Tulkinghorn: Carroll’s Friday feeling
7 December 2009
Tulkinghorn has, of course, his fair share of illustrious forefathers. But perhaps there is none so apt as that boasted by outgoing Travers Smith managing partner Chris Carroll.
Carroll is quitting his post in January. He plans to do a bit of globetrotting - but he would do well to heed the example of his ancestor Alexander Selkirk. The Scottish sailor is said to have provided the inspiration for that most famous of castaways Robinson Crusoe.
Although Carroll will be missed by his Travers colleagues, his navigational talents are a long-running source of amusement at the firm. As one pointed out, with Carroll gone “at least we might start getting to meetings on time”.
As for the great man himself, the prospect of him turning up on some long-forgotten desert island should not be ruled out.
The end of the line
Strange goings on over at Dentons. The other day one of Tulkinghorn’s scribes had cause to call the firm. He was soon wishing he hadn’t.
Down the wire came incessant groaning, panting and a sound reminiscent of the crying of wounded animals. Either this was Dentons’ new sex line (perhaps a new revenue stream) or the hack had dialled straight into a conference room being used to unveil year-end bonuses.
A Dentons spokesperson when contacted made no comment, then made their excuses and left.
Tulkinghorn hears that Lovells was caught unawares recently - never a good thing for a law firm.
On this occasion the firm found itself on the wrong end of an announcement made at the gala dinner for International Lawyers for Africa (Ilfa) last month.
After apparently being told by a little birdie that Lovells would be sharing its ‘knowhow’ resources with its Ilfa candidate, Ilfa director and Baring Asset Management general counsel Sandie Okoro got up and made the official announcement, much to the surprise of the firm and the amusement of everyone else.
Sources reliably informed Tulkinghorn that mutters of “well, they’ll have to now” resonated around the room. Though one wag added: “Until Hogans says no.”
Word reached Tulkinghorn the other day that Legal & General general counsel Geoffrey Timms recently completed the New York marathon. In nine hours.
The way Timms tells it, he and his running colleague walked most of the way. Presumably to make sure they at least saw the sights?
And the award for the most unusual place to hold a Christmas party goes to… Russell Jones & Walker’s (RJW) employment team.
While many are holding toned-down celebrations to reflect a muted year, RJW cracked open the champagne and treated guests to poolside celebrations at the Haymarket Hotel in the centre of London’s theatreland.
Tulkinghorn’s spies munched on roast beef and Yorkshire pudding canapés while lounging poolside in the hotel basement. Even so, the event was a little muted, at least by Tulkinghorn’s standard. And why was this?
Apparently partygoers were warned that any attempt to dive into the pool - or push others in, as is more likely at a Christmas party - would set off sirens and flashing red lights and that any such transgressor would be duly evicted.
Shame. There’s nothing better than a proper pool party to warm the icy blood of lawyers.
There are dangers in meeting your heroes. Just ask John Workman, senior partner of Cheltenham firm BPE Solicitors.
A while ago Workman was at a charity function in aid of children’s charity Acorn. And why was Workman there? Because he’d got wind of the fact that his long-time hero, prog-rock keyboardist Rick Wakeman, would be in attendance.
Generous chap that he is, Workman found himself bidding on, and winning, a bottle of wine at the charity auction, an event that brought him to the notice of Acorn.
Cut to the summer of 2006 and Workman is part of a team cycling almost 1,000 miles in just over 12 days from Land’s End to John O’Groats for Acorn, raising £25,000 in the process.
“Yes, it was Rick Wakeman’s fault,” confirms Workman. Although the musician can hardly be blamed for the lawyer’s follow up - an 850-mile jaunt through France.
Tulkinghorn thinks Workman simply a glutton for punishment.