19 February 2007
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How to treat a tragedy
Comments of support flooded in to The Lawyer in response to the Lawyer News Daily email of 14 February on Matthew Courtney, the 27-year-old who worked at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as an IP associate and who tragically died at London's Tate Modern on 9 February.
"At The Lawyer we tend to leave these stories alone. Our editorial policy is to cover stories that relate to the business of law. But in this case we think it's worth providing a counterpoint to the articles in today's editions of The Times and the Evening Standard.
"Nobody yet knows for sure whether Courtney was stressed out, despite various headlines to the contrary. And even if he was feeling under pressure, nobody knows whether it was related to his work…"Most importantly, nobody yet knows for sure whether Courtney's death was suicide. But if that turns out to be true, remember this: the level of despair that leads someone to take their own life is unimaginable to most of us. Leave him to rest in peace."
It was obviously a hugely emotive subject and The Times and the Evening Standard leapt on it. The following days saw comments on timesonline.co.uk discussing the stress of working in a City firm and the heavy workload it brings.
Sullivan associate is a right Charney
The drama surrounding former Sullivan & Cromwell M&A associate Aaron Charney continues unabated, with minute-by-minute coverage on blawgs www.abovethe law.com and greedyassociates .com, as well as on The Wall Street Journal's law blog.
Sullivan has now moved to dismiss Charney's original discrimination suit, which the white-shoe firm described as a "malicious public relations campaign".
An abovethelaw commentator wrote: "Maybe Charney can sell the movie rights to his story or something now, since a multimillion dollar settlement ain't happening. Alas, that movie has already been done (Philadelphia)."
We welcome into cyberspace new blawg Legal Beagle, at legalbeagleuk.blogspot.com/ index.html, which was launched a couple of weeks ago by a female London barrister.
Says Beagle on her profile: "Barely a day goes by without some sensationalist report of the horrors of the criminal justice system in England and Wales and those who work within it. I've been trawling around the criminal courts for a few years now so thought I was just about qualified to wade into the debate and attempt to give a true picture of life at the bar."
Posts so far suggest thoughtful takes on timely matters such as prison overcrowding and rape convictions, but also a rare insight into the profession. To wit, her first-ever entry: "When people find out that you are, or are trying to become, a barrister, they invariably all ask the same questions... Q - Do you wear a wig? A - Yes." Wigs on barristers - who knew?
Organic growth strategies
And finally… you might know the GC100 as the body of general counsel of FTSE100 companies, but perhaps new head Helen Mahy, general counsel of the National Grid, may have shaken things up at the group in more ways than one.
Search the web and you will find www.gc100.com. It states: "GC100 is an organic preparation that contains molecular complexes of the most powerful anti-tumour substances found in nature."
We knew they were good, but that's seriously impressive. But as it turns out, the GC100 that is made up of general counsel rather than molecular complexes is hosted on www.practicallaw.com.