Tulkinghorn: Keef relief

Schillings defamation maestro ‘Big Keef’ Schilling proved to ­Tulkinghorn recently that he may be a ­hotshot lawyer, but he could learn a thing or two about bowling. The other evening, Schillings invited Tulkinghorn’s hacks to Bloomsbury for a spot of bowling.

Little did the protector in chief to the stars know that The Lawyer’s team featured a 10-pin star. Soon the hacks had leapt into an unassailable lead, powered by their star player’s four consecutive strikes.

And then, disaster. Half way through the game the power was cut, causing the game to restart and saving Schilling’s blushes. At least after a few cocktails, that’s how we remember it.

Now, is that libellous? I guess we’ll soon find out…

Double ­trouble

What do you do if you’re a trade union firm trying to bash out a press release about a merger without giving too much away?

If you’re Thompsons, you cut and paste, ­apparently.

Back in May 2008, trade union specialist Thompsons merged with eight-partner Northern firm Whittles. In fairly routine PR fashion Thompsons told the world: “We are, together, uniquely placed to provide even greater strength and depth to the trade union movement.”

Twelve months on, the same firm struck a mega merger with one of the UK’s biggest trade union firms, Rowley Ashworth. Once more, Thompsons told the world: “Thompsons will have further strength in depth in resources and expertise to deliver the highest quality of service to claimants.”

Now Tulkinghorn may be being overly harsh, but this does smack of a lack of imagination? Surely the firm could have tried a ­little harder?

The impression of a dearth of originality at Thompsons was compounded when the firm’s chief executive Stephen Cavalier borrowed a quote from football legend Brian Clough: “When it comes to the question of who are the leading trade union law firms, we’re in the top one.”

Feel free to cringe now.

Purple graze

Last week Herbert Smith planning partner Matthew White advised on a deal featuring a purple upside-down cow. As you do.

Apparently the cow is the venue for a season of entertainment on London’s South Bank, a ­Herbies client for 10 years.

“We get the strangest things to do for the South Bank,” White said. “It’s a client unlike any other.”

Luckily this wasn’t a long deal, White added. And a good job too, as he had a lot of udder things to do.

Presumably the cow is upside-down to prevent appreciative punters from getting a pat on their heads?

Nothing comperes to you

Lovells recently jumped on the Strictly Come Dancing bandwagon with its second ‘Legally Ballroom’ extravaganza. The black-tie event earlier this month drew 300 Lovells staff plus clients, friends and family to the City Grange Hotel in London.

Real estate partner Gill McGreevy compered the evening along with joint head of real estate Bob Kidby, who put down his guitar especially for the event. McGreevy couldn’t resist showing off a few moves with instructor Damian Evans in what was described as “a breathtaking exhibition dance”.

The judges featured 2008 Paralympic gold medallist Lee Pearson MBE, Latin champion Clara Guzzardi and Lovells people development partner Ruth Grant.
During the event, couples swathed in sequins and feathers swung on to the dancefloor in the name of charity.

“Never before have I seen so much glitter in one room,” gushed Grant, who has yet to see Priscilla the musical.

Lovells design manager Errol Donald and HR manager Jenny Bond eventually jived their way to victory, beating four other couples in the final, including the firm’s nimble-footed head of financial services Rachel Kent and financial institutions partner James McDonald.

This bit of fun helped raise £15,000 for Lovells’ charities, Paralympics GB and ORBIS.

Tulkinghorn will be dusting off his dancing shoes for next year.

Thirsty walk

Congratulations to the 4,000 lawyers who completed the six-mile trek around London’s best-known tourist spots last Monday.

By the end of the evening, the London Legal Support Trust was celebrating being £380,000 better off. Then it was over to the pub where the party continued.

Well done to Holman Fenwick & Willan and Matrix Chambers for entertaining us with their body-popping skills, and to Allen & Overy for stumping up a few quid to give the massed ranks free celebratory drinks at the Law Society. There were a few blisters around Chancery Lane but that’s a small price to pay for raising money for the South East’s welfare legal centres. Even Tulkinghorn, after a few brandies, agreed.