Tulkinghorn: Smile and the world laughs at you

Those ungrateful support staff at CMS Cameron McKenna have reacted with what can only be described as disdain at the prospect of being hived off to outsourcing specialist Integreon.

The atmosphere wasn’t helped, Tulkinghorn learns, when these loyal Camerons servants were given the lowdown on the corporate philosophy of the American outsourcer. Apparently, it all comes down to a simple acronym: SMILE.

Unfortunately, none of the Integreon suits present at the meeting could remember what that actually stood for, but Tulkingorn understands it is, ’Spread Magic Through Initiative Love and Enthusiasm’. You really couldn’t make it up, and in Tulkinghorn’s basic grasp of English, that looks like SMTILE, presumably some kind of disease.

Camerons wits were quick to offer their own ideas. ’So, My Income Looks Endangered’ is Tulkinghorn’s current favourite. Any other suggestions are more than welcome.

Legal shop of horrors

As 2011 and the wholesale shake-up of the UK legal market draws near, Tulkinghorn is bracing himself for an avalanche of PR guff trumpeting wildly innovative business models and the like.

Surely none, however, will be able to compete for the sheer glamour factor of a recent missive from QualitySolicitors. The self-styled new national high street legal superbrand, which hopes to “fight off the threat of ’Tesco Law’”, informed Tulkinghorn that it had launched the first 15 of a planned 300 “next generation” legal services branches across the UK last week.

“There will be a series of high-profile openings of the branches in the coming days, which will be open to the local public to attend,” continued the press blurb, “with stars such as X Factor finalists Stacey Solomon and Laura White, and Hollyoaks actress Emma Rigby, appearing”.

No doubt they’ll be singing A Whole New World.

Soccer punch

How to win friends and influence people, as taught by new HogLove co-chief exec Warren Gorrell. The American was on the charm offensive in a major way at the firm’s annual press party the other week, but slipped up in US schoolboy fashion when trying to ingratiate himself to the hack pack by talking about that most slippery of subjects for our transatlantic cousins – soccer.

Gorrell mentioned the small matter of the upcoming World Cup, highlighting the ­forth-coming “soccer match between the UK and US”.

A couple of tips, Warren: you may have got your way in turning ’remuneration’ into ’compensation’, but football is football and always will be.

Pastures new and green

More news from the rumour mill that was the HogLove party. Tulkinghorn learned that the former Lovells partners, who were already dazzled by the Doomsday Clock counting down thenanoseconds to ’merger day’, were confronted on the morn itself by the stomach-churning sight of a lime green carpet being rolled out to greet them as they stepped from their executive limos.

There was a fair amount of eye-rolling among the old guard at the ubiquity of this new branding. And green was very much the colour at the press bash. From the mojitos at the bar, to the bizarre cylinders of apples dotting the room, to the look in David Harris’s eyes when he heard how much ’compensation’ his opponent, Warren Gorrell, was in line for.

A merger of equals, sure, but some mergers are more equal than others.

Any support in a storm

Staying with the World Cup, the great city-stopping event is nearly upon us, and lawyers across the land are gearing up to shut down for four weeks – well, at least on England’s game days.

Or, more accurately, footie fans are already practising holding their breath nervously in anticipation of seeing England get knocked out in the quarter finals.

But there’s one firm that might be in two minds about wishing our WAG-less boys well in South Africa: Macfarlanes. Blinkered managers at the firm have foolishly scheduled their next partner meeting to clash with one of the semi-finals.

So, Macfarlanes’ top brass, a word of warning from Tulkinghorn: unless the plan really is to have the meeting attended only by disgruntled Celts or ranks of partners from far-flung overseasjurisdictions whose teams failed to qualify for the globe’s premier sporting event – which are legion at Macfarlanes, of course – the firm might want toconsider changing the date.

That, or risk having the firm’s senior partners unable to throw their full and considerable weight behind Capello’s men. Shame on them.