Tulkinghorn: Essex ploys

When members of Essex Court Chambers decided to invest in an annexe in Singapore in 2009, it was seen as a surprise move. While the set is home to some top-notch arbitration specialists, opening an office is a brave move for those at the bar.

Tulkinghorn reckons Essex Court silk David Foxton QC would have taken some advice from his sister Rachel in Singapore about the prospects of success. After all, she is the director of business development for the Singapore International Arbitration Centre.

Must be nice have family in the right place at the right time.

Scrawled to the Bar

The Bar Council and its members are clearly excited about its new six-week training programme for young Chinese lawyers, where it will provide training to nine Chinese lawyers.

Forging strong links with China is undoubtedly its key focus along with providing the training, but the Bar Council seems to be having a difficult time getting the Chinese names right.

In its recent press release announcing the names of the law firms from where these nine lawyers hail, it misspelled two of the five names. Shanghai firm AllBright’s name was spelt ’Albright’, while Yingke’s name appeared as ’YinKe’.

If the Bar Council can’t even get these firms’ names right, Tulkinghorn feels entitled to question how deep its knowledge about the Chinese market and these leading law firms really is.

Or perhaps the rapidly internationalising Chinese firms should adopt more West-friendly names to make the life of English barristers much easier? Come on, it’s only fair.

Chelsy’s fun

Last month Tulkinghorn learned all about derivatives litigation, thanks to a whopping great case featuring Quinn Emanuel and Allen & Overy (A&O). The stress almost brought on a breakdown.

Still, the great man managed to push on through and garner a semblance of understanding. Apparently this is the kind of work A&O bestows upon its trainees as well as its senior lawyers. In fact, Tulkinghorn understands that the former lady friend of HRH Prince Harry, A&O trainee Chelsy Davey, has been cutting her teeth on the Citigroup Global Markets case.

Surely has to be better than rubbing shoulders with the Royals? No, probably not.

Cement irks

Perhaps the message is finally getting through. Tulkinghorn is regularly chastised by the good people at CMS Cameron McKenna for calling the firm Camerons instead of CMS. Maybe the repeated verbal clips around the ear are having the desired effect.

Recently, however, one of Tulkinghorn’s spies stumbled over an errant bag of CMS Cement from the never-ending Oxford Street roadworks. Resisting the temptation to immediately dispatch a personal injury claim to the law firm’s Mitre House headquarters, the barely alive hack instead initiated a quick Google search of ’CMS’.

The results may be dispiriting for the firm that shall not be known as Camerons. Google puts it third in line behind that web-editor nemesis content management system and the Church Mission Society.

What’s more, it turns out that CMS Cameron McKenna doesn’t operate a sideline in providing cement for Westminster Council either.