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The very suggestion that Stephenson Harwood is not a happy and healthy little family is enough to drive its chief executive John 'the Pike' Pike into a giant tizz. Recently, a question was put to him whether two senior ship finance partners at the firm were looking to, err, jump ship.
The Pike demanded to know the source of the rumour, adding that those who leave tend to do so because he personally has sacked them.
The bit well and truly between his teeth, The Pike dragged the two ship finance partners in question "away from valuable fee-earning time" to talk to the reporter to confirm that they had no plans to resign. The Pike, ever protective of his flock, removed himself from the room where the conference call was taking place, but told the reporter he would be looking through the window "laughing [his head] off" as the partners issued their denials.
Next, the Pike provided an equally helpful response when asked about Stephenson Harwood's finances. Denying any rumours concerning its bank balance, he then put the reporter's mind at rest by giving him his contacts at the bank. The reporter later got a phone call from a bank spokesman who had said half an hour earlier that he had never heard of Stephenson Harwood, but was now willing to answer any questions about the firm. However, once the questions were put to him he replied that answers could only be provided with the client's (ie The Pike's) permission. Having spoken to his client, he came back with a no comment, thereby proving to the reporter that The Pike, temper and all, isn't the best route to finding out the state of Stephenson Harwood's health.