Tulkinghorn: Flights of fancy
1 February 2010
Sadly, the recession has put paid to Tulkinghorn’s own once-legendary travel budget, but many a lawyer will have pangs of sympathy for George Clooney’s character in his current hit Up In The Air.
Source: c.Dreamworks/Everett / Rex Featu
Ted Burke - yes, him again - is among those who watched the movie with pen poised to take down any handy tips.
However, so well versed is Burke in the secrets of transatlantic flight, everything Clooney suggests is already in his repertoire.
Here are just a few of Ted’s top tips: wear slip-on shoes; carry your own water; and under no circumstances eat the food.
Clooney’s job in the film is to go around sacking his staff. Tulkinghorn wonders if Burke was noting down any other ideas as well?
Revelling with a cause
Last month’s Hot 100 party garnered a wealth of inside knowledge about the cream of the UK’s legal market.
And while the evening itself generated a succession of amusing anecdotes, nothing made Tulkinghorn smile more than seeing Freshfields’ chief executive Ted Burke squeezing together for an ‘all friends now’ photo op with former buddies (and ex-Freshfields partners) Maurice Allen and Mike Goetz. Ah, bless. All is, apparently, forgiven.
Tulkinghorn was also rather amused by the rumour circulating certain quarters that Simpson Thacher partner Ian Barratt had put the kybosh on Linklaters’ Nick Syson coming to the do by sending him a massive document that evening that needed to be delivered the next morning.
Now, that’s just harsh.
Also at the Hot 100 party Tulkinghorn learned that Outer Temple barrister David Grant had had a spot of aviation-related trouble over the Christmas period, thanks to the seasonal snow.
The pensions specialist bravely took two flights during the holidays - one to Inverness and one to Serbia. Both had their own difficulties but it was the Scottish trip that nearly gave Grant heartburn.
“The plane was delayed so my wife and I went for food,” recalls Grant. Bizarrely, there was no flights screen in the restaurant. Cue a mad scramble several minutes later when, thank the Lord, Mrs Grant happened to pop out and check on the status of the departure only to see it was at “last call” stage.
“I stuffed as many French fries in my mouth and drank as much beer as possible then ran for it,” says Grant, with commendable recollection for detail. His clients would be proud.
A site for sore eyes
The festive season is a distant memory now. As far as Tulkinghorn is concerned, anyone still wishing people a Happy New Year should be removed from polite society.
There were still examples of this bizarre behaviour at the Hot 100 party, a point by which most right-thinking individuals are starting to think about next year.
Tulkinghorn for one has his Christmas 2010 shopping sorted after learning that Paul Hastings has its own online store, a site that offers a veritable smörgåsbord of firm-branded accessories.
Surely it’s just to impress clients?
Who else would want a Paul Hastings pullover fleece? Quite a few people, apparently, if the FAQ section of the firm’s site is to be believed.
Personally, Tulkinghorn finds it difficult to believe that the question “Can I order something for my personal use?” has been asked even once, let alone frequently.
Incidentally, the answer to the question is as follows: “… provided that the use is in good taste and keeps the Paul Hastings image in a professional light”.
The mind, how it boggles.
A break from the norm
Tulkinghorn has always been a fan of dancing and, in his day, had been known to lead Mrs Tulkinghorn around many a ballroom floor.
He was therefore pretty confident he’d seen all the moves there were until he attended the Hot 100 bash. For Burness dispute resolution head David Morgan, one of this year’s
Hotties, was busting some very peculiar moves. Several involved spinning on his back and making some other rather peculiar shapes.
Okay, so Tulkinghorn exaggerates. He didn’t actually see Morgan making his moves, but he has it on very good authority that Morgan is, in fact, an accomplished break dancer.
Rumour has it that Morgan showed off his skills while being interviewed for the job at Burness. Now that’s hot.