Tulkinghorn is well aware of the public’s interest in the TV programme Dragons’ Den and said den’s inhabitants, but even he was somewhat moved by the sight of a new-born babe clearly enthralled by the words of wisdom emanating from former Dragon James Caan in a recent issue of The Lawyer.
Crèche course in funding ratios
The babe belongs to fabulous Fred Banning, PR man extraordinaire and pride of Pinsents’ press team. That said, until recently Street-Cred Fred had utterly failed to keep Tulkinghorn up-to-date about matters paternal.
“Sorry for not letting The Lawyer team know sooner about the birth of Ollie, but things have been a bit of a blur in the past few weeks,” bleary-eyed Banning bleated. “He arrived on 13 June at 9.28pm, weighing in at 6lb 11oz (and neatly avoiding clashing with the Euros).
“Here he is pictured, clearly enjoying Caan’s refreshing thinking on capital funding ratios.”
Could it be that a career in legal journalism beckons for Banning Jnr?
King & Wood Mallesons, Asia’s new powerhouse, appears to have turbocharged its time recording system as well as its strategy.
But don’t go thinking Tulkinghorn is referring to anything as mundane as recording chargeable hours – oh no. Tulkinghorn literally means ‘time recording’. According to a well-placed spy the firm has put in place a state-of-the-art staff management IT system in its offices in China. Or, to put it another way, lawyers and staff have to clock in. If a lawyer or staffer hasn’t clocked on by 9am, when the firm’s office hours officially start, an automatically generated text message is sent reminding that person of the fact, with the following helpful and in no way irritating message: “You haven’t clocked in yet today. It’s the firm’s requirement to start working at 9am. If you have a valid reason please contact the HR department the next day.”
Not surprisingly, this has caused something of a stir among some of the firm’s hard-working deal lawyers, who sometimes have to work until midnight or even into the wee hours. Tulkinghorn’s spy has heard that many lawyers have signed a petition to the HR department to abolish this strict requirement on starting time if lawyers have to work overtime constantly.
Word is that so far the petition has had precisely zero effect. Punch that card everybody, punch that card.
Wan and only
Lesley Wan, the perennially glamourous lawyer at the heart of Lloyds Bank, was undoubtedly one of the stars of last month’s The Lawyer Awards.
But should Tulkinghorn be surprised that Wan shone so brightly? She is, after all, used to the limelight. Tulkinghorn recently learned that years ago Wan studied drama in Los Angeles, during which time she regularly hob-nobbed with the stars. Indeed, she once shared a red carpet with Mel Gibson. Maybe she picked up a few tips from Mad Max on how to deal with mad bankers.
Games of two halves
One of Tulkinghorn’s spies, squirrelled away in court number five at the Rolls Building the other day, found himself perfectly positioned to overhear moustachioed legend Mr Justice Peter Smith spouting forth about his availability for a case over the summer.
Smith was having a nice little chat with the silk in the case about the Olympics. The odds of m’lud snagging himself a decent berth at one sport or another was the topic of conversation.
According to Tulkinghorn’s insider, Smith was heard to say that his niece was participating in the water polo event but he had not got any tickets because he could not afford them.
“It’s a little jolly for the wealthy people of the world, isn’t it?” Smith was heard to comment.
Tulkinghorn, similarly ticket-free, can only nod in agreement.