Tulkinghorn: Kath and kin
26 April 2010 | By Matt Byrne
Tulkinghorn doesn’t really watch TV. Not unless that delightfully grumpy upstart John Humphrys is on, that is. Tulkinghorn feels something of an affinity with old Humph.
So Tulkinghorn had never heard of Aussie comedy Kath & Kim, but was tickled to hear that the John Denton, chief executive partner of Down Under outfit Corrs Chambers Westgarth, had put in an appearance on the show.
The role was simply that of ’man’, so it is unlikely Denton needed to bust his acting chops to land the role, but then given that his wife, Jane Turner, wrote and starred as Kath on the show, there possibly wasn’t much of an audition process anyway.
Turner certainly does have her acting chops. She is about to make her West End debut in Holding The Man at Trafalgar Studios. Denton, presumably, will be watching from the wings, not the stage.
There was panic on the streets of London last week when ash from an Icelandic volcano spread fear through the land and emptied the skies.
Many lawyers were among those distressed at the idea of being trapped inside the country or abroad, prevented from returning home.
There was much cursing heard in Russian and Ukrainian, especially in the Marble Arch area, where 200 lawyers and government officersattending the EuroLawyer 2010 conference faced an unplanned weekend in London.
When it became clear that aeroplanes would be grounded for days to come, a mixture of disbelief, horror and a spattering of excitement gripped the conference. Rumours of a spare Eurostar ticket spread like wildfire, prompting an auction among the desperate delegates.
For many there was nothing to do but wait and hopefully find a hotel room. Many joked that Iceland had misheard the request from the UK to send ’cash’.
Those still enjoying life in London on Monday included a 40-strong delegation from Ukraine that included the deputy justice minister and other government officials. The group was still working with the Ukrainian embassy on Tuesday to fast-track through Schengen Visas, before settling in for a backside-numbing 46-hour coach ride back to Kiev.
It quickly became clear that those with a Schengen Visa, which allows easy movement between EU countries, would be able
to plough a route home through Europe. Those without were destined for sightseeing trips to Madame Tussauds and the Tower of London (not all bad then).
However, there were success stories too. Like Dmitry Dyakin, managing partner of the Moscow office of Magisters, who refused to let the simple matter of a volcano get in his way. Resourceful Dyakin was surprised to be told he would never make Moscow by the next day and set about making the journey anyway. After managing to buy a Eurostar ticket to Paris, Dyakin bagged a flight from Madrid back to Moscow, fresh for his court appearance the following Monday.
A contingent of lawyers from Berwin Leighton Paisner also deserve a mention. The group, which included real estate partner David Battiscombe, made the mother of all road trips, from Moscow to London via Istanbul, Madrid, Bilbao, Caen and Portsmouth (see Back Page for full story).
And canny lawyers trapped at Calais who were stopped from boarding the ferry as foot passengers snapped up every available bicycle leading to what must be the first-ever mass shortage in the port town.
It’s like Dunkirk all over again.
You spin, you lose
From time to time Tulkinghorn has occasion to wince at the desperation of some PR approaches, but the punt from Lehmann Communications to try to place a story about the impending marriage between Lovells and Hogan really did top them all.
In the run-up to a deal that has already seen more than 100 lawyers and offices in Geneva, Chicago and Warsaw disappear from the business, the sunny Lehmann managed to bypass the carnage to put this gloss on what already has all the hallmarks of a bloodbat
“Just wondered if an article on the diversity angle for the new merged Brussels office of Hogan & Hartson would be of interest to you?”
Apparently, added the PR helpfully, not only will this office be headed by a woman, but the attorneys will speak “many languages”.
You know that front page? Hold it.