Tulkinghorn’s old friend Michael Bloch QC of Wilberforce Chambers, who just happened to be one of the judges at this year’s Lawyer Awards, is a conscientious chap.
Which is why he arrived at the recent awards ceremony in plenty of time.
After handing his coat in to the cloakroom at the Dorchester Hotel, Bloch proceeded to the reception for a glass of champagne and even found a fellow judge to chat to.
But 10 minutes of mingling later and the silk still hadn’t bumped into any of his lawyer buddies. Hardly surprising given that the event he’d turned up to was The Sceptre Awards, “the pre-eminent accolades in the shopping centre industry”.
It’s just as well the Grosvenor House Hotel, where The Lawyer event was being held, is just a short hop, skip and jump away from the Dorchester.
Rumours that Bloch had been running a book on the winner of Sceptre’s Short-Term Retailer of the Year gong could not be substantiated at the time of going to press.
Slaughters’ head rebut
Slaughter and May is known for being one of the City’s more secretive firms, and the strategy seems to serve it well. But sometimes it can go a bit far.
A member of a competitor’s support staff called up a friend in Slaughters’ knowledge management department to ask who headed the team.
The response: “Sorry, but we can’t disclose that information.”
In other words, the knowledge management department was so efficient that it couldn’t even say who its head was.
What next? Not disclosing turnover and profits? Oh, wait…
The curse of Ham
Take a firm run by Jewish lawyers for Muslim clients and what do you get? A bacon breakfast.
That’s the situation Whale Rock Legal found itself in when a member of the team sent out the itinerary for a clients’ day out to a golf course. The first item on the schedule: meet at 8.30am for bacon sandwiches.
Our helpful friend was clearly unaware of the dietary sensitivities of much of the team, including chief executive Nigel Kushner and new corporate recruit Elliot Shear, not to mention the Muslims advised by Kushner, an expert in Iranian sanctions.
Tulkinghorn suggests the firm track down some Catholic clients so it can serve them champagne and chocolate breakfasts during Lent.
The Lawyer Awards is legendary in the legal market for being a right rollicking party, but Tulkinghorn nearly choked on his after-dinner brandy this year when he witnessed some of the shapes being cut on the dancefloor.
In the incapable hands of a couple of Tulkinghorn’s scribes, College of Law business development director Sarah Hutchinson was taught some new moves by a very zealous Baker & McKenzie associate, whose blushes shall be spared.
Fresh from a When Do (work hen do – don’t ask), said associate shared the secrets of his newly perfected burlesque dance, complete with tassel-swinging action. Tulkinghorn is just grateful that the merry band was tassel-free on this occasion.
Fit for purpose
Cheers all round at Clifford Chance last week, as the firm’s annual partner conference took place in a London hotel. That’s London hotel, singular, as opposed to London hotels, plural. The 2010 opening of the plush Park Plaza near Westminster Bridge means that, for the first time ever, all 600 Clifford Chance partners can fit into one venue.
Previously, a little bird informs Tulkinghorn, the firm had to spread itself out across three separate establishments because it couldn’t find a conference venue big enough for all the partners in one place.
Expect great things from Clifford Chance in the year ahead: one of Tulkinghorn’s spies reports that, after partaking in the “Inspirational tea and coffee breaks” advertised on the hotel’s events home page, the partners came up with a strategy that will blow the competition’s minds.