With the introduction of new employment regulations at the beginning of the month, Tulkinghorn has been inundated with invitations to seminars clarifying the rules for confused clients.
One such seminar was held by Lewis Silkin, coinciding with the official opening of its specialist employment office in Oxford. In the luxurious and high-tech surroundings of the Saïd Business School, clients, lawyers and journalists gathered to hear the firm’s top 10 tips for dealing with the regulations.
But this was no one-sided lecture. Partner Russell Brimelow and his team invited the audience to vote on the merits of the 10 tips, using a handy laminated card. On one side was a large tick, on the other a picture of an anorak. The idea was to decide how useful a tip was and vote accordingly – a tick for usefulness, an anorak for dull technical blather.
Encouragingly for Lewis Silkin, the only tip voted to be overwhelmingly anoraky was number seven, regarding the permissibility of companions in grievance meetings. Employees don’t have to have a colleague with them to hold their hand, apparently.
Afterwards, an amused audience filed out for drinks and admired the large ice sculpture in the foyer. Some debate occurred before the guests could decide what it was – eventually everyone realised it was an ox’s head. For Oxford. Clever, these lawyers.