Tulkinghorn: Fright and breezy
31 October 2011
From Leeds comes wind of, well, a windy problem for Eversheds and DWF lawyers in the city.
The imposing Bridgewater Place building in which both firms have offices is such a trap for the breeze blowing off the River Aire that it’s actually a hazard to life, with a Walker Morris lawyer recently blown into the road. The building’s tenants are engaged in discussions to get the issue fixed, but in the meantime visitors and lawyers alike are advised to hold on to their hats, brollies and similar items to avoid them being blown off. Nobody would want that.
Bringing home the bacon
Reed Smith rolled out the red carpet for former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s wife Sarah, TV celeb Katy Brand and hundreds of hangers on - sorry, contestants - for its annual charity fundraising quiz night extravaganza.
So renowned has this bash become that last year’s star performer, Matrix Chambers’ Rabinder Singh QC, felt compelled to write to Reed Smith partner and quizmaster of ceremonies Michael Skrein and apologise for not being able to make this year’s event due to the small matter of having been elevated to the ranks of the judiciary.
His loss. Talking of losing, the team from Navigant Consulting had the honour of correctly answering the fewest number of questions. So, a plastic porker to Navigant, a solid gold Ballencrieff to team ’I thought we were going to the pub’, aka a Reed Smith corporate team, which not only featured partner Ian Fagelson but also his daughter, Esther. Tulkinghorn is in no way suggesting it was a fix that the firm won its own competition. Oh no.
The event was the biggest ever in terms of turnout, although, weirdly, Piggy Bank Kids, the children’s charity founded by Sarah Brown, refused to tell us how much cash was raised.
Nap-ter and verse
Tulkinghorn would like to express his thanks to the Baker & McKenzie massiv who were kind enough to escort his assembled ragbag troops to the London Symphony Orchestra recently.
An evening of Benjamin Britten and Wilfred Owen poems, aka the War Requiem, perfectly sets the tone for a week in the City. But is Tulkinghorn searching too hard to find a link between doomed youth dying in trenches and the Big Law life?
Probably. Though the climactic refrain of, “Let us sleep now” seemed to ring all too true with some of the Bakers’ lot. No nodding off now…
With all these departures, Ashurst might not be the firm in the mood for a party. But reports that last weekend’s annual partners’ conference in Madrid ended up in a local night club will certainly have gone some way to raise spirits.
Not all were able to enjoy the free trip to Spain, however: certain departing partners were contacted by administrative staff to be told their flight had been cancelled and they were not longer on the guest list.
Protecting strategic trade secrets, or snubbing outlaws? You decide.
Ashurst’s got the Ex-Factor
Ashurst may be a firm that sheds its partners at a high rate these days, but at least it’s generally one for treating its execs nicely.
Earlier this year senior management sent out invitations for gathering of former partners and had a whopping 140 stamps to lick. Word is the count will have to be double next time around.
Apparently senior partner Charlie Geffen waxed lyrical, saying that Ashurst was a stonking firm and one of only two UK players growing in turnover terms in the past accounting period.
After losing at least nine of his partners in just over a month to some seven different competitors, including some of its top real estate, construction and energy partners, Geffen will presumably soon have to qualify this to say his firm is the fastest-growing firm after Winston & Strawn, Goodwin Procter, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Stephenson Harwood, Jones Day, DLA Piper and Allens Arthur Robinson.