The downturn appears to have done little to dampen the media’s appetite for bashing high-earning lawyers, at least if a front-page article in the Jersey Evening Post spotted by costs lawyer Jim Diamond is anything to go by.
The piece last month was headlined ‘Island lawyers are costliest in the world’. “It’s such a hot topic that more than 60 people made online comments, an unheard-of number in this market,” says Diamond.
Thanks are due to Diamond for pointing out his favourite comment, “written, I believe, by a lawyer to justify the huge fees”.
And here it is: “The only reason the average is higher in Jersey is because of the industry. Much of the financial work is costlier than other practice areas, such as criminal and family law. But anyway, it pays for the Porsche!”
Lady of the lake
Forget profit per equity partner. What really highlights the gulf between firms is what they keep in their lobby. Take Slaughter and May. Most people must surely know by now that the blue-blood outfit has a water feature in its entrance hall. Or should that be a ‘water hazard’?
The Lawyer’s sister magazine Lawyer2B was over at Slaughters last week on a photoshoot for a profile of the UK’s top graduate recruitment managers. The list included the lovely Claire Evans, graduate recruitment executive at DLA Piper. Evans had clearly never been to Slaughters before - why on earth would she have? - and walked straight into the infamous indoor lake.
Luckily, as most readers will also be aware, Slaughters’ front-of-house staff keep a ready supply of socks behind their desk for just such unfortunate incidents. Although Tulkinghorn suggests that anyone planning a meeting there takes wellies - presumably Hunters.
Over at Chancery Lane the other night (1 October) for a dinner marking the opening of the Law Society’s legal year, the best comment of the evening was an aside overheard as the assorted bigwigs mingled beforehand.
One of Tulkinghorn’s spies was close enough to hear current president Robert Heslett tell an aide: “I’ve cut my speech short to make way for Des.” (‘Des’ being Desmond Browne QC, chair of the Bar Council).
But then Heslett outdid himself, beginning his pint-sized presentation with the rather memorable: “Welcome to Bob’s big night out at Des’s diner.”
After a start like that, the remainder was always going to be lost to posterity.
How’s this for nerve? Thanks once again to Lawyer 2B, Tulkinghorn learnt of a student who emailed the UK’s top graduate recruitment executives asking for £50,000 in sponsorship to cover the cost of their LPC fees and inevitable student debt.
In return, they promised to stay on for five years after qualification. Surely a good deal?