Are you like me, amazed at the range of talented specialists who now appear on these pages and in other professional journals?
It is possible to now find in this very city lawyers who are heads of department in such whizzy things as the 'law of waste and emissions trading', 'internet domain name dispute resolution' or 'outsourcing'.
One article I saw, recently, described the new recruit to their firm as "a partner in its regulatory team specialising in business compliance and crisismanagement issues".
When I read that, I thought what they really meant is that this chap looks after white-collar criminals, but that's not very polite, is it. So, when did this need for exciting titles start?
I think you can trace it back to the days when we all had a bank manager. Somebody, somewhere decided that we needed to have a "relationship" and so the "relationship manager" was born. He was a userfriendly type and to help matters further his staff moved to India to improve the service.
Subsequently, insolvency practitioners became "business recovery and turnaround specialists" and the Metro Bar became a safer place overnight.
Clever managing partners bought a psychiatrist's chair and started to hold forth on the virtues of working "on the business" rather than "in the business". Accountants started talking about added value, rather than Value Added Tax.
In the end though, are the clients better off for the advent of this type of titular mumbojumbo and professional gobbledegook? Surely, what they want is a service from someone competent delivered at the right price within the agreed time - simple really. If some of the lawyers described above really are specialists in waste management issues as they allege - and not just creations of their own PR departments - I wonder when they decide to take this turn in their professional lives.
One of the concerns I have is how we as a profession have forced our young solicitors to specialise from the moment they qualify.
As professionals, we can no longer afford to take risks on quality in order for junior staff to gain experience, but the consequence of this at some firms has been to cause young solicitors to sit in back rooms carrying out research on the meaning of such things as the Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of less favourable treatment) Regulations 2002.
So my question is this - can a person who chooses to specialise from the age of 25, in some obscure branch of law, really be expected to have a proper overview of business issues and give a balanced commercial view? I think not.
Nigel Wood is senior partner at Birmingham law firm The Wilkes Partnership.