Tulkinghorn knows the best way to make a good impression on your vacation scheme is to agree to do absolutely everything that is asked of you.
For one (un)lucky student working at Nabarro, that included agreeing to dress up as a cheerleader for the benefit of a charity.
The student was roped in after the original trainee called in sick on the day of the performance. Not only did she agree to dress up in a ra-ra skirt, but she also offered to learn a dance routine in just hours before performing in front of a crowd of lawyers as part of Nabarro’s battle of the bands night.
Although Tulkinghorn can’t confirm whether the student’s actions guaranteed her a training contract, they sure helped in the firm’s fundraising efforts, which saw the staff donate nearly £5,000 in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
Norton Rose has always been a hotbed of intellectuals, none more so than those who listed their summer reading in the firm’s new in-house magazine.
Banking partner Richard Calnan will be sunning himself while reading Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time. Real estate head Lindsay Morgan will be engrossed in Edmund de Waal’s family memoirs The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance, while another banking partner, Tomas Gärdfors, is occupying himself with Edward Rutherfurd’s historical novel Sarum.
But Tulkinghorn’s favourite text is design and brand manager Ashley Woodham’s Crystal Palace FC matchday programme (“Total rubbish”, Woodham adds), a worthy addition to the list of highbrow tomes doing the rounds at the City firm.
And still with Norton Rose, Tulkinghorn would never have known how to grow potatoes were it not for the firm’s recent business services recruit Natalia Chudakova.
To quote Natalia in Moscow, who spends most weekends with her husband at their dacha: “To define the best time for planting potatoes in central Russia, look at the birches. When the leaves appear out of the buds – this is our time to plant,” she writes in the aforementioned in-house rag.
Tulkinghorn won’t bore readers with the mandated measurements (oh, alright then, 60-70cm between the rows of seeds, since you didn’t ask), but Natalia goes on: “We usually use the old potatoes stored in the basement, which start to grow by springtime and are unsuitable for food any more.”
Apparently, “watering also matters”. You shouldn’t overwater after planting potatoes lest the roots weaken. And make sure you stop watering the plants completely 20 days after harvesting, then dig out the crop at least 90 days after the spuds were planted.
And potatoes aren’t all. Natalia knows all about planting garlic, and when it comes to cucumbers: “In Russia, people say that you should plant cucumbers late at night – providing that nobody sees you.
“This dates back to a tradition to plant cucumbers when you are naked (which is why no one should see you). If you follow these instructions your crop will be rich.”
Digging into the News of the World’s demise early last week, Tulkinghorn tried to get hold of News International’s general counsel Tom Crone (before he left the company, that is).
After listening to the phone ring for a few moments he was put back to the switchboard, where the receptionist explained Crone’s voicemail was not activated. Phone hacking fears maybe? Or just too busy hacking?
Rivals and departures
A strong communications chief is essential in any firm, particularly one that is in the middle of a £300m merger with Clyde & Co.
Spare a thought for Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, which suffered the departure of its communications chief Ed Fitzgerald to rival Reynolds Porter Chamberlain earlier this month. Coincidentally perhaps, RPC is the same firm that welcomed former BLG chief executive Clint Evans as its director of brand and talent back in May.
According to one insider, BLG took a relaxed approach to Fitzgerald’s departure, allowing him to attend some high-level meetings on the merger talks with Clydes.
That was until someone higher up the pecking order realised that letting your nearest rival in to talks on the biggest merger in the market may not be such a great idea and asked him to leave.