Very much like the apparently magical mechanism that boffins use to insert jam into doughnuts, the process by which Clifford Chance elects its senior partner is shrouded in mystery.
Some say that three wise men are chosen to follow a star from Frankfurt to Canary Wharf, searching for a new-born child with the countenance of Stuart Popham. Still others maintain that the world’s biggest ouija board is set up at Corney & Barrow one Friday lunch time, around which sits the global partnership until The Chosen One emerges or the kettle chips run out.
Whatever the truth, the world is going to have to wait that little bit longer to discover the identity of Popham’s successor after the first round of voting (or divining) produced no clear winner (see story).
The three candidates - two Englishmen and a German woman - can now go through to the second round if they so choose. But if none of Jonathan Elman, Malcolm Sweeting or Daniela Weber-Rey pulls out, the three-way impasse could go on indefinitely.
So if CC wants to get its Miliband, someone is going to have to be Ed Balls first… Any takers?