Elliot Lane says Mark Langford must be mad to miss this High Court showdown

The hallowed halls of London's Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand played host to a wide cross-section of the insurance industry this week. Sadly, disgraced TAG chief executive Mark Langford decided not to leave the comfort of his Costa del Crime bolt-hole, and failed to show for his bankruptcy hearing.

Only a few creditors, his lawyers and the press turned up to hear that poor Langford has gone mad, suffering from "severe mental illness" – probably caused by the Spanish heat and cheap vodka shooters at Sinatra's bar in Puerto Banus. His tax bill of £1.84m remains outstanding. The case has been adjourned until 1 May.

And then venturing down into the basement, Court 22 was witnessing the battle of Bury St Edmunds in full swing. Two broker barons, Peter Cullum and Bob Beckett, were having their day in court over the defection of 15 staff from Country Mutual Insurance Brokers to Beckett's new company, Insurance Risk Services (IRS).

Towergate is upset that these individuals have access to 641 clients, where up to 119 clients have issued transfer mandates since February this year.

Towergate's lawyer claimed it is losing around 20 clients a week which, if this "barrage of attacks" continues he said, could result in around 250 clients moving on. Beckett, who did show up, remained Sphinx-like in court and naturally refutes the claims.

Finally, the new McCartneys were in town. Axis and Bermuda legend John Charman faced his ex-wife and her lawyers to try to bring "some justice back" to the British justice system.

Charman is trying to persuade judges to slash the £48m divorce settlement awarded to his former wife. The award made last year is thought to have been the largest in legal history.

It only needed the rousing strains of Elgar's Nimrod piped into the courts to bring a tear to the eye.. IT