Tulkinghorn: Army retreat
6 December 2010
Half of The Lawyer’s editorial team decamped to Brussels last month for a three-day summit on funds, the lucky blighters.
There the guests were entertained by former British Army head General Sir Mike Jackson (retired) after dinner.
Jackson joined in the festivities in the hotel bar later, where he was challenged to an arm-wrestle by Walkers London partner Deborah Poole.
Poole reported sadly that Jackson politely refused. It remains unclear whether this was through gallantry or through fear that he might lose to, of all people, a female funds lawyer. What a wimp.
Swish tash dosh
Lawyers do like to do their bit for charity - and good fo them, says Tulkinghorn.
Take Man Group head of legal Jasveer Singh and legal chief operating officer Alex Schofield. In Brussels both were sporting moustaches for prostate cancer fundraising effort Movember.
Another delegate kindly described Singh’s effort as “Clark Gable” and Schofield’s as “porn star”.
Singh and Schofield were keenly awaiting the great Man Group shave-off last Wednesday (1 December), although neither were holding out much hope for winning the best moustache prize.
Cuisine at the funds summit was regionally themed. At the Asian lunch one of Tulkinghorn’s scribes encountered Eddy Wymeersch, the former chair of the Committee of European Securities Regulators, staring bemusedly at the puddings. “What’s agar-agar?” asked Wymeersch, indicating the little pots of dessert.
Nobody was able to enlighten him, but it’s comforting to realise that even powerful people can be confounded by the littlest of things.
Apparel of laughs
It was easy to tell the different categories of delegate apart in Brussels. Not because of the colour-coded badges (pale yellow for in-house, blue for private practice, green for offshore and pink for the hosts), but because of sartorial choice.
With a few exceptions in-house lawyers and other funds types turned up in shirts and v-necked jumpers; onshore private practitioners went for shirts and ties; while most offshore lawyers seemed to favour suits and shirts but no ties.
Tulkinghorn will leave it to the reader to decide what dress sense says about the lawyer.
On the subject of clothes, Aussie Matthew Cavanagh, European counsel for hedge fund firm Christofferson Robb & Company, recounted a tale of hats over lunch.
On arrival at the firm the only desk space for Cavanagh was right by the office entrance. He joked that if he were to sit in that spot he wanted to be appropriately attired in full porter outfit, including a bowler hat.
Some years later
the eponymous Johan Christofferson himself took Cavanagh out to Lock & Co, hatters of Mayfair, and bought him a bespoke bowler hat. Cavanagh was somewhat bemused until he was handed the hat and told that a doorman, a general counsel and a partner ought to have a bowler hat, which was Christofferson’s enigmatic way of informing him he had become a partner in the firm.
These days the hat only comes out for bonus discussions, where it presumably bowles them over.
The lowest of the low paid an unwelcome visit to one of Tulkinghorn’s scribes recently during a trip to Linklaters. The firm’s top New York litigator Larry Byrne was in town on urgent BAE business, providing an opportunity for a quick coffee and catch-up.
As is the hack’s wont, he cycled over to the magic circle firm’s Silk Street office, parking his push-iron outside, only to find it gone an hour later.
As one rival magic circle partner put it: “Linklaters will nick anything.”
The Yard’s finest are currently studying the CCTV footage shot by the firm’s myriad cameras. Tulkinghorn understands it does not show Simon Davies sidling up to a lamp post, picking a lock and riding off into the sunset in a hoodie.