The truth about the rise of the national firm can now be revealed. Forget your FTSE 100 and say "pooh" to profits (who needs them when you have spiritual enlightenment?). The reality of the ever-growing juggernauts of law is that they are religious sects led by zen-like gurus.
Nigel Knowles showed the way. DLA's 'leader', confirmed in September as top man for the next three years in an unopposed election, clearly inspires devotion among his firm, a love highlighted by his followers' one-time chorusing of Eye of the Tiger at the end of year results bash.
Now it's Eversheds' turn. David Gray is planning to take on Knowles in a national firm battle of the sectsters. 'Behavioural values', 'mutual respect', 'continuous improvement', even 'visions and values'. Yuck. But the Eversheds evangelist has a battle on his hands in the metaphysical shape of Knowles, who once said he was "leading DLA to do what I think is absolutely right for DLA... to make them absolutely the best and to live forever". Scary. Tulkinghorn can't wait for the robes to come off and this battle to get down and dirty.