Time shrine

So you thought the UK’s cash rich lawyers, whose ranks include island, plane and supercar owners, couldn’t get any more flash? Think again.

News reached Tulkinghorn last week that a bunch of firms, including Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Slaughter and May, have splashed out and bought themselves a year of London’s history.
Each paid out £5,000 to have plaques of their firms’ logos on a Timeline in the Museum of London’s new galleries, which will feature works from more than 300 years of the capital’s history.

The timeline, complete with law firm badges, will be on display in 2009 as part of a project that will tell the story of the city over the last 300 years.

Nelson’s jewel-encrusted sword, Suffragette banners and an Ozwald Boateng suit will all feature in years spanning 1666, the year of the Great Fire of London, to 2012, the year of the Olympic games.

So what landmark dates did these august UK institutions buy to enhance their City credentials? BLP bought 2001, the year Berwin Leighton and Paisner & Co merged. Slaughters purchased 1889, the year two young solicitors, William Capel Slaughter and William May, left the firm where they were working to set up on their own.

Freshfields, meanwhile, bought 1743, the year its lawyer Samuel Dodd was appointed solicitor to the Bank of England. The firm has acted for the bank ever since.
“We chose 1743, the year of Freshfields’ genesis, and I’m looking forward to seeing our name taking its place in the timeline of the city’s history,” says Guy Morton, the magic circle firm’s senior partner.

Tulkinghorn understands that, for some reason, there was little appetite at Freshfields for 2007.