Tulkinghorn: On the pull
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3 April 2014
Rowing at this time of year is all about blazers, big hats and Pimm’s by the river - except when it happens indoors on rowing machines, where it’s more about red faces and sweaty Lycra.
A bunch of lawyers got a taste of the latter recently at the Row Hard event to raise money for the Royal Hospital for Neurodisability. Held at City Hall, which appropriately does have river views, the event saw teams of four from around the City race each other over 2,000 metres.
With the results in, Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) (pictured) narrowly beat Simmons & Simmons by 1.3 seconds to take the top law firm honour. BLP came in 5th overall in a fairly respectable time of 6min 09sec - not bad for non-rowers, although still a way off the individual world record for men (5min 36sec, set by Kiwi Rob Waddell, if you’re interested).
Other firms involved included Morrison & Foerster, which named its team RowFo, and Travers Smith, which turned into Travers-on-Thames for the night.
Crowell & Moring scooped the legal wooden spoon with a time of 7min 44sec, but all involved receive a hearty pat on the back for helping to raise £25,000 for the hospital. Oarsome.
In the name of the father
Tulkinghorn does like family members working at the same firm, especially when they share the same name - and even more so when that name is Thilo von Bodungen.
Thilo snr is an of counsel at Hogan Lovells’ Munich office, specialising in international arbitration. His son, a senior associate with general commercial expertise, distinguishes himself from his old vati with the addition of the initial G after his forename and the splendid letters LL.M (NYU) at the end.
Of course, the German legal market is no stranger to impressively lengthy aristocratic names - Düsseldorf associate Wolrad Prinz zu Waldeck und Pyrmont will set Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s business card printers a typesetting challenge - but to find two of the same in one office is quite something.
The sad news: Thilo jnr is breaking the familial link by quitting the firm for DLA Piper.
Rowdies get a good Haydn
There is one event held annually that brings out the boozy best in Britain’s barristers - the chambers summer party.
This do provides an opportunity for barristers to thank their supporters for… well… their support while indulging in several bottles of champagne and carefully selected canapés. And then a little more champagne.
Over the years 39 Essex Street has built a reputation for having one of the most raucous parties in the Inns, not that Tulkinghorn can ever remember much about the events afterwards.
Alas, the partying was curtailed at the summer party last week. Out went the pumping dubstep and in came a calming string quartet, almost certainly playing Haydn.
No, this is not the lasting impact the exit of former chambers chief executive Michael Meeson had on the outfit, although Tulkinghorn knows he enjoys a good party.
Such is the raffishness of the bar that the Inns have actually had to insert a decibel clause into the terms and conditions of contracts for leasing out the lawns to minimise sound levels.
The fourth man
Minter Ellison partner Nigel Clark was as puzzled as anyone to see himself linked to Weil Gotshal & Manges’ Clifford Chance funds team grab in a recent article in The Lawyer (20 June), not least because he doesn’t work at Clifford Chance, isn’t in a funds team and isn’t joining Weil - or anywhere else, for that matter.
Nevertheless, it was Clark’s friendly face staring out of the page along with three of the Clifford Chance defectors - much to the surprise of his clients, who immediately panicked and thought their favourite partner had forgotten to tell them the big news.
The hiccough occurred because Clark shares a name with one of the Clifford Chance partners who is jumping ship.
Tulkinghorn can’t understand why the Minter Ellison Clark can’t just make it easier for all of us and move to Weil. Problem solved.
Running from the law
Tulkinghorn would like to send his commiserations to Brick Court’s Jonathan Sumption QC, who found himself unable to collect his gong for Barrister of the Year at The Lawyer Awards last month.
It is understood that the country’s leading silk attended the ceremony but disappeared half an hour before the winner was announced. According to sources close to his set, Sumption’s quick exit - explained as being due to “a sudden illness” - was in reality down to the fact that some attendees were upset by his win.
Sumption’s elevation to the Supreme Court, while worthy, has not gone down well at the bar. The fact that his appointment has been held off so he can abide by his commitment to represent Roman Abramovich in his multimillion-pound dispute with Boris Berezovksy has been met with disdain in some quarters. Indeed, on the night boos were heard.
Tulkinghorn understands that Sumption, one of the strongest forces in Law-land, was not too happy about facing his critics at the event and so made a hasty exit.
He may need a stiffer backbone as a judge.