Tulkinghorn: Storm trooper

Call it the luck of the top dog, but the stars appear to be aligned for Cravath these days.

For one thing, the firm’s financials saw a bounce back in 2009 from the shocker it had the previous year.

But the rub of the green also seems to be with ­presiding partner Evan Chesler. One of ­Tulkinghorn’s spies learnt the other day that Chesler had a ­narrow escape during the wild weather that hit New York State late last month. Returning home one evening in March, Chesler came across a scene of devastation, with trees uprooted by the gales dotting the ground. Luckily for Chesler the ­fallen oaks had narrowly missed his house. ­

Unluckily for his neighbour, one big old fella had made a major dent in his roof, something that was ­particularly bad ­timing, as that was the night he’d ­chosen to host a party for around 70 friends and family.

Probably if he’d been smart enough to work at ­Cravath the tree would have missed.

Alive and clicking

The Lawyer regularly receives invitations to events. Some are accepted with relish, while others are rejected, sometimes with a heavy heart, ­sometimes with ­bewilderment, but always with good manners.

However, a recent ­invitation from a ­Ukrainian firm was sent with more than a hint of menace.

It began with a simple statement: “Following our previous effective cooperation I am writing to suggest that we continue it.”

This was followed by an invitation to a CIS forum, attended by many senior dealmakers and lawyers from the former Soviet states.

“There are plenty of ­personalities you may be fond of talking to,” went the message. “Among them two partners: [X and X].” (Their names have been censored for fear of ­retribution). “I am sure it is a good opportunity to meet them alive for a chat. Please do let me know what you think about it.”

Tulkinghorn is sure that this is the first invite received at The Lawyer where the “opportunity” to meet someone while still alive has been the clincher.

Dear Sir, RSVP is ­definitely in the post. ­

Idiot ­synchrony

Well-schooled as he is in the gentle art of ­conversation, Tulkinghorn greeted the recent news, that CMS Cameron McKenna lawyers were receiving advice on small talk from a computer ­program, with a degree of amusement.

But it seems that the firm might be on to ­something after one of Tulkinghorn’s minions overheard the tale of the Baker & McKenzie partner who attended a course
on networking. After ­confessing that he ­struggled discussing such low subjects as popular culture and football with his apparently oikish clients, the partner was given the following advice: “Start reading The Sun.” Slipped neatly between the pages of the FT no doubt.

Young Turk’s track record

Tulkinghorn has heard the term ’disc jockey’, but knows not what it means. Youngsters do though – and some lawyers apparently. In fact, a number of them actually spin the ’wheels of steel’ (yours truly remains ignorant) themselves.

Take Levent Celepçi, a partner at Turkish firm CTK. When Celepçi’s not up to his ’cans’ in project finance, corporate finance, banking, M&A and energy law, he runs a popular weekly radio show playing rock and indie music. Istanbul’s answer to Steve Lamacq even claims to have been the first to play the Arctic Monkeys on Turkish radio.

Celepçi has an ­encyclopedic knowledge of indie music and can match even the coolest kids in the tightest jeans for knowhow on the latest hit bands, such as Mother’s Ruin or The Dreaded ­Consumption… or ­whatever such music hall artistes are calling ­themselves these days.

The laid-back Celepçi enjoys visiting the UK on business and keeps an eye on any ’gigs’ (Tulkinghorn presumes these are something other than the horse-drawn variety) taking place around the same time. When away on business in the past he has also called in to the studio and spoken his links down the phone, making him possibly the coolest law firm partner in Europe.

Maybe NME will ­consider a new award this year?