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What a night. Last Tuesday evening (23 June) the Great Room at The Grosvenor House Hotel witnessed arguably the most splendid - and certainly the funniest - awards ceremony The Lawyerhas ever hosted.
Well over 1,100 lawyers and associated hangers-on forgot the financial crisis for what was simply an enormous gathering - the largest event at The Grosvenor so far this year.
Stand-up star Michael McIntyre romped home with the award for Funniest Host of a Legal Awards Ceremony. As Sullivan & Cromwell chief marketing officer Karen Braun told a bleary-eyed Tulkinghorn the following morning: “People were laughing so much they had visible tears.”
Not everyone saw the joke. Paul Maher was on the shortlist of one for the Worst Timed Arrival at an Awards Ceremony. Five minutes into McIntyre’s routine, Maher, head down and doing his best to be invisible, made his way to his seat. Unfortunately, Maher’s seat was on the table right at the front of the hall. If it had been any closer he would have been on stage. Frankly, he may as well have been.
“Only in a legal awards ceremony would someone have the confidence to walk right in front of the comedian,” joked McIntyre.
“Are you a lawyer?” Maher squirmed while McIntyre, blissfully unaware that he was talking to one of the highest-profile lawyers in the market, did what comedians do when they find a victim.
“You’re not really one for banter, are you?” quipped McIntyre, as Greenberg Traurig’s new London head wished he was in Miami.
Cab swank rule
More awards, this time for Most Forgetful Managing Partner of the Year. Camerons’ Duncan Weston was this year’s recipient after he neglected to bring his dinner jacket to the biggest night in the legal calendar, despite his firm being in the running for the top prize of the evening, Law Firm of the Year.
Fortunately Weston was spared the embarrassment of turning up in a regular shirt and tie thanks to his wife. Mrs W sent the appropriate gear to Camerons’ City offices by taxi, God luv ‘er.
He had, incidentally, remembered his trousers all on his own.
As hard-core revelers are well aware, the party at The Lawyer Awards traditionally continues well after the music has stopped playing.
This year there was a decidedly rock ‘n’ roll slant for one group, who shall remain nameless, which gatecrashed a party being held by Indie-rock icon Beth Ditto.
Well, not exactly party. In fact Ditto was curled up in bed holding court with her band. Entirely unfazed by the sight of a bunch of black tie-clad chaps invading her room, the pop star was politeness personified.
The group left, drunkenly declaring their love for Ditto’s musical talents and all having signed up to The Gossip’s fan club.
The agony was piled on to poor old Robert Redford lookalike (McIntyre’s description of Mayer, not Tulkinghorn’s) Maher when the award for Best International Law Firm of the Year was announced.
Maher’s new home Greenberg did spectacularly well to secure third spot in a tightly fought category.
So well, in fact, that one well-known City managing partner was overheard barking rather pointedly: “Greenberg? They don’t even have a f*cking London office!”
Sean of the fed
Norton Rose’s PR star extraordinaire Sean ‘The Daddy’ Twomey clearly enjoyed himself. On Wednesday morning, just as Tulkinghorn was starting in on his third bacon butty and fifth espresso, a kindly email from Norton Rose chairman Stephen Parish announced that Twomey had “just turned up, still in his dinner suit and looking a lot worse than usual!”
Twomey, as ever in damage limitation mode, leapt to his own defence.
“I was in work on time. Honest. I am never, ever late. I did turn up in my tux though. And the reason is much more boring than I stayed out all night.
“I like to keep it at work, so if I get called off the bench I’m ready. And I couldn’t be bothered carrying it in this morning. I unfortunately haven’t left my desk since I got in and haven’t changed out of my tux or eaten yet.”
Despite Twomey’s lack of sustenance, the great man was still able to ship a boatload of disgustingly unhealthy pizzas to the hungover hacks at Tulkinghorn Towers. As Freddie Mercury once said: “Talent will out” - a comment as true of Twomey as it is of his Law Firm of the Year home.
Heckle and hide
It’s never wise to heckle the comedian, everyone knows that. The only thing worse is to turn up late… er, Paul.
Those present in the Great Room on Tuesday will be all too familiar with the sole heckler, who shouted “get on with it” at McIntyre.
Silly boy. Didn’t he know that this would be a gift worth its virtual weight in gold to a comic as good as he.
But who was that mystery guest? Come on, someone out there knows, and now is the time to dob him in. Tulkinghorn won’t tell anyone - honest.