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The senior counsel on Phillip Street dazzle in court with their legal jargon, but when Valentine’s Day rolls around, many become lost for words. These legal eagles might be experts in the complex maxims of equity, but they struggle with the “formal requirements” of the unspoken laws of love. Lucky for them, we have prepared a relatable guide for those loquacious-but-love-lacking lawyers who need some pro bono assistance this Valentine’s Day.

1. Equity Valentine’s will not assist a volunteer 

Taking your partner to a free event does not constitute a perfect night out, so don’t even think about taking them to a free taste-testing at Messina, or that free Law Society event you registered for. Doing a walking tour of the city – which, may I remind you, is just a walk – is an oft-disguised way of turning your daily commute into a quasi-romantic gesture. Your partner won’t be as forgiving as Sydneysiders have been of the slowest light rail on earth.

2. Equity Valentine’s will not complete an imperfect gift 

Gifting your valentine an origami swan folded in your firm’s letterhead, half a pair of shoes, or a P1 smoke mask (that does very little to protect you from smoke inhalation) is not going to cut it this year. Time to salary sacrifice this week’s pay cheque to buy a more thoughtful present than your redundant 3rd edition of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation. 

3. He who comes to equity Valentine’s must come with clean hands

Grooming is a must for anyone looking for love this Valentine’s Day. Seriously, just wash your hands. It’s not hard. 

4. Equity Valentine’s does what ought to be done 

No one really knows what this maxim means, but that’s the magic of Valentine’s Day.

5. Equity Valentine’s will not allow a statute to be used as a cloak for fraud 

Online dating carries certain fiduciary responsibilities. Don’t catfish any unsuspecting Tinder, Bumble, Hinge or Grindr dates. Using a photograph of Justice Kirby as your profile pic would be a fraudulent manipulation of the law of attraction. Plus, he’s happily married.

6. Equity Valentine’s will not allow a trust to fail for want of a trustee

Valentine’s Day is not a great time to be testing out trust falls. Especially if you’re not actually strong enough to lift your partner back up.

7.  Equity Valentine’s delights to do justice and not by halves 

Don’t split the bill, you cheapskate. And no, you can’t expense the dinner; finding true love doesn’t count as networking.

8. Equity Valentine’s does not require an idle gesture 

It requires a grand gesture! Wearing colourful socks doesn’t make you interesting. 

9. Equity Valentine’s follows the law

An unsigned statutory declaration of love won’t work with this Valentine’s. Also, please use handcuffs with care.

10. Those who seek equity valentines must do equity Valentine’s 

Don’t ghost your date or chicken out mid-way. You bought that fluffy heart, now give it to your partner. (Just not your senior partner if you want to avoid a workplace sexual harassment investigation.)