Summer lovin'

“We're all going on a summer holiday, no more working for a week or two,” sang the great Sir Cliff back in 1963 (Mrs Tulkinghorn remains a lifelong admirer of his work). But at a modern law firm there's no time to just bum around for a couple of weeks, so SJ Berwin decided to combine all summer holidays and the firm's summer party into one single evening.
This was achieved by making the party a themed beach party event, fooling even the smartest of the firm's lawyers into believing they had been relaxing on the Costa del Sol for at least two weeks – and during term-time to boot.
But these plans can often backfire, particularly with a little bit too much imbibing of the free joie de vivre on offer. Take, for example, young property lawyer James Mallender, who, in addition to sporting one of the more outrageous get-ups of the night (he went as a fish), managed to perform the most sensational act of the evening and became the envy of all SJ Berwin's female lawyers.
Mallender, it is said, was getting into his character by drinking like a fish before being challenged by the firm's outdoor clerk Steve Calliston to give senior partner David Harrel a hearty smooch, full on the lips (is this really the fast-track to partnership these days?). While Mrs Tulkinghorn might jump at the chance without even a sip of sherry, Calliston was offering Mallender financial incentives to the tune of £20. When the rest of the table pitched in as well, Mallender stood to make a healthy £60.
But our selfless property lawyer saw an opportunity – what if the money was not for him but for charity? A quick tour of the beach and Mallender had been pledged a commendable sum for his favourite charity, Diabetes UK. Harrel was duly given a juicy smacker on the lips, but and here's the rub: “He couldn't remember who he spoke to and now everyone's denying even being there,” Harrel explained a couple of days after the event.
Fortunately, Mallender wasn't going to be outsmarted quite so easily and a pleading email saw £360 flood in. Tulkinghorn issues his warmest congratulations, but spies an opportunity for more fundraising. In his begging email, Mallender suggests that maybe next year Harrel will return the favour. Well, Tulkinghorn is prepared to start the bidding at £20 (to Harrel's chosen charity) to bring that historic event forward (confirmed by photographic evidence, of course).
Any takers, please contact Tulkinghorn; or perhaps you'd like to kiss Harrel as well?