Scottish office, anyone?

Tulkinghorn has often wondered whether law firms really get the most out of their international alliances and even whether they know the best way to maximise the potential of such loose affiliations of firms scattered across the globe. Then Tulkinghorn discovered the Lewis Silkin approach, which is so eminently sensible that he feels obliged to share it with you, all in the hope that you can learn from the example.

Lewis Silkin is the UK member of ius laboris (a better name than some, you will agree), the global alliance of firms providing specialist employment services.

Now, while the firm may wax lyrical about the myriad professional benefits, the second leg of a world tour of the alliance belies its real purpose: football.

On the first leg, the firm visited Argentinian member firm Funes de Rioja. The firm has an excellent pedigree in employment law, but the country has an equally commendable footballing pedigree, duly exploited by Lewis Silkin. The hosts actually hired a second division stadium (surprisingly not filled to capacity) to stage the clash with the UK firm, which suffered a “chivalrous” 2-1 defeat.

For the second leg, the firm has avoided potentially tricky encounters with alliance members in Denmark, Poland and Sweden, and has instead plumped for a more glamorous tie with Italy’s Toffoletto e Soci.

Notwithstanding Lewis Silkin’s secret weapon – Anthony Badresingh, once a Swindon trialist and now a paralegal – Lewis Silkin partner and joint head of the employment and incentives group Michael Burd is not holding out much hope of getting any points on the board.

“We’re working on getting a member in Latvia in the hope of playing a team we might win against,” he said.