19 June 2000
Catalogue of investment projects subject to government verifications overhauls Chinese outbound investment regulatory regime
23 December 2013
23 April 2013
30 January 2014
26 April 2013
9 April 2013
A meeting between Jack Pratchard, Tom Henderson and a new client.
Henderson: You know what our problem is Jack?
Pratchard: Ermm, we're comically incompetent and corrupt to such an extent that it's unrealistic that we're still in business - yet still manage to earn millions in a never fully explained fashion.
Henderson: No, young Pinochet. It's our client base. It's all riffraff, no class.
Pratchard: You impugn the good name of Ted "Pit Pony" Baxter, head of the Mine's-a-Pint Corporation with a string of Quarry-based Tyneside theme bars. Why, only last month he lavished us with traditional hospitality - six strips, pie and chips - in that Middlesbrough brothel.
Henderson: I think I can leave my cross-examination there. Before I die I want to be Lord Henderson. We need a bit of blue blood on our books. So we can put a royal crest on our glossy brochures.
Pratchard: We used to act for the Duke of Edinburgh.
Henderson: Yes, but his crest of a swastika atop a kebab did not sit well with some of the City's more liberal corporations. Besides, all those private prosecutions he made us bring against asylum seekers didn't pay too well. However, I couldn't but notice young Prince William has come of age. He regularly needs legal advice to protect his stately public image. Why, in the last year his best friend Tom Parker Bowles has been caught with cocaine. His cousin Freddie Windsor, caught with cocaine. Socialite chum Tara Palmer-Tomkinson caught with cocaine. You know what this means.
Pratchard: Prince William's a coke dealer? I read in News Of The World that the queen was growing pot but I never thought
Henderson: Not only libellous but treasonous, and in every respect untrue. Prince William is royal. A man of distinction. No, it means that when he asked around his mates for a lawyer my name kept cropping up. He needs help to stop pictures of his eighteenth birthday bash being published. All the tabloids are after them. For one thing Camilla Parker Bowles turned up at the event.
Pratchard: My god. That must be the first royal occasion to ever feature a horse-drawn horse!
Henderson: Look I've invited the young man to visit us so please treat him with decorum and respect.
Big Tosh ushers the future King of England into the boardroom.
Henderson: Prince William. I've arranged for Chalmers to prostrate himself at your feet as a sign my respect for your glorious majesty
Prince William: Yo, homeboy. Nuff respect. Point one. It's not Prince William. It's Fresh Prince William - I'm the Fresh Prince of Balmoral. And point two, yo Tosh man - hit it!
Big Tosh humbly turns into a human beatbox as the Fresh Prince starts to rap.
Prince William: This is the story of Fresh Prince Wills, I was at my eighteenth birthday having some chills, when up comes the paparazzi from miles and miles, hassling my home boys Tarquin and Giles, I thought I'll get an injunction to stop you're plan, my boys said go see Tom Henderson - he da man!
Henderson: Erm. I see. Now, I understand these pictures are of you dancing with some young debutantes
Prince William: Dey no debutantes. Dey my bitches.
Henderson: Good god, even our noblest institutions have succumbed to modern coarseness and filth. Oh no, here's a picture of - I can hardly say the words - you playing football! Get out you oik.
Pratchard: Fancy a trip to Middlesbrough?
Henderson: Oh, go on then.