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Partner conferences are there for all the important things: voting on mergers, strategic rethinks, rallying the crowds and getting drunk with colleagues from across the world.
But at Ashurst, it seems this year’s event in Paris has had an extra element: an impromptu speech by a partner, intended as a joke, that appears to have raised a few eyebrows at the firm.
As we report today, the German partner picked up the microphone, started walking around the room and kicked off a sustained chain of criticisms of the firm’s leadership, of course as a joke.
But not everyone took the so-called ‘roast’ so well. As one source comments on those who mistook the satire for something serious: “It completely backfired. It didn’t go down well - the way it was timed. It was a joke that never took off.”
Supposedly this partner makes speeches like this all the time, and it’s said to be a standard feature of German get-togethers. But maybe not everyone’s sense of humour is totally aligned.
With the firm also working on financial integration with Ashurst Australia, a bit of education in humour in different cultures might not go amiss too.