Psycho billers

Tulkinghorn appreciates a controversial comment now and again, and flamboyant ’corporate philosopher’ Roger Steare certainly set the cat among the pigeons at a debate on business ethics recently.


Christian Bale as American psycho Patrick Bateman: seems the Yanks  were ahead of the curve on this one
Christian Bale as American psycho Patrick Bateman: seems the Yanks were ahead of the curve on this one

Steare announced to participants at the round-table event, hosted by Eversheds, that a percentage of people at the top of the
most successful organisations are sociopaths and, indeed, psychopaths.

Given that his audience included senior partners, heads of divisions and a former SFO director, Steare certainly made an impact. But would he have been quite so contentious if he’d realised he was being recorded?

And no, not by any of the journalists around the table, but by the communications team from Grayling organising the event.

Tulkinghorn was told privately that the digital audio recording was for “PR purposes”, but being a journalist of some cynicism, kept his counsel on the issue of psychopaths in the boardroom.

Tulkinghorn is happy to report that Steare left the building unharmed.

Who’s a pretty (annoying) boy?

Never let it be said that Tulkinghorn doesn’t have the inside track on all the news that counts.

Super-silk Jonathan Sumption QC’s sister Hetty is a trade lawyer at Clyde & Co. That’s not the news. The fact that she was left a parrot in her father’s will is cute, but that’s not the news either.

The news is that the parrot is an ace mimick of the BBC pips designating the top of the hour, confusing the hell out of everybody at Clydes.

Presumably the parrot squawks up, pip-like, when there is, in fact, news.

The truth is out there

The Old Court Room in Lincoln’s Inn was the historic setting for a very modern debate on the concept of truth in the digital age.

The event was hosted by authoritative yet humorous broadcaster Jon Snow and solicitor-turned-novelist Elanor Dymott, with the duo eloquently discussing the pursuit of truth from different perspectives.

The debate – the first in a series called ’Encounters’ – was put on by the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting, a charitable organisation of trained lawyers, established in 1865, whose members sit in our top courts and transcribe legal precedent into official reports.

The discussion flowed beautifully, covering war reporting, fiction, court reporting, Twitter, the riots and diversity.

Esteemed guests such as legal commentator Joshua Rozenberg posed and explored ’impossible’ questions that captivated guests.

As is the risk of open debate, it all ended on a surreal note, as Snow smoothly handled an audience member’s diatribe on female oppression.

Not quite what the participants had signed up for.

Balls in your courts

The cricket season – Tulkinghorn’s favourite time of year – may be upon us, but there are some lawyers out there who’ll be shedding a tear for the temporary ending of rugby’s time in the ascendant.

Tulkinghorn is thinking in particular of some of the great and the good who may now hide their lights under bushels, but in another life were stars of the pitch themselves.

Take Ian Metcalfe, managing partner at Wragges and former rugby player of such renown that he not only represented that minor rugby nation England, but also turned out for the Barbars (that’s the Barbarians, in case you need educating).

And there’s always Karena Vleck, legendary sports lawyer and in-house counsel at the RFU, who not only set up Cambridge University’s womens’ rugby team, but also played in the first-ever women’s varsity game.

Who else is out there? Tulkinghorn demands to know.