Pole to pole

From the comfort of Tulkinghorn’s fireside chesterfield sofa, he hears that Allen & Overy (A&O) corporate partners’ most recent get-together was more jamboree than sophisticated tête-à-tête.

Global head of corporate Richard Cranfield and Amsterdam-based partner Sietze Hepkema lured partners from across the planet with the promise of a five-star hotel in Madrid. But a rude awakening was in store for the 80 partners who showed up, ready for some chilled Jerez and jamon.

Instead it was walking boots and penknives at the ready as the party was bussed out from the aforementioned luxe bolthole to the surrounding desert.

After trekking for hours, instead of luxurious sleeping arrangements awaiting them, the partners had to put up (and put up with) 10-man tents.

More grievously, there was no alcohol. At least, that was the plan. Cranfield reports that, while the partners were ready to give up everyday luxuries such as running water (conveniences were replaced with haystacks, even) and limited BlackBerry use, they drew the line at the lack of Rioja, and Cranfield found a mutiny on his hands.

“But when they checked in to a two-star hotel in the nearby cowboy town, you’ve never seen such happy bunnies,” he added.

Could this be part of senior partner Guy Beringer’s plan to take the emphasis away from such material things such as profitability?Tulkinghorn suggests that next year A&O might like to get back to nature at Glastonbury.