Impressing the press

Herbert Smith. Litigation group. Press party. Words that caused much giggling at Tulkinghorn Towers last week as the proximity to the firm’s highest-profile defeat (Excitable Lie) and a bash to meet and greet a boozed-up press neared.

Gamely the firm refused to reschedule and the attendees even included Julian Copeman, one of the lead partners on the disastrous case. And among the others present were those who had clearly mastered the art of spin. One partner told one of Tulkinghorn’s hacks that, despite Herbies’ decision to sue Lloyds TSB (see The Lawyer, 21 February), the firm is now getting more work from the bank than ever before. Ker-ching!

Elsewhere, Herbies’ Murray Rosen QC and Ian Gatt QC (described by one Herbies insider as “our very own Little and Large of the silk world”) held court and extolled the virtues of the firm’s in-house (non-alcoholic) bar.

And then there was Paris-based litigation and arbitration partner (and secret songbird) Denis Chemla. He was not expected to be at the party but came along anyway, as he was in London for a few meetings on the day. Chemla is a busy commuter, always darting between London and Paris. And always on the Eurostar – which is appropriate, as Chemla is an expert in airline crashes.