Tulkinghorn: Law of the dance

A kaleidoscope of sequins, feathers, Lycra and fake tan marked the grand finale of Hogan Lovells’ ’Legally ­Ballroom’ extravaganza.


McPartland and Dace:  having a ball
McPartland and Dace: having a ball

Tulkinghorn must admit that he did rather enjoy the event, which saw 15 couples twirling, waltzing and shimmying away.

He did, however, spend the following week wearing dark sunglass after suffering from retinal burn such was the extent of the incandescent flashing of pearly-whites and the radioactive glow of St Tropez.

It’s not known what 300 of the firm’s clients and staff members made of the event, but it was hailed a resounding success by energy partner and ball coordinator Richard Tyler, who reluctantly missed the evening after hotfooting it out of the country to attend to important business in Turkey.

Participants gave up their Wednesday evenings for 10 weeks to master the cha-cha, foxtrot and jive, but it was former Lawyer 2B reporter Corinne McPartland and her dance partner, trainee Laurence Dace, who sashayed their way to victory.

Wine and combine

Remember when Clyde & Co took over construction firm Shadbolt and ­Tulkinghorn revealed that the firms had given the merger the codename ­’Project Digger’? No?

Well, Tulkinghorn does. And so it was with great interest that he learnt Ashurst and Blake Dawson have also given their tie-up a top-secret hush word – ’Project ­Tractor’.

Even better, there’s a backstory to this nickname. Ashurst’s Charlie Geffen and Blake Dawson’s Mary Padbury first met to discuss the merger in a Victoria wine bar called ’Ten Minutes By Tractor’. Sources tell Tulkinghorn that the Pinot Noir at the bar is exceptional: so could the excellent
booze have smoothed the way for the merger?

Tulkinghorn refuses to speculate. Of course, many people have woken up with sore heads after a few too many vinos and discovered a traffic cone in their living room, but waking up to discover you’ve agreed to create a £553m firm… that’s quite a feat.

Finger ­painting

Touring Clyde & Co’s shiny new Botolph House offices last week, the attention of one of Tulkinghorn’s scribes was caught by the artwork adorning the walls.

Apparently the firm is encouraging young artists by displaying their work, with a prize for the best piece. Among the current pieces on display is a large black canvas, with a note on the wall requesting ­visitors not to touch. Tulkinghorn’s ­scribbler was sadly unable to work out if the ­fingermarks all over were supposed to be part of the work, or if ­curious Clydes clients had been unable to resist.

Clegg on your face

There was much ­excitement in the legal world a few weeks ago when Dechert announced it had snagged top EU lawyer Miriam Gonzalez from DLA Piper.

The story even got picked up by the tabloids. Apparently, as well as being highly regarded in professional circles, Gonzalez is married to some guy named Clegg, who’s something big in the Westminster area.

Her appointment got some people’s knickers in a twist, however, and ­resulted in red cheeks at the firm she’s due to join after an anti-Government ­protestor talked her way up to a client meeting room and began ­haranguing a ­confused partner and his clients.

In a not particularly reassuring statement, Dechert said it took the security of its partners and employees seriously. Let’s hope in future that extends to double-checking the identity of everyone who says they’re attending a meeting.

Shear ­nonsense?

Tulkinghorn was reliably informed that on 21 November BLP partner Graham Shear was trending (whatever that means) on ­Twitter (whatever that is) following his appearance before the Leveson Inquiry.

Tulkinghorn isn’t entirely sure that the previous sentence actually means anything, although he assumes that Shear is now the first English lawyer to be trendy since This Life ­finished.

The tattle of Hastings

It’s hardly a secret that during the Christmas ­holidays media outlets sometimes struggle for content. But even with that knowledge Tulkinghorn was stunned to hear that ­American Vogue had asked Addleshaw Goddard ­partner and Boris ­Berezovsky defender Mark Hastings to take part in a photoshoot.

Tulkinghorn isn’t sure why, but Hastings declined, and it looks as if, following a bit of wound-licking, Vogue has settled for ­putting ­Hollywood
star Charlize Theron on its cover instead.

Still, Charlize, if you’re reading, there’s no shame in being second choice to Hastings – he is, after all, rather dashing.