Tulkinghorn: Get wiggy with it

Since the beginning of 2008, solicitor-advocates have enjoyed similar wig-wearing status as their barrister counterparts.

The change was supposed to stop the new chaps on the court block from being identifiably different from the rest of the legal in-crowd and to do away with what the former Law Society president Andrew Holroyd called “an unjustified disadvantage”.

But recently Tulkinghorn has heard mutterings that the new system of wigs for all is failing to do its job properly. According to a mole, it’s the barristers with worn-out and threadbare wigs that really cut the litigation mustard. And, apparently, this lot have been overheard sniggering at the newbies. In Manchester, for example, solicitor-advocates have been spotted dashing around in pristine wigs, while barristers with dead rats on their bonces chortle.

So if you want to be on par with every other barrister, then put your wig in the washing machine, rough it up a bit and take it down the pub for a few whiskies. Tulkinghorn will see you there.

Perfect match
News reaches Tulkinghorn from Pinsent Masons, where PR manager Katie Stokoe has been caught out in a blatant attempt to curry favour with her bosses.

A recent call to the firm by one of Tulkinghorn’s hacks uncovered the shocking revelation that Stokoe has changed her name to “Laws”. Presumably this is an attempt to render herself indispensable – after all, which law firm would not want to employ someone who would go to such lengths to fit in? But Tulkinghorn is adamant that this spectacular crawling should not go unmarked.

By the way, the story relayed to Tulkinghorn that Stokoe changed her name because she got married frankly cuts no
ice whatsoever.

Snap happy
Tonight (Monday, 1 June) many of the stars and the lesser-known names from every corner of the legal market will be celebrating the launch of a new book in which they feature – Faces of Law.

The book is the latest in an ongoing series – Faces of Britain – by photographer James Hunkin, which chronicles aspects of life in the 21st century.

It’s fair to say it’s a mixed bunch. Slaughter and May’s Nigel Boardman rubs shoulders with
Northern Ireland barrister Monye Anyadike-Danes QC, Queen’s Remembrancer Robert Turmer and court usher Janet Thomas.

As Hunkin puts it: “I was asked by a number of subjects why I was interested in photographing ‘boring old lawyers’. I hope that the photographs speak for themselves in response to their concern.”

Indeed. One in ­particular stands out: former Mayer Brown top brass Paul Maher. The events of the past few weeks have proved that there is nothing boring about him whatsoever.

Away kit
The words “Millwall ­Football Club” conjure up many images, but Tulkinghorn confesses that the figure of Taylor Wessing senior partner Martin Winter has, until now, not been among them.

That changed recently when Winter found himself plastered all over the Lions’ website. Or, at least, fourth story down
in the section marked ‘“headlines”.

Winter has set up a small charity – The Jane Bubear Sport Foundation – to help out a football club in Monrovia, Liberia. The charity, of which Winter is chairman, hopes to help young people in challenging communities and is sending Millwall kit and boots to a local team formed last year called Millwall FC Monrovia.

“The kit together with the boots we’re sending are going to make some really dedicated Millwall fans in Liberia very happy,” Winter told the website.

Millwall may have missed out to Scunthorpe on a Championship spot for next season, but at least now Winter is helping reduce any overseas discontent.

Chunder blunder
A night out with colleagues can quite often get out of hand. It’s hard to believe but even Tulkinghorn has ended up “tired and emotional” on occasion.

Ditto employees at some of this nation’s finest law firms. Such as Eversheds. Recently one of the firm’s employees gave Tulkinghorn a run for his money when, after a night on the sauce, the staffer decorated the floor of a black taxi while travelling home.

This was not pleasant for anyone involved, not least this person’s companion, who gamely sorted out the mess in the form of a £65 cleaning bill.

Imagine this person’s surprise when the expenses claim was refused. Perhaps the mistake was to have printed boldly across the top: “Was sick on taxi floor.”

What’s going bump in the night?

Something is afoot at HBJ Gateley Wareing. Or should that be, something is “athroat”? For the national firm’s offices in a former ear, nose and throat hospital in central Birmingham are said to be spooked by the ghosts of ex-patients.

Security guards working the night shift reportedly claim to see spirits of the infirm pacing up and down the corridors. And one source says that one particular part of the building has an especially creepy atmos, speculating that it may have been where the hospital morgue was located.

Could the place be haunted? Or could it be, as Tulkinghorn would like to think, that the milky-faced figures who look like they’ve died from a serious ear bashing are, in fact, the firm’s own employees, searching for their lost souls?