Tulkinghorn: Scotch missed

Tulkinghorn is perplexed by the behaviour being ­displayed by his brothers- and sisters-at-law in bonnie Scotland. They appear to have gone stark raving mad, and all over these new-­fangled alternative ­business structures (ABSs) everyone seems to be talking about.



Scotch missed
Tulkinghorn is perplexed by the behaviour being ­displayed by his brothers- and sisters-at-law in bonnie Scotland. They appear to have gone stark raving mad, and all over these new-­fangled alternative ­business structures (ABSs) everyone seems to be talking about.

After the Law Society of Scotland (LSS) and the Scottish Law Agents Society (SLAS) had an ABS-induced spat recently, the LSS decided to postpone a vote on the issue until 16 April. Then, confusingly enough, it changed its mind and moved the vote to 21 April.

Sadly, the date change message didn’t reach 30 or so SLAS members who, like Tulkinghorn himself, were probably quaffing a thimble or two of the uisge beatha when the announcement went out.

It seems they turned up at Edinburgh’s Sheraton Grand Hotel and, despite there being no other attendees in sight, claimed to have attended the LSS special general meeting.

Confusion reigns. It’s enough to put you off your whisky.

A farewell to arms
Old McKenna had a farm, ee-eye ee-eye oh. Well, at least CMS Cameron McKenna’s managing partner Duncan Weston has intimate ­experience of life on one.
Tulkinghorn recently learned that the multiskilled Weston once delivered a cow. Pull the udder one, you may well say, but it’s all moo, sorry, true.

Of course, Tulkinghorn could never reveal where he herd the anecdote but apparently Weston’s folks owned a farm and one day a calf needed delivering. But that’s not all. There were complications. The calf needed turning. With the steaks (b)raised and a young calf’s life in danger, Duncan rolled his sleeves up and literally got stuck in. Let’s hope he got more than a pat on the back – or anywhere – for his troubles.

Tulkinghorn is wary of milking the story but there are more farm-related tales to be told at CMS. Cornelius Brandi, CMS chairman, also grew up on a farm. It was a sheep farm, but Brandi also has experience with cows. To be precise, sawing their carcasses in half.

Not quite as mooving as Weston’s heroics, but Tulkinghorn smells a synergy. Perhaps if things get really tough Weston and Brandi could put their experiences to good use to get a new revenue stream going: Big Mac(Kenna) meal anyone?

Breathing space
As head of Kirkland & Ellis’s global restructuring team, which has been working on some of the biggest restructurings around recently, Jamie Sprayregen has been a busy man. But a call the other day revealed the true extent of the man’s dedication.

One of Tulkinghorn’s hacks asked Sprayregen to comment on the U-turn of restructuring partner Paul Atherton, who
looked set to leave the firm for Greenberg Traurig Maher only to later change his mind.

The ever-affable ­Sprayregen duly obliged, despite the six-hour time difference with his Chicago base. Things appeared to take a sinister turn, ­however, when Sprayregen took the early morning call – and began breathing heavily down the phone to the bemused journo.

“As a firm… we’re thrilled with the performance… of our European restructuring group,” Sprayregen spluttered between deep gasps and wheezes.
Was Sprayregan taking his work-life balance a step too far?

Fortunately not; he later explained, to the great relief of the reporter, that he was on his regular morning jog.

Busy indeed.

Named and shamed
Law firms don’t tend to be that creative when it comes to naming teams. Clifford Chance’s designation of various groups within its banking practice along numerical lines is about as wacky as it usually gets.

So Tulkinghorn’s ­interest was piqued to find out that respective groups within the real estate practice at CMS Cameron McKenna are known as bricks and mortar. Of course, this works better in the practices with ­’tangible’ outcomes such as property.

Defined benefit and defined contribution (for pensions) or avarice and pomp (for banking) just don’t have the same ring to them.

And the possibilities in other areas such as ­sewerage (excrement and urine) and nuclear waste (radiation and long-term liability) just aren’t that edifying. Time for law firms to get creative.