News reaches Tulkinghorn that Hammonds’ most recent partner conference was a wild affair.
Controversially, London head Robert Weekes hosted the bash for hundreds of the firm’s insiders at the O2 in Greenwich. Apparently the event was characterised by small screaming people running around the place.
Rumours that this was in fact not a partner meeting but a private screening of the new Harry Potter film could not be confirmed at press time.
Readers with long memories may recall that during the last recession Linklaters had a stab at cutting costs by ditching all of the exotic fruit in its meeting rooms. Now Herbert Smith appears to have taken the magic circle firm’s cost-cutting steps as a lead.
One of Tulkinghorn’s spies reports that the firm has replaced all of the biscuits in its meeting rooms with boiled sweets and (frankly disturbing) sanitising handwipes. Mmm, moreish.
But is this really the firm’s response to the downturn?
It is a matter of record that Herbert Smith was the first UK firm to report an instance of swine flu after one of its cleaners reported sick recently. It appears the move not only forced another cleaner to go round cleaning all the places the previous cleaner had cleaned, but also signalled the demise of the digestive.
Tulkinghorn learnt recently that Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe is moving from its iconic address in New York to a new home. The firm signed a lease last month to move to the CBS Broadcasting-owned Blackrock Building at 51 West 52nd Street.
“We’re excited about our new prestigious office space and the opportunities for growth and expansion it provides Orrick,” said Peter Bicks, Orrick’s New York office head.
Yeah, whatever. ”Opportunities for growth and expansion” are all very well, but what Bicks didn’t reveal was the real reason why Orrick was moving. For ‘iconic’ read ‘demonic’. Orrick’s current – and soon to be former – address was 666 Fifth Avenue.
Tulkinghorn will let you decide what really made Orrick move, but will leave you with this thought: ever seen The Devil’s Advocate?
Above the Lawes
You’d think being appointed as global head of corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer would be cause for celebration. Especially if you’d beaten rival candidates such as hotly tipped head of financial institutions Will Lawes.
But reading new corporate chief Ed Braham’s comment in the firm’s announcement last week, it was hard to tell whether he was happy, sad or, indeed, a real human being, as opposed to a machine designed to spew out reams of anodyne PR babble.
For those not versed in corporate claptrap, Tulkinghorn has decided to offer his services as a translator in an attempt to get to the bottom of what Braham really meant. He hopes this is useful, but you’ll have to excuse him if something was lost in translation:“In today’s markets, law firms need to be highly adaptable and offer their clients something special.”
[Translation: “I’m pretty special – no wonder they chose me.”]
“Our depth of experience, our integrated international practice and our long-established sector expertise are all important in providing a more valuable service through being better able to anticipate our clients’ needs.”
[“Freshfields is really, really great.”]
“I believe we are extremely well-placed to assist our clients on the hugely diverse and complex issues that they face.”
[In your face, Will Lawes.]
Herbies goes bananas
Tulkinghorn would like to commend Herbert Smith on its ability to keep its partner departures so quiet. Recently he learnt that the firm’s equity partner numbers had dropped by five over the course of the past financial year. Really, he had no idea.
Unfortunately nor had one of the firm’s associates, who was feeling particularly smug until it was pointed out that the partner he’d been cross-selling a client to had left 18 months earlier. There’s quiet, and there’s quiet.