Friends in high places

Everyone’s been there. You’re checking in for your flight home and the guy on the desk asks you if you packed your luggage yourself. Er… as far as you can recall, yes.

“Or has anybody given you anything to carry on to your flight?”Last month Clifford Chance‘s US head of finance and restructuring Evan Cohen had reason to also answer “yes” to the latter question.

Cohen was in Israel, a place not known for its hassle-free airport check-in procedures, and was heading back to the US following a thank-you dinner from clients for the closure of a successful financing involving a certain airline.

At the dinner all the guests had been given a delightful silver orb inlaid with gold with images of Jerusalem. It was very ‘tasteful’, very expensive and very well wrapped.

“You’d really like me to open this?” asked Cohen. “It’s gift-wrapped.”

“Open it,” barked the attendant.

“But it was given to me personally by the chairman of El Al,” snapped back Cohen.

Sadly, the paper still came off. Sometimes dropping names just isn’t enough.