Tulkinghorn: Barca buddies

No, not that late-night ‘what goes on tour stays on tour’ stuff, something more touching. The sort of relationship that can only happen between two name partners: Greenberg Traurig Maher’s Paul Maher and Schillings’ Keith Schilling.

Having only met each other once before, at The Lawyer Awards, the two rough diamonds fell for each other’s charms in Barcelona. So much so that Tulkinghorn even heard them joke about a merger, despite Schilling looking askance at Maher’s combats and check-shirt ensemble at dinner on the first night. Honestly, it was like Darcy and Elizabeth.

Without the wet shirt (as far as Tulkinghorn knows).

The Arts of good service

While in Barcelona for The Lawyer Summit 2009, Tulkinghorn was musing on the fact that good ­service is hard to come by these days. How fondly he remembers the time when breakfast was always served with a freshly ironed newspaper and a smile.

Then came news of some amazing customer care at the summit, which was held at the ­splendid Hotel Arts in Barcelona. Living up to its reputation as one of the world’s top hotels, staff helped two stricken delegates without so much as batting an ­eyelid.

In the first instance a former managing partner of a rather well-known City firm left both his mobile and BlackBerry in the back of a cab on the way to the beachside resort. The receptionist quickly came up with a plan and 20 ­minutes later the driver was in the lobby holding the two missing items.

But how?

It turns out that the clever woman on the front desk made a call to the bell boy on the front door. The bell boy then spoke to the security guard, who used the hotel’s cameras to zoom in on the number plate of the taxi that dropped off the delegate. From that they got the name and number of the driver who was called and asked to return with the phones. It was like Jason Bourne’s hunters had popped into Barcelona for a busman’s holiday.

The second example of super service was for an unfortunate clerk whose luggage failed to ­materialise after he landed (BA, in case you were ­wondering). With no clothes, toiletries or dinner suit, it was looking like a really bad day for the ­delegate, especially as his glasses and contact lenses were halfway to Bermuda. Up stepped the receptionist who took a few details
and a few hours later there was a box of contact lenses matching the delegate’s prescription waiting for him on his hotel bed.

Beat that, Holiday Inn.

I’d Lyca bit of that

Who’s the luckiest in-house lawyer in ­London? Stephen Lodge, head of legal at ­Lycamobile, that’s who.

Every Friday the owner of the international calling card company offers up a treat for its hardworking staff. At around 6pm Lodge’s bosses go back to their Asian roots and serve up homemade curry with whisky all round at Lycamobile’s Canary Wharf HQ.

Although Lodge admits he’s not a massive fan of spicy food, there are plenty of lawyers who would ­happily take his place at the table.

Beauty and the banks

Beauty pageants. Tulkinghorn loves them and would attend as many as possible if Mrs T would let him – which she won’t. Sadly, he wasn’t able to get over to Ireland during the summer for the ­annual Rose of Tralee competition. Had he been able to make it he would have witnessed an Arthur Cox trainee solicitor ­bemusing the audience – and her rivals – on the complexities of the legal world.

While all around her were spouting forth about world peace, helping children and the importance of fluffy rabbits, Susan Roe patiently explained the details of the National Asset Management Agency, plus, no doubt, her firm’s numerous roles in relation to the bank bailout programme.

Sadly Roe’s legal skills weren’t enough to sway the judges, although she was later crowned 2009 Dublin Rose.

Tulkinghorn lauds Roe’s legal brain and plans to renew his lobbying of Mrs T to let him go next year.

Dutch courage

Last week the Netherlands Bar Association waded into a row with a bunch you don’t really want to p*ss off ­- the Scots.

For some inexplicable reason the Dutch lawyers decided to illustrate a story about the liberalisation of the Scottish legal market with – potentially – a rather offensive image.
Judge for yourself. Tulkinghorn rather likes it.