How’s this for a generalisation - clients have certain expectations of their lawyers and tend to distrust those who don’t fit the mould.
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One lawyer once remarked to Tulkinghorn that his clients didn’t appear to take any of his advice seriously unless he was wearing a tie while giving it.
So Tulkinghorn was not entirely surprised when he overheard that a few years ago one lawyer at Herbert Smith with a sharp Estuary English accent was asked by a partner - surely in the politest of terms - whether she would mind getting some elocution lessons.
Apparently the firm is of the belief that if you want to litigate, you have to articulate.
Mongolia is an increasingly hot destination for global firms and lawyers seeking new opportunities. DLA Piper Singapore-based partner Martin David is one such brave traveller. Indeed, David has been a regular visitor to the country’s capital city Ulaanbaatar, working on several projects recently.
Among many things David needs to get used to in the steppe country is the warrior-like speaking style of Mongolian businessmen.
“When I first attended a business meeting in Mongolia, the local counterparty sounded like they were constantly shouting and yelling,” says David. “I was a bit taken aback by that, but later realised that’s just the normal tone of local people. It must be because of the great warrior Genghis Khan’s genes in their blood.”
David may have been joking, but according to a recent scientific study, 0.5 per cent of the world’s population may be descended from Genghis Khan. That’s 350 million people - and at least a few of them must be lawyers.