Clydes, cases and cat-astrophes

It had to happen eventually. As we reported last year, one of the City’s longest-serving law firm heads, Clyde & Co senior partner Michael Payton, is stepping down in 2013. Today, his replacement has been unveiled.

Contentious insurance specialist James Burns, a partner at Clydes since 1998, has been appointed following an uncontested election. Clearly Burns will be taking over from Payton at a time of unprecedented expansion at Clydes, thanks primarily to its merger with Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG).

Burns was an instrumental figure in the merger negotiations with BLG and will obviously now play a leading role as the firm looks to capitalise on that platform.

Under Payton Clydes transformed from a 16-partner firm with £6m turnover in 1984 into a worldwide player with a turnover of £287m and 285 partners. Burns knows his predecessor is a hard act to follow.

But that’s not the main news. Oh no.

The story that has readers of feline good is the news that Hunter the cat, a long-time resident of Temple Gardens who once was lost, has been found. Fears that Hunter had been cat-napped or, worse, lured away to the lower rent grounds of a solicitors’ firm, were put to rest yesterday when assistant gardener Nanette Hudson confirmed Hunter had returned.

The story has lit up our website with many a pithy comment, notably: “Whatever the reason for his disappearance, I’m sure he feels good tabby back.”

In other, far less seismic news, the Supreme Court has just refused to extend legal privilege to accountants offering tax advice. Lawyers around the land are said to be purring with satisfaction.


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