In 2008, Clifford Chance’s glad-handing senior partner Stuart Popham was the token lawyer hauled along by Gordon Brown on a trade junket to China and India. Just two short years later, the chameleonic Popham is returning to the sub-continent on the arm of his new beau - one David Cameron (see story).
Popham’s credentials as a friend to the powers-that-be are second to none in the legal business. Not only has he successfully changed his neckerchief from red to blue, but he has also secured himself the chairmanship of business lobbying group TheCityUK.
Managing partners across the City are no doubt casting envious glances eastward as Popham manages to get in on chinwags with the movers and shakers in what is fast-becoming the industry’s most important jurisdiction.
But just as most people panic about forgetting to unplug their hair-straighteners as soon as the seat-belt sign lights up above their heads at Heathrow, Popham might have some concerns that he’s left the back door open at home.
After funds star Jason Glover exited stage right last week, chasing the Yankee dollar at Simpson Thacher, this week brought news that litigation partner Denis Brock has also waved goodbye to CC Towers en route to Mallesons’ Hong Kong office (see story).
Let’s hope Popham remembered to water the plants before he left.