Herbert Smith must have been a little relieved when it received instructions from longstanding client King's College for the sale of its Block Nine site to Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital Trust. The firm would have undoubtedly been worried by the departure of King's alumni Gerald Bland to Wragge & Co. Or would it?
Apparently, Herbert Smith's 'longstanding' relationship with King's goes both ways. Last year the firm made a “significant” donation to the college – money that was used to create the Herbert Smith Reading Room in the college's new Chancery Lane library. Not long prior to its donation to the library, the firm funded the Herbert Smith Chair in European Law, held by Professor Piet Eeckout. Now, Tulkinghorn would be the first to applaud the encouragement of legal education, but he would also be the first to note that monetary donations are probably at the top of any client's 'client care wish list.'