News has reached Tulkinghorn’s ears of the talented man being billed as the scariest partner in law: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer restructuring high chieftain Ken Baird.
One of Tulkinghorn’s scribes heard that Baird is a whiz at anything to do with hand-eye coordination and that, during a meeting with a Freshfields colleague, Baird showed off his skills by repeatedly throwing a pen into a cup from a distance of around five feet. No small achievement, that.
Tulkinghorn’s mole also learnt that Baird’s sharp-shooting extends to proficiency with a shotgun. But it’s hopefully unlikely he’ll bring one of those out during a partners’ meeting.
Tulkinghorn has heard it’s cold outside due to an annual climatic event known as ‘winter’. He also understands that CMS Cameron McKenna was not prepared for this sudden shift in temperature, as demonstrated by its choice of venue for the firm’s annual partners’ meeting.
Word reached Tulkinghorn that Camerons had the meeting at a chilly riverside warehouse in London’s Tobacco Dock just before Christmas.
One partner reported from the scene: “So there we were. About 130 partners and such sitting in our party wear and wrapped in coats, scarves and even blankets while we listened to the afternoon of presentations. I think it might have been a decent meeting, but it was too cold to really focus. “
Apparently the temperature rose a few notches for the party in the evening, thanks to “the 500 staff who joined us – oh, and lots of alcohol”. But not enough to stop many people from heading home early.
Tulkinghorn’s mole at the scene is still thawing out.
When Tulkinghorn thinks of the capitals of Islamic finance, names such as Kuala Lumpur, Dubai and perhaps London might come to mind.
Of course, Cheltenham – best known for being home to ladies who like to play lacrosse – doesn’t usually figure in the list.
But it seems some lawyers in the sleepy spa town think it should do.
A team of associates from one of Cheltenham’s high street firms recently contacted a City recruiter who hires Islamic finance stars for top UK and US firms in the Middle East.
They bragged about their expertise on sharia-compliant mortgages in the Cotswolds – perhaps in the hope of bagging a role on the next multibillion-pound sukuk.
The recruiter couldn’t help them, unfortunately. But if Cheltenham becomes the next Dubai, he’ll be kicking himself.
As regular visitors to his page will be aware, Tulkinghorn takes a dim view of the ways in which marketing and management consultants twist this great language of ours into a gibbering mess.
One particular example that has got Tulkinghorn’s blood boiling with righteous indignation comes from a consultancy called Corporate Mosaic.
Apparently nothing to do with office floor designs, Corporate Mosaic advises in-house legal teams on strategy.
Accordingly, one of Tulkinghorn’s scribes received a marketing
missive from the company claiming that its experts could help in-house lawyers “achieve clarity in the Company Secretarial journey”.
Journey? The last that Tulkinghorn heard, being a company secretary was still a job.
Divorced from reality?
Tulkinghorn is very grateful to the scribe that flagged up the appearance of Payne Hicks Beach partner Fiona Shackleton in the Daily Mail, because he doesn’t read it himself.
Celebrity divorce lawyer Shackleton is quoted as saying: “I like to see myself as what most women lawyers of my generation aren’t. Feminine and successful and uncompromising.
A good negotiator, tough and highly respected. The combination of having a rod of steel through your back with a lot of charm helps.”
Hopefully it will come in handy should Shackleton ever find herself visited by a posse of unfeminine, unsuccessful and compromising female lawyers seeking to… ahem… pour cold water on her claims.
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