One Wednesday morning in late June many, many of Tulkinghorn’s scribes were nursing sore heads after a night on the West End tiles. The reason? The greatest, most glittering annual night in the legal calendar – The Lawyer Awards.
Let it be known that the sore heads weren’t the exclusive preserve of a bunch of well-oiled journos. Eight members of Mishcon de Reya failed to make it into work at all the next day. They, however, can be excused. The double whammy of seeing the firm’s ace band The Enlightened Tenacitists become the first-ever non-professional musicians to grace the stage at The Grosvenor on awards night (shortly followed by Berwin Leighton Paisner’s Real State) and the firm picking up the Law Firm of the Year award were good enough reasons to tie one on. Indeed, the firm’s unprecedented stage invasion, led by managing partner Kevin Gold, was one of the highlights of the evening, and suggested that more than one of the Mishcon contingent had tied
Meanwhile, comedian Jason Manford kept the crowd in titters and the awards themselves ticking along at a rate of knots, while those at the crammed-in tables started cramming in the wine.
Tulkinghorn, in an unusual spirit of generosity, blames the noise in the room for the apparent misunderstanding between a waitress, one of Tulkinghorn’s scribes and Macfarlanes’ senior partner Charles Martin.
“Do you need butter?” asked the waitress.
“Yes, four bottles of white wine please,” replied the scribe.
“Did you just ask me if I’d peed in that bottle?” added Martin, combining a Cantona-esque turn of unexpected phrase with an outraged facial expression. Neat trick.
Meanwhile, Freshfields corporate legend Tim Jones revealed that next year the firm would be going for the Niche Firm of the Year gong. Was he unwittingly unveiling the firm’s global strategy?
Over on the dancefloor most people appeared to be so intimidated by Robert Jay’s celebrity that they left The Lawyer’s Barrister of the Year dancing in splendid isolation.
And although Pinsent Masons had announced plans to open its first office in Germany just days before the awards, managing partner David Ryan was far more keen to talk about his love of Latin America. Ryan, who owns a holiday home in Cork, opted for the sunnier climes of Brazil on a recent trip and, although deterred by its soaring prices, instantly fell for its aspirational culture. He was quick to confirm resolutely that the firm has no plans to enter the Latin American market. Honest.
Rush to judgment
There was partying in the streets recently at Howard Kennedy after the firm’s band, WhoAreKen’N’Edy, who despite having the worst name scooped top prize at legal market battle of the bands LawRocks.
It was a close-run thing, with the HK ensemble just pipping Sackers’ Moral Hazzard, and a good thing it wasn’t any closer as compere Mr Justice Coulson was in no mood for a late-night run-off.
“There aren’t going to be any ties tonight,” said Coulson. “I’ve got a full list tomorrow.”
So much for judicial impartiality.
Keep karma and carry on
As most astute readers will know, the Dalai Lama was in town recently. Along with Prince Charles, a goodly portion of Matrix Chambers was lucky enough to
rub saffron shoulders with the great man/deity. In fact, all except for Cliff Holland, who was the one person left in the office when the rest decamped to the LSE.
“I am enlightened enough,” said Holland, gazing into the middle distance.