Tulkinghorn: Bouncy hassle
3 August 2009
One of the best things about being a big City lawyer is returning home to the provinces in a fast car and showing locals that you’ve ‘made it’.
Except if you’re from the South West, according to a Cornish-born DLA Piper partner who was sharing a pint with one of Tulkinghorn’s spies last week.
The man, who has long since lost his Cornish twang, was in the county celebrating a family birthday and wanted a bouncy castle for his kids.
But the man at the hire shop said he wouldn’t do business with an “Emmet” (Cornish slang for non-locals), as the last Londoners had damaged the bouncy castle they hired. The partner assured the man he was local, but his plummy accent failed to convince.
The lawyer got his castle, but only after answering a series of questions to prove his Cornishness. Presumably “Have you ever married a relative?” and “How many fingers have you got?” were not on the list, otherwise the conspicuously normal partner would have been sent packing.
If there’s one thing that Mrs Tulkinghorn never leaves behind it’s her substantial collection of make-up.
Tulkinghorn is unusually genial to these demands and is always prepared to allow room for her make-up trunk on the carriage. Some of these powders
and potions are extremely noxious, but it’s the fashion for a lady of society to render herself beautified and dangerous to the touch.
Again, Tulkinghorn is unusually genial to this as well, given that Mrs Tulkinghorn has been likened to the rare ‘mermonkey’ displayed at the recent Unnatural Curiosities and Queer Objects show held in Hyde Park.
So imagine her joy when beauty box specialist Beauty-Boxes.com announced a new range. Available in a “sleek black crocodile finish”, the two-piece Fioranze trolley presents the “ultimate in versatility”.
But also imagine Mrs Tulkinghorn’s dismay when she discovered that the single units (with sturdy wheels) are made solely for lawyers to transport their papers!
It was impressed upon Tulkinghorn that no matter what their intended use he was to buy a set, because the lady of the house “will always need more room for her unguents”.
Again, Tulkinghorn was quick to agree, although at £79.99 it was not painless - although less painful on the eye than the alternative.
First it was the plague, then whooping cough and the dreaded pox, and now Tulkinghorn is defending himself against the latest threat to our nation’s health.
The newspapers of record report that the noble pig has passed an illness to its masters that renders the victim with sniffles, high temperature of the forehead and an inability to attend work.
Tulkinghorn’s physician recommends a weekly course of leeches and a hanky firmly covering the nose and mouth when standing downwind of the undignified.
Imagine his horror when Tulkinghorn was told of a certain partner from the London office of a US firm who has been embarking on a series of trips around Europe, despite knowing full well that he was ridden with so-called ‘bacon’s revenge’.
Has the man no shame? Grave consequences will surely ensue. More leeches have already been requested post haste.
How to deploy hoi polloi
A recent report by the nation’s esteemed leaders revealed that the legal profession was one of the most elitist going.
The findings caused a storm among lawyers from all walks of life, who offered up their opinions on public vs state school educations.
One of the more insightful comments was heard out loud when one particularly plummy partner at a City firm piped up with his view on the matter. “We must help disadvantaged people get into the law…” said the high-profile lawyer “… so they can get work in these high street firms.”
Not the City firm for which he works then?
Tulkinghorn thinks he may be missing the point somewhat and is not doing much to dispel the perception of law firms’ upper echelons being private members’ clubs for the privileged classes.
And Tulkinghorn couldn’t agree more.
The quiet American
First Allen & Overy was merging with Shearman & Sterling, then Linklaters was due to wed Sullivan & Cromwell. Now Tulkinghorn can exclusively reveal that Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is on the cusp of tying the knot with Cravath Swaine & Moore.
Freshfields chief executive Ted Burke, who has for many years been masquerading as an American as part of the firm’s elaborate plan for wooing Cravath, is currently in New York finalising the terms of the merger.
It is understood that when Burke, who actually hails from Rochdale, joined Freshfields in 1998 it was agreed that he would adopt an American persona so that his regular summer trips to the US could be explained easily.
However, far from spending each summer working in the US to be near his family - as the firm has led the market to believe - Burke has for the past several years actually been following Cravath chief Evan Chesler around New York.
And it looks as if his efforts have paid off. A Freshfields source confirmed: “We’re just working on the final details of our merger with Cravath.”
As for the Burke clan? They’re still at home in Rochdale waiting for Ted to get back and ditch his pseudo Yankee accent.