Tulkinghorn: Cold ­mountain

According to Tulkinghorn’s contacts in Germany, the annual partners’ retreat for Berlin-based firm GSK ­Stockmann & Kollegen is a skiing trip to Germany’s snow-capped mountains.

One senior lawyer at UK alliance firm Nabarro jokes that you can’t get into the partnership unless you can ski. Apparently the ­partners spend all day on the slopes then retire for après-ski meetings.

Nabarro senior partner Simon Johnston went along this year. However, Johnston isn’t as adept as his Deutsche counterparts and spent more time enjoying the view than hurtling down the peaks. It didn’t help that Johnston’s skiing skills match his ­ability to speak German.

Lonely as it might have been, it sure as hell beats a Travelodge near Heathrow.

Broken glasnost

After a photo of White & Case chairman Hugh ­Verrier was requested by The Lawyer, the firm’s PR machine promptly ­telephoned one of ­Tulkinghorn’s minions to make sure her boss wasn’t stepping out of line.

She was reassured to learn that said photo was to accompany a story on promotions, which included some golden management spiel from Verrier about the “emerging generation of leaders cultivated within White & Case”. A statement that would probably have appeared familiar to the PR honcho, given that it was probably her who wrote it.

“I just wanted to make sure none of our partners are going behind my back and doing any illegal ­talking to the press,” she emphasised.

“I didn’t realise it was illegal to talk to the press?” questioned the minion.

“Oh no, it’s only illegal if I don’t know about it,” retorted the PR honcho.

Nice to see openness and transparency are alive and well at Whiter than White & Case.

Mind the gaps

Dealing with surveys is a fact of life for law firms these days. Some remain conservative in what ­information they want to be revealed (while not wanting to be left out ­altogether, of course).

But it appears those responsible for filling out O’Melveny & Myers’ ­submission for this year’s The Lawyer Transatlantic Elite are ­suffering from ’omission’ fatigue. The email accompanying the form included the proviso: “Please find attached O’Melveny’s ­completed survey. The information not included cannot be ­disclosed.” Just to be ­doubly sure, then.

Computer says ’no’

Conspiracy theory alert!

On the morning that news broke about the Berlin office of Hogan & Hartson breaking away to form Raue just weeks before its ’transformative’ merger with Lovells, the UK firm’s entire computer systems and website crashed.

“We can’t get on to find anything and can’t send a statement over until they’re back up,” said a flustered spokesman.

If in doubt, blame ­technology.

One smells a rat.

It’s not ­cricket

More murky goings-on in the legal netball ­community, as Premier League-style mind games have even ­started seeping their way into the once sedate sport.

Tulkinghorn has learnt that he may have been duped by last week’s tale of in-fighting among the Travers Smith girls, almost certainly in a ploy by a rival team to ­disrupt the squad ­during the most crucial part of the season.

Tulkinghorn has been reassured that the rumour-mongering won’t have any effect on the team’s title chances. Yeah, but that’s what Kevin ­Keegan once
said too.