Taking the Michael

Tulkinghorn likes nothing better than to slouch in his leather armchair with a stiff measure of Glenlivet and stay up till the early hours to watch the Oscars.

One of his particular favourites this year was Michael Clayton, about a stressed-out lawyer who is forced to rein in a mentally unstable partner.

We’ve all been there, but this time it seems the truth is even closer to the fiction than at first glance. The real Michael Clayton, or at least a lawyer with that name, is the head of US firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius’s trademarks practice.

In the film George Clooney, aka Clayton, is divorced, whereas the real Clayton is happily married, thank you very much. Although said wife did jump at the chance to meet Clooney at a launch event for the DVD.

“Once I’d discovered the background,” says Clayton, “my wife was very happy to give the go-ahead to use my name on the condition she could meet the real star – George Clooney.”

Tulkinghorn hopes she leaves the event with the right one.