Tulkinghorn holds little truck with alternative business structures.
Smaug: Hobbit fodder
The law, as any fule kno, is a profession, not a business. Scampering off to investors whose grasp of Latin is, at best, shaky, does nothing but demean us all.
So Tulkinghorn was filled with dismay when he heard that DLA Piper’s co-chief executive, Sir Nigel Knowles - a knight of the realm, no less - would be prostrating himself at the altar of alternative investment. The head of the world’s largest law firm touting for business? Surely not.
Then the red mist cleared. It turns out that this September Sir Nige, as chairman of the Managing Partners’ Forum, is to take part in a Dragons’ Den-style presentation at the related PM Forum Conference aimed at professional marketers.
Knowles, the sole lawyer in the group of contestants, will have 20 minutes to sell his firm as a potential investment to a panel of judges, who will then vote to decide who gets their fictitious sack of cash.
Still, the PM Forum’s dedication to realism is laudable and its decision to make John Llewellyn-Lloyd - a banker at Espirito Santo who, back in the real world, is reportedly advising Irwin Mitchell on its plans to take external investment - a Dragon is a masterstroke.
Could it be that there’s more to Big Nige’s appearance than just helping out?
Tulkinghorn is well aware that Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has an outstanding energy and natural resources practice, but sometimes the risks of building such a group surely outweigh the benefits.
Take the revelation by group head Laurie McFadden recently that one of his partners returned from a trip to an African project with a particularly interesting lump of rock, which the lawyer put in pride of place on his desk as an attractive memento.
“That is until another of our partners spotted it and told him he’d never come into his office again until he got rid of it,” recalls McFadden. “It was radioactive.”
Going for a song
Tulkinghorn is delighted to report a spot of choral news to the parish. A number of choirs from London firms will be performing some banging tunes - probably - at a concert organised by Singingworks on the evening of Monday 16 May at Gibson Hall, Bishopsgate.
Norton Rose, Farrers, Olswang and SJ Berwin all have participating choirs that will be joining with The Choir With No Name, Britain’s first “homeless choir”, made up of people who have experienced homelessness, and also the beneficiary of the evening.
Tulkinghorn understands that a great mix of music - everything from Take That to Mozart - will be performed, raising money for the homeless choir.
The chambers of Middle Temple are alive with floral arrangements - a sign of blossoming prosperity within the sets. But Tulkinghorn’s barrister friends say they can also be the source of many an argument.
Tulkinghorn understands how difficult it is to get barristers to stop arguing for long enough to make a decision, but should this really extend to squabbles about spring blooms? Some freesias in a vase would be fine, surely?
Anyway, Brick Court Chambers senior clerk Ian Moyler has hotly denied rumours that his 73 barristers were unable to agree what window boxes they should have.
Yes, he conceded, the set does hire floral displays, but that’s not because his barristers argue about what flowers to have - it’s simply because they want fresh ones.
Brick Court hay fever sufferers must be crying into their tissues.