Tulkinghorn dutifully ignored the wailing and gnashing of teeth that accompanied some minor football tournament in South Africa that seemed to excite so many people these past few weeks.
But he couldn’t with good conscience let the real sporting event of the summer pass him by.
So it was, with vuvuzela at the ready, that he bounded over to Mill Hill last weekend to watch the cream of the legal world’s sporting talent knock seven shades of shitake mushrooms out of each other in The Lawyer’s very own five-a-side tournament, now in its 12th year.
The spirit of fair play and gentlemanly conduct, honed through years clustered around a negotiating table, was in evidence from the start, with most teams modelling themselves on The Netherlands’ 2010 World Cup style and eschewing the show-ponying flair of their 1970s counterparts.
Not averse to a bit of rough-housing on the rugger field himself, Tulkinghorn was very much in favour of this no-nonsense approach. Better some blood be spilt in pursuit of victory than win Goal of the Month in a 6-1 drubbing.
So, a nod to the likes of tournament top-scorer Sam Harmel of Ashurst, who is unlikely to be looking for a job at Bird & Bird any time soon after what more experienced commentators would label a “bruising” semi-final encounter. Ashurst eventually lost out to Edwin Coe in the men’s final – a reversal of last year’s result.
In the women’s tournament, there was disappointment when fans’ favourite Slaughter and May went down in the semis to Norton Rose. But the Norton girls went on to show their class by thrashing Denton Wilde Sapte in the final.
And what of Tulkinghorn’s boys? The Lawyer’s own team scrapped and kicked its way through to the plate (that’s losers to you and me) final before running out of steam against Charles Russell. Still, 12 years of hurt never stopped this old scribe dreaming…
Sometimes something drops into Tulkinghorn’s electronic post repository that requires virtually no gilding to render it the sort of news nugget so beloved of his loyal readers. Just such a fortuitous event occurred last week when Blacks Solicitors announced that association footballer and renowned bon vivant Robbie Savage was to become a sports ambassador for the firm.
The Welsh firebrand no doubt has many skills, including the ability to collect yellow cards, distribute stud marks in opponents’ ankles and maintain a shock of flaxen hair that has made him the envy of every well-groomed Labrador in Hyde Park.
But diplomacy? Advocacy? The subtle art of political glad-handing? You could have fooled me.
Applying a bit of sense
As any aspiring lawyer will know - commercial awareness is one of the key skills employers look for in their new recruits. Unfortunately, there seems to be a distinct lack of commercial awareness among some of the students who have been calling troubled firm Halliwells in search for a training contract. It’s obviously perfectly legitimate for anyone who has already submitted a training contract application to find out what’s going to happen to it. But is it wise to call a firm that’s on the brink of collapse to ask general questions such as “how much do you pay your trainees?” or “if I get a training contract do I have to do the LPC at the College of Law?”.