Pay master

Macfarlanes was everyone’s best friend last week when it treated clients and the odd journalist to a feast of Leonardo da Vinci.


Da Vinci: those non-paying scoundrels meant he couldn’t even afford a haircut
Da Vinci: those non-paying scoundrels meant he couldn’t even afford a haircut

The firm got a call from the National Gallery three weeks before, asking if it would fill a gap after a cancellation, and it duly took on the pressure and contacted its network. Around 80 invitees accepted within an hour, showing how popular the hyped Painter at the Court of Milan exhibition was.

The art was splendid, but perhaps the occasional client chuckled on hearing of the argument da Vinci embroiled himself in relating to some of the most prized works on show – the two versions of the Virgin of the Rocks.

This was the first time that both paintings had been displayed in the same room, with the earlier of the two being brought over from the Louvre in Paris. The later one is in the National Gallery’s permanent collection. The earlier version was commissioned in 1483, but da Vinci refused to present the work to the Milan chapel it was intended for because of a row over how much he was being paid for it. He painted the second one in the meantime.

The clash lasted until 1508, when da Vinci’s second version was delivered in its place.
A 25-year fee dispute? Surely Macfarlanes doesn’t want to give its clients any ideas.

Hot meets

Nothing quite beats a double act, and last month’s Hot 100 party threw up a few surprise pairings. Such as Freshfields litigation legend Ian Terry and Slaughters supremo Chris Saul, who spent time at Oxford together; or Addleshaws’ Russian oligarch battler Mark Hastings and Monckton clerk Tony Burgess, who were at school together.

Tulkinghorn’s favourite, though, is the respective top bods at Clydes’ and Baker & McKenzie’s London offices, Peter Hasson and Gary Senior, who played chess tournaments against each other when at school.

The princess and the PR

Pinsents is currently embroiled in merger negotiations with McGrigors, a process that anyone who’s endured it will attest is always terminable. But the former’s PR man David Flynn, while recently involved in a marathon of his own, showed that even while running he was still on the marketing ball.

Word reaches Tulkinghorn that Flynn was having a shocker. He claimed – literally lamely – that he was suffering from “a bad knee” when he saw none other than Princess Beatrice go jogging by.

Flynn immediately picked up the pace, clocking the fact that if he finished at the same time as royalty he was bound to be on the telly, thus securing some free exposure for the firm, as he was wearing Pinsents-branded clothes.

A canny lad – should do very well at McPinsents.