Decorating a law firm with appropriate details such as legal statues, sculptures and paintings can occasionally help create the right atmosphere and even represent the overall mood of the business.
Tulkinghorn understands that some firms choose to cover their walls with interesting artwork. Others plump for water features to calm the nerves in a zen sort of way. But not Clifford Chance.
The UK’s biggest has decided to fill its reception area with a number of giant bird statues. What sort of mood or atmosphere the magic circle firm is trying to give with a giant sparrow staring at its clients isn’t clear, but it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ’up before the beak’.
Over a long lunch the other week with Gilles August, the voluble founder of French firm August & Debouzy, one of Tulkinghorn’s scribes was interested to learn that August’s career path has been winding at best.
August confided that during his university days he and a friend had supported themselves by playing competitive bridge. The intricacies of the game – and the sizeable prize pots available – appealed to his entrepreneurial spirit. More so, it turned out, than pursuing the medical degree for which he was supposed to be working.
August later gave up medicine for law, but still enjoys the odd rubber (that’s a round of the popular card game, of course, and nothing whatever to do with letters the Frenchman might write).
Slaughters’ ever-green senior partner Chris Saul is well-known for his love of rock ’n’ roll. Indeed, Tulkinghorn and his elves have spent many a night crowded into insalubrious London nightspots watching Saul mosh away to the latest darlings of NME. Possibly.
But Tulkinghorn wonders whether Saul wasn’t pulling the leg of one of his spies recently when he told the tale of fellow Slaughters stalwart William Underhill’s flirtation with the indie scene. Not, you’ll understand, as a visitor to the land of the great unwashed, but as father to the drummer of the achingly cool three-piece White Lies.
Enquiries as to the veracity of Saul’s claim have proved inconclusive, leading one to speculate whether Slaughters’ front man wasn’t telling a little white lie all of his own…
Tulkinghorn salutes fragrant energy partner John Cooper, the Nigel Farage of Hogan Lovells, for a spectacular misreading of a recent communication.
The Lawyer sent out an email to subscribers letting them know about a forthcoming governance, risk and compliance conference in Brighton (8 and 9 June this year – still time to book so don’t hang around). Within minutes the Hogan Lovells man had emailed back with: “You must be joking. This is the sort of rubbish which gives the profession a bad name. Use the time and money more sensibly and stop fussing about equality, diversity and all this pc rubbish.”
Tulkinghorn fervently hopes on behalf of Hogan Lovells’ clients that Cooper understands what the word ’compliance’ really means and that it has nothing to do with lesbians, as he seems to think.
A source in no way related to Hogan Lovells told Tulkinghorn: “You know Jurassic Park? I’m not saying any more.”
Tim fan alley
Tulkinghorn is well aware that there’s no end of lawyers out there with star quality, and it’s about time the world at large recognised that. Which is exactly what happened when Taylor Wessing managing partner Tim Eyles blagged himself an invite to the Baftas.
Or so he thought.
Strolling up the red carpet, Eyles was besieged by shouts of “Tim, Tim” from the waiting photographers. A man of composure, Eyles swung around with a beaming smile and munificent wave, only to discover little-known, struggling film director Tim Burton standing behind him.
Despite their best efforts, Tulkinghorn’s spies are no closer to finding out which Tim the pap pack were baying for.