Tulkinghorn: Ivories coasting

Dancing his way through the offices of The Wellcome Trust, John Stewart is one smooth operator.

Ivories coasting

Jeremy Cape

Jeremy Cape

Denton Wilde Sapte tax partner Jeremy Cape (left) has found a novel way of picking up clients – serenading them on the piano in hotel bars.

On a recent business development trip to Rwanda, Cape found himself playing A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square on the hotel piano, when a fellow British guest came over to find out what he was playing. It transpired that the stranger was building a chain of hotels and was on the hunt for a lawyer. Cape was, of course, happy to oblige. After all, the lyrics do go: “That certain night, the night we met, there was magic abroad in the air.” Oh how true.

Movers and shakers

Dancing his way through the offices of The Wellcome Trust, John Stewart is one smooth operator.

The charity’s general counsel (and the subject of this week’s in-house interview) has had three and a half years of contemporary dance training. Stewart’s passion for pirouettes began after he took a seat on the board of governors at The Place, the country’s largest contemporary dance centre, and the 54-year-old is now on Level 2 of the Humphrey/Limon technique.
Now, having appeared in two performances in front of live audiences, he’s hooked.

Hats off (and a tap of the cane) to Stewart. Which leads Tulkinghorn to wonder how many other lawyers are leotard-friendly? Who else likes a jive, a rhumba or a waltz? Answers, please, to: tulkinghorn@thelawyer.com

Gewgaw law

Tulkinghorn has the utmost sympathy for lawyers who’ve been made redundant. In fact, he raises a glass to the poor souls several times a day. So, when word reached him of a decent job opportunity, the only decent thing to do was to spill the beans.

A company called ­Carbolic Smoke Ball, which ­specialises in selling legal memorabilia, has written in asking for help finding ­someone to run its new shop.

Clearly a sense of humour is required, as ­evidenced by the ‘See you in court!’ badge and the riotous ‘Real men marry lawyers’ T-shirt.

And good sales skills are a must when it comes to selling fountain pens for just shy of a grand.

Law students will recall learning about the original makers of the Carbolic Smoke Ball. They were bankrupted in 1893 after promising to pay £100 to anyone who contracted flu after using their product.

The modern company is run by former Ashurst Morris Crisp lawyer Philip Jenks. Tulkinghorn hopes he has better luck.

Street star named Uría

While sharing a hot toddy with a South American ­fellow on his return to England, Tulkinghorn learnt of a heartwarming story concerning Spanish firm Uría Menéndez.

Following an ­earthquake in Peru in 2007, Uría volunteers and donations contributed to the reconstruction of the small town of San Matías, rebuilding some 39 houses.

This month news reached the firm that, due to the popular request of the townsfolk, the town’s main road has been named ‘Rodrigo Uría’ to recognise the firm’s co-founder.

Such a tale warms the ­cockles, but it also got one thinking: could one ­imagine driving up Simon Davis Avenue? Or David Childs Boulevard? Doesn’t quite have the same ring.

Sugar chump

BBC1’s hit reality TV series The Apprentice has once again captivated viewers across the UK.

But before it even aired last Tuesday (24 March) Sir Alan Sugar’s show had already claimed its first victim in one Adam Freeman. The only Adam Freeman Tulkinghorn knows is a banking and finance star at Linklaters.

Tulkinghorn can see it now. Not content with partnership at the magic circle firm, Freeman applied to become Sugar’s next apprentice and made the final cut. But he ­succumbed to pressure and dropped out one day before the first episode was due to be filmed.

Tulkinghorn is shocked. One would assume a magic circle firm would prepare you for the stress and high pressure of any challenging business environment.
Or maybe Sugar is more scary than ‘pussycat’ David Cheyne.