Two years ago Blackstone Chambers won a long-running legal battle with the Government over the use of pesticides near Chichester, a case during which the judge helpfully highlighted some critical bee-related legalities.
The Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986, maintained Mr Justice Collins, stated that beekeepers must be given 48 hours’ notice if pesticides harmful to bees are to be used.
Why is this relevant now? you inquire. Because Tulkinghorn understands that the celebrated bees may be coming closer to home.
Julia Hornor, chambers director at Blackstone, is gearing up to become a bee expert in her own right.
“I’m doing a two-day bee-keeping course next month,” she reveals. “Most people think I’m mad, but you wait until I bring in my first jar of honey.”
Anyone in stinging distance of the Temple, home to hundreds of worker bee barristers, may already be aware that it currently houses a single hive.
Tulkinghorn says good luck to Hornet, but watch out for those nasty, honey-grabbing little stingers. He understands the bees can be dangerous too.
To say that the age of austerity has taken hold is a little bit hackneyed by now. But Tulkinghorn nevertheless still revels in tales of the hardships suffered by formerly high-living lawyers.
Take, if you will, the evidence supplied by the location of two recent departmental getaways.
First off, Ashurst’s corporate team, which recently came together in glamorous Holborn. Obviously the delights of Lincoln’s Inn Fields are not to be sniffed at, but some veterans of the event were apparently a little nostalgic over memories of fully expensed jollies in Barcelona.
Meanwhile, Simmons & Simmons recently held its projects team’s strangely title ’international’ retreat in that well-known overseas location Sussex.
Now Tulkinghorn understands that some in the City believe that the UK begins and ends within the confines of the M25, but he’s pretty sure that France hasn’t quite yet finalised its annexation of England’s south coast.
Midichlorian boost at bar Star Wars came to Wilberforce Chambers the other day, as the set’s involvement in the David-and-Goliath stormtrooper helmet IP case between Lucasfilm and British engineer Andrew Ainsworth reached the Supreme Court.
“People were running around wearing the helmets and having full-on lightsabre battles,” confirmed a Wilberforce source. “And yes, we recreated the ’Luke, I am your father’ scene.”
Tulkinghorn always knew the force was with Wilberforce. The clue, after all, is in the name.
Joe – but not average
Tulkinghorn’s recent revelation that Slaughter and May partner William Underhill’s son may or may not be one of the popsters in hit factory White Lies remains unconfirmed.
But frankly, who cares? It’s just been trumped in the relative-of-the-famous stakes.
New York titan Willkie Farr & Gallagher is home to a chap called Joe Baio, a partner in the litigation department, co-chair of the business litigation practice group and a member of the executive committee.
He’s also dad to Chris Baio, bass player with the vastly more famous New Yorkers Vampire Weekend. And uncle to Scott Baio, aka Chachi Arcola from Happy Days and, curiously, Bob Loblaw, the lawyer character from US sitcom Arrested Development (catch phrase: “Why go to jail for a crime somebody else noticed?”).
But that’s not all. Sources tell Tulkinghorn that in a former life Baio senior was an actor who starred on Broadway as the Artful Dodger and snared a role in seminal flick Taxi Driver.
Tulkinghorn acknowledges that this is the kind of fame that deserves more than a derisive sniff.