Tulkinghorn: Eggy White’s chicken fight

Nottingham Law School’s LPC director Bob White is known for running a tight ship at work. But now it looks as though the law school chief has started to expect the same high standards from his pets. Namely, his chickens.

White makes sure his feathered friends abide by his one-egg rule. This means that if they lay at least one egg a day then they can stay, but if not they’re shown the chicken coop door.

He also told Tulkinghorn’s scribes about a sick chook who managed to escape death not once, but three times in one day.

The chicken in question came down with a virus and White had no other choice but to put it out of its misery. But after trying to wring its neck and then shoot it from a distance, White had to resort to a Godfather-style point-blank killing.

And Tulkinghorn thought he was a good egg.

Rouse shooting

This week’s firm profile on Rouse reveals a great deal about the IP-crazy lot over in the Docklands. But not everything.

Not, for example, that while on business in Mississippi getting a witness statement for a recent case, the firm’s managing partner also got her hands on the controls of a US army battle tank-type mega vehicle.

“They said, ‘Karen can have a go’,” recalls managing partner Karen Fong. “It was much better than a Hummer.”

That, sadly, was all Fong was allowed to reveal about the iron-clad beast, it being rather top secret. Apart from one detail – it doesn’t have a key.

“They told me, ‘when you’re at war you could lose the key’,” she recalls.

Just like litigation. Except without the tanks. And guns. And keys. Probably.

Ripping yarns

The Lawyer of the Week competition last week was a slam dunk for former Clifford Chance M&A supremo Adam Signy, who quit the magic circle firm for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Signy’s track record speaks for itself – it’s a pretty phenomenal list. But a mole told Tulkinghorn of another matter Signy advised on way back at the start of his career.

While at Coward Chance in 1983, Signy signed the form 41a, appointing a receiver in relation to a particular company.
The client? Madoff UK.

Mask of the dread breath

News from the six bands gearing up to contest the inaugural Law Rocks ­competition next month reached Tulkinghorn last week.

“I’m very concerned about swine flu,” says Real State’s David ‘Bomb the Bass’ Battiscombe of Berwin Leighton ­Paisner, “as we’ve just returned from a sellout Mexican tour.

“This means we’ll all be wearing face masks and have to set up a quarantine zone around the stage at The 100 Club.”

Still, Battiscombe is retaining his stiff upper lip about the global pandemic.

”We’re no strangers to infection,” he insists. “The band’s lifestyle means  our roadies ensure there’s always oxygen and ­defibrillators on standby whenever we play.”

Brown and out

Tulkinghorn is, in ­principal, all for the idea of outsourcing. After all, why do something here when you can pay someone peanuts to do it for you in another country, saving enough money for a round of treble whiskies at the end of the day?

But law firms have been comparatively slow to grasp the ­nettle, in the misguided belief that only UK lawyers are good enough for their clients.
No ­surprise, then, that it took someone from outside the industry to get the ball rolling.

Tulkinghorn ­understands that Liam Brown, chief executive of outsourcing outfit ­Integreon (surely too many ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ in that ­sentence) launched his legal outsourcing service not in response to client demand, but because of a hefty legal bill.

The outsourcing group had just won a trademark dispute with similarly named Atlanta-based rival Integreo. Brown decided that some of the work he had been charged for could be done more cheaply ­offshore. And so a new business was born.

Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention.

Tulkinghorn is ­currently embroiled in a trademark dispute with sardonic legal commentary service ­Tulkinghorny. But he can’t be bothered to fight the case himself, so Indian outsourcing company Cheephancheerful is doing it for him – and at a very reasonable rate indeed.