On that fateful June day last year when the news of Halliwells’ demise began to spread around the profession, many in the firm’s Spinningfields offices had little knowledge of the fate that was about to befall them.
The firm continued to put up a smokescreen, generously providing sandwiches for those who came in to pitch for business. Shame it could
not pay for them later.
And now Tulkinghorn can reveal the identity of one of those last Halliwells munchers.
On that day, waiting in reception for a Halliwells litigator, sat Maitland Chambers senior clerk John Wigg.
As the partner crossed the foyer to collect him Wigg did a quick check on his BlackBerry, which blurted out the news that the end was nigh.
He then had to chew on those now-legendary sandwiches for an hour, knowing his task was pointless. Still, at least
he got fed.
Race track rebound
In Tulkinghorn’s experience, lawyers tend to err on the side of caution when voicing their opinions in public.
It is with that in mind that he salutes Herbert Smith partner Clive Barnard, who had a truly world-class spat with former Australian prime minister John Howard recently.
Howard had just finished his after-dinner speech and opened up the floor to questions when, clearly far from star-struck, Barnard
rose from his seat.
“I’ve been to Australia plenty of times, and perhaps you can tell me why I find it the most racist place on earth,” he declared.
Unsurprisingly, this did not go down too well with the guest of honour.
Nor did it delight another Aussie sitting at the Herbies table, who promptly fished out Barnard’s card and made a great show of converting it into confetti. There is just a chance that Barnard could have guessed that such a sentiment might be not entirely welcome, as the do was hosted by the
Anglo-Australasian Lawyers Society.
When one of Tulkinghorn’s elves got on to Barnard about his application for the Australian cultural ambassador position, he was more sheepish, insisting the incident had been blown out of all proportion.
Of course, Barnard has a bit of previous when it comes to, shall we say, ’interesting’ behaviour.
When the Herbies office was being done up a few years back he is said to have commandeered one of the new toilets, on which he invited visitors to his office to rest their weary rears. Gives a new meaning to the phrase ’toilet humour’.
Tulkinghorn is all for public transport, so long as he never has to use it, of course. So he was delighted to discover that the joys of the Tube are finally reaching the taxi-loving ranks of lawyers. At a recent meeting with pan-Baltic firm Lawin, partners Egons Pikelis and Gediminas Reciunas arrived triumphant from Canary Wharf brandishing one-day travelcards.
The pair were thrilled that, in this age of austerity, they had managed to get to and from Docklands for the bargain price of £6.60 each, and in less time than a cab would have taken them.
Of course, Tulkinghorn – a veteran of being squashed underground – was not surprised, but other Lawin partners Ramunas Petravicius and Martin Simovart were not so easily convinced.
So the quartet left for another meeting in the City in a black cab, preferring to sit in a traffic jam rather than be whisked along the smooth tracks of the Central Line. Pity.