Tulkinghorn: Florida keys

Law firm mergers always produce the odd bit of unexpected intrigue, but the dilemma facing SJ Berwin partner and former managing partner candidate Perry Yam during the firm’s 2010 merger talks with Proskauer Rose is surely one of the most absorbing ever.

Florida keys

The corporate partner owns a house in Florida – in Boca Raton, to be precise.

Tulkinghorn has learnt that Yam has long cherished hopes of a move across the Pond so he can live there permanently.

And who else has a base in Boca Raton? That’s right – Proskauer Rose. Yam knew that if he hung about and the deal went ahead he could fulfil his dream of transferring to a Florida practice. Perhaps that’s why he stuck around at SJ Berwin for so long?

In any event, the Proskauer talks fell through, but all was not lost for Yam. The corporate partner is set to join Reed Smith to launch its private equity practice and is understood to have negotiated a deal that will see him move to Florida in around five years’ time.

Reed Smith doesn’t have a base down there, but sources aren’t talking of this as an office launch – more a work-from-home project that could turn into a retirement plan.

Tulkinghorn knows that plenty of lawyers have second homes. It can only be a matter of time before laterals start demanding that prized transfer to the Cotswolds.


Cork poppers

In what is a long and generally dry and dreary January, one of Tulkinghorn’s scribes was lucky enough to be taken to the new Hawksmoor restaurant last week

by Ronan O’Sullivan, the eminently affable and distinctly Irish new head of US firm Paul Hastings’ London office.

In fact there was a Dublin feel to the whole shooting match. Paul Hastings’ attendant PR Karen Levin also hails from the Emerald Isle. And just to complete the impression of having popped over the water, so did the waiter.

At the risk of stereotyping, that was enough to cue the death of New Year best intentions and pop the cork on a much-needed bottle of Pinot Noir.

So much for a dry January.

Guiding star

The secret of Norton Rose’s barnstorming global success can be revealed.

Management consultants may drone on about taking the long view or being far-sighted, but global chief executive Peter Martyr has taken this to the max.

“I’m a bit of a fan of astronomy; and yes, I did get a telescope for Christmas,” Martyr confirmed.

So now we know.