Tulkinghorn: Safety first

Tulkinghorn recently got the inside track on how the mind of a politician works.

Well, at least one of the newest politicians on the block, former Rochman Landau employment lawyer turned Labour party ­Member of Parliament for Streatham, Chuka Umunna.

Umunna’s former managing partner Teresa Cullen revealed that the lawyer was so superstitious in the run-up to last month’s general election that he refused to clear his desk at the office, even though Streatham is one of Labour’s safest seats.

“Chuka phoned on the day of the election to formally offer his resignation,” says Cullen. “At least he didn’t have to go to the Palace and kiss the Queen’s hand.”

Reasons to be competent

By now most readers will be aware that the inhabitants of most corners of the earth have gone World Cup crazy. This was a point underlined most articulately by David Aitman, Freshfields ­Bruckhaus Deringer’s ­global co-head of the firm’s antitrust, competition and trade practice, recently.

Aitman revealed how on the day of the ­competition’s launch he had been on a conference call with a senior EU regulator trying to settle an antitrust case during which the ­participants proved they had got their ­priorities right.

“Somebody who shall remain nameless said, ’Can we make sure we wrap this up by 3pm’?” recalls ­Aitman.

For the uninitiated, the World Cup kicked off at 3pm.

Rock, roll and home for bed

Outer Temple ­Chambers’ Richard Lissack QC is not only all over The Lawyer’s back page this week. Later this week he will be all over the ­Glastonbury festival, whooping it up watching acts such as ­Stevie Wonder, Florence & the Machine and his ­personal fave, Muse.

Now, Tulkinghorn understands that this annual event for popular beat combos regularly attracts lawyers from across the land, so Lissack’s attendance is not that unusual. What is unusual is that the barrister has been given laminated access-all-areas backstage passes for the ­weekend bash.

The reason? Earlier this year Lissack had a big win for the organisers of the Reading Festival’s Leeds event. The long-running matter involved a trashed trailer, an overhead ­electricity cable and 36 health and safety charges. Lissack successfully got 34 of the pesky allegations stopped and, as a result, will have a direct line to the stars this weekend.

But though the music-loving lawyer has scoured the running order for the top acts – Curved Air ­anyone? – Tulkinghorn suspects he’s not wholeheartedly ­entering into the spirit of the mudfest.

“I won’t be camping,” admits Lissack, a revelation that means he won’t even be ­tempted by the delights of the super posh Camp Kerala (run by a couple of barristers, Jenny ­Lederman and her ­husband David, a QC of Carmelite Chambers).”I only live 20 minutes away,” adds Lissack. “I get to go home to a bed. It’s not very rock ’n’ roll, is it?”

Tulkinghorn thinks it sounds eminently ­sensible.

Giving up the boast

Who own’s this motor? That was the talk of the bar last week after this rather flashy Bentley was parked in Essex Street the other day.

“All the clerks seem to be enjoying its presence in a school playground type of way,” one source said.
Tulkinghorn finds the mystery ­driver’s honesty rather refreshing.