Indeed, the above story reminds Tulkinghorn of the almost tangible feeling of oneupmanship and the edginess in the air last week between the two men that represent Linklaters and Clifford Chance. At the launch of Managing the Modern Law Firm (an excellent study available from all good bookshops now) in Clifford Chance Towers last week, senior partner Stuart Popham introduced fellow contributor Tony Angel thus: "Here's a man who needs no introduction. So I won't introduce him."
Wasting no time, Angel riposted in his speech: "Clifford Chance was the most important law firm merger ever. Well, ever since Linklaters merged with Paines."
The next day (1 February), Tulkinghorn's colleagues broke the news that young private equity turk Ian Bagshaw was leaving Clifford Chance… for Linklaters. "Aha," thought Tulkinghorn, "this must be the source of the friction." But no. Tulkinghorn would like to posit another, more fundamental rivalry between Messrs Angel and Popham. It must be down to which has the coolest car. For while Angel drives that Ferrari, Popham has an Aston Martin, which used to be owned by Damon Hill.
For the record, Tulkinghorn drives a 1959 Austin-Healey 3000, with string-backed gloves and a cap - that's Tulkinghorn, not the Healey.