The season to (try to) be jolly

The season to (try to) be jolly It hasn’t been the best year for the legal profession, as you can see in this issue.

But there have been a few highlights to remember.

Pantomime villains of the year: Vinay Veneik; Beresfords; Melvyn Weiss (Milberg Weiss).

Most right-wing magic circle firm: Allen & Overy, the one to donate the most money to the Republicans.

Best shindig: Blackstone’s garden party; Lovells’ poker evening; Nabarro at Sketch; the FoxMandal party with the huge snakes; 39 Essex St’s Bollywood night.

Most industrious shoehorning of Downing Street connections: Clifford Chance’s constant mentions of Stuart Popham’s trip to China with Gordon Brown.

Most expansionist defiance of the credit crunch: Kennedys;
Bird & Bird; Wolf Theiss; Latham & Watkins.

Most misplaced bit of PC: Herbert Smith’s integration course for Indian associates.

The phrase we haven’t heard much of recently: Work-life balance.

The phrase we’ve heard too much of recently: Flight to quality.

The fiddle-while-Rome-burns award: White & Case management.

Feuds of the year: Withers v Forsters; Nixon Peabody v Taylor Wessing; sponsor v lender lawyers on debt buybacks; Ian Rosenblatt v opera star Erwin Schrott; DLA v Kennedys; former Hammonds partners v Hammonds; Paul Dacre v Eady J.

Walkouts of the year: Allen and Goetz from White & Case; Audley and co from Faegre & Benson; Pierre Tercier from the International Chamber of Commerce Court of Arbitration; O’Melveny ­partners from London.

Management muscularity trophy: Eversheds red-carding its partners; Clifford Chance putting a stop to taxis and its obsession with offshoring to India.

Firms wanting a better 2009: Bevan Brittan; Cadwalader; ­Halliwells; Hammonds (again); Howard Kennedy.

Stories we wished were true: Eversheds’ sheep on the roof; A&O and Shearman; Norton Rose and Garrigues.

Reprimand of the year: Peter Smith J for his non-recusal.

Scottish law firms telling us they’re not actually Scottish: Dundas; Maclays; McGrigors; Shepherd and Wedderburn.

Sex and lawyers award: Shearman & Sterling for vac scheme lapdancing; Davenport Lyons for porn clients.

Worst law firm art: Addleshaws’ Kray twins picture.

Busiest lawyers in 2009: Divorce specialists.

We’re back in print on 5 January, but will be publishing throughout the holiday period.

Happy Christmas.