed, what with a significant percentage of the students of the 1991-92 Post Graduate Certificate of Laws failing their examinations.

As fists flayed outside, the splendidly turbaned Sikh doorman at the club, not wanting to put life and limb at risk, sensibly chose to look the other way.

In the end, it was only the brave intervention of a luminary of the bench (who is believed to have sternly reminded the combatants that if they continued they might well be appearing before him in the morning) that brought hostilities to a reluctant end.

Can a rematch be far away?