Tulkinghorn: LG and the tramp

A cautionary tale reaches Tulkinghorn from LG, where the dangers of having a brand spanking new and attractive building were evident recently.

One of Tulkinghorn’s spies had popped across the water to LG’s sparkling Thames-side home for a coffee with genial managing partner Hugh Maule. What neither expected to find was what appeared to be a visiting vagrant sitting outside the firm’s still shiny new café.

“I think we’ll just stay in here,” said a nervous-looking Maule, as he suspiciously eyed the unexpected guest seated at an outside table, crouched over his brew, hoodie up and cradling a dodgy-looking plastic bag.

Maule and the hack sat and sipped from the safety of the inside and all was well. That is, until the ’vagrant’ got up, yawned, stretched and clambered back inside through LG’s plate glass doors to return to whichever of the firm’s support functions – presumably – he worked at.

But then, as the firm that famously posted a 63 per cent rise in PEP only for it to return to more or less where it was two years earlier should know, appearances can be deceptive.

Crimes of the arts

This page’s readers are famed for their ­precision – but the response from Short Richardson & Forth ­partner Max Winthrop on the recent story about Macfarlanes’ senior ­partner Charles Martin’s illustrious ancestor takes the biscuit:
“Dear Tulkinghorn. I realise most lawyers are not known for anything beyond a very superficial knowledge of the arts, even when they make a great show of sponsorship, but that’s no excuse for not being able to distinguish a base viol from a violone (and a seven-string ­instrument at that), and butchering a portrait that’s clearly not from Bohemia in the closing years of the seventeenth century or the early years of the ­eighteenth, but from France or England in the 1690s.

“A composer who gave the world the greatest ­setting of the Lamentation of Jeremiah the Prophet (well, okay, possibly the second greatest ­setting of the Lamentations after Tallis) deserves better. ­Superficiality of knowledge may be acceptable in some fields, but I’d expect more from lawyers. Actually, judging by some of the arguments
I come across in the ­tribunal, ­perhaps I ­shouldn’t expect much. Yours, lamenting.”

Hear, hear, laments ­Tulkinghorn.

Welcome to the Dark Ages

This week (see page 14), The Lawyer exclusively reveals the results of a ­survey conducted by the Law Society and its ­partners into lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) career progression within the legal profession.

In the results, some of the respondents talk about experiencing homophobic abuse at work. Others recount how their sexuality has hindered their career progression, while for ­others it has been an asset. Most concur about the importance of role models and networks in helping create an inclusive ­workplace in which all
can reach their potential.

But those on the ­frontline clearly still have some way to go, judging from one ­submission.

“I’m not certain what an LGB is,” begins this ­perplexed person’s response to the LGB ­Solicitors’ Career Survey, “but I suspect that it has something to do with
non-legal activities.”

‘Outraged from ­Tunbridge Wells’ then goes on to point the finger at this wayward, possibly even illicit, and certainly profligate, exercise.

“This survey has ­nothing to do with the practice of law or the ­regulation of solicitors, and is a scandalous waste of time and money. The Law Society should be ashamed of itself.”

But with 298 gay men, 100 lesbian women and 37 bisexuals answering the survey, which category did this crusader against immorality, waste and the modern world tick?