Leader

Given that most of you will be spending much of this week with a wineglass for company – you can’t get a table in any City restaurant for love nor money – here at The Lawyer we thought we’d dispense with our usual closely argued observations on the legal market. Instead, we’re delighted to present our second annual comedy awards for lawyers as a small token of our esteem. This year the prizes go to…

Clifford Chance: for telling its partners not to go near a bar with legal journalists; for Tower Snow’s disappearing act; and best of all, for seriously sending out a press release with the banner headline ‘Clifford Chance sponsors puppet show’.

Freshfields: for that email cock-up where assistants found out the firm wasn’t promoting project finance partners in the foreseeable future; for one of its PRs being incompetent, or underhand, or both; and for the Germans getting bolshie with UK management – and then beating London in corporate profitability.

Ashurst(s): for claiming that its rebrand was because Johnny Foreigner couldn’t pronounce its name.

Allen & Overy: for Safeway, TXU and Cordiant.

Altheimer & Gray: for its London partners screaming down the phone saying nothing was wrong with the firm, a month before it dissolved with $30m (£17m) in debts.

Irwin Mitchell: for posting miraculous profits per partner figures of £460,000. It’s headquartered in Sheffield. It does personal injury. We are all admiration.

Royal Bank of Scotland: for giving us months of hilarity with its slapstick panel review.

DLA: for bringing in a bunch of new Italian partners right at the top of the equity. No difficult precedents there, then.

The Bar Council: for its doomed defence of silks.

Taylor Wessing: for realising that that dotcom stuff was a bit dodgy after all.

Morgan Cole: for announcing a big push in London.

Dechert: for its unique approach to partner retention.

Lastly, we’d like to extend our warmest festive greetings to: the lawyers who shamelessly nominated themselves for the Hot 100, out next month; the very senior serial groper who flipped when told to bog off; the in-house counsel so pedantic that all of his external lawyers loathe him; and the partner who threatened to take us to the Press Complaints Commission when we didn’t report one of his deals. You know who you are.

Happy Christmas.