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Slaughter and May’s current head of corporate Nigel Boardman’s frank paperclip-related admission last week, where he moaned that he’d had enough of his role, got Tulkinghorn thinking about how many other similarly grand types are disenchanted with their lot. Miraculously, it seems very few.
Linklaters’ David Cheyne, who admitted he had endured “much ribbing” for his comment that “the thought of doing my job for eight years would fill me with deep gloom”, claimed he had never counted paperclips (Boarders had cried that “eight years of counting paperclips was enough”). “I could recognise paperclips – in fact, there’s a pile of them in front of me now – but I couldn’t tell you how many of them there are,” Cheyne claimed.
Over at Macfarlanes, though, the corporate bunch clearly take a more modern approach to stationery. Head Charles Martin claimed he only used paperclips “for inserting into the back of my Blackberry”. Asked how long he felt he might be likely to endure the rigours of the top job, he replied sportingly: “Longer than Claudio Ranieri.”
Meanwhile, Norton Rose’s Tim Marsden has clearly got a lot of time on his hands. His answer: “1,360,032.”