If you happened to glance up at London’s law firm skyline on Friday 16 September, there’s a decent chance you’d have seen a variety of strange creatures suspended from the roofs on ropes.
Reed Smith and Hogan Lovells were busy raising money for charity, with both firms’ office tops packed above the rafters with lawyers and staff in fancy dress preparing to launch themselves over the side.
In HogLove’s case the abseilers included not only Scooby Doo and Scrappy Doo, but also one of Tulkinghorn’s hacks, sharply dressed as the cartoon classic’s Velma.
Kudos to all the adventurers involved, but for sheer Ranulph Fiennes-style stoicism the award has to go to the Reed Smith corporate associate whose rope got stuck halfway down the 540ft Broadgate Tower.
As the professional abseil event team ran around shouting, “We’re screwed!”, the associate – dressed as a gorilla – calmly insisted he was fine and quite happy “just hanging around”.
Hats are tipped also to Reed Smith PR Jeyda ’Jedi’ Star, who recalls that during her descent of the gazillion-floor skyscraper the wind picked up.
“I was loving it until that point, but fear kicked in when I was blown to the side of the building and my instructor was shouting at me to ’hold on and don’t dare let go’,” shudders Jeyda.
Star managed to hang on and lived to tell the tale while both firms raised, considerable sums for the British Red Cross, Action Against Hunger and Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
There’s the grub
Back in the red – non-ropey – world, Tulkinghorn has bad news for Hogan Lovells. Word is that legacy Lovells has lost its traditional crown for hosting the market’s best press parties.
Step forward Allen & Overy (A&O). Its bash this month is generally thought to have eclipsed the once-proud efforts of legacy Lovells. Much of the reason can be attributed to the catering. No offence to the quality of the fare at Atlantic House, but frankly A&O’s catering staff have upped the ante. Head chef Paul Smith and his merry band were on hand at this month’s party, dishing up an exquisite selection of goodies.
Back in the boom years A&O was more likely to stump up for some external culinary star – one year it was acclaimed Irish chef Richard Corrigan. These days budgets are tighter, but equally these parties give Smith and co the chance to show what they can do, and the mouthwatering creations on offer prove they did not disappoint.
Neither, did A&O employment partner Stefan Martin, who was on hand to serve behind the bar to the thirsty hacks who arrived promptly as the party started. Quadruples all round.
Eversheds employs almost 3,000 people (that’s akin to a small village), so it would be unreasonable to expect everyone to know everyone else – even Tulkinghorn will admit that.
But when one of his scribes went to visit the Shed recently, asking for head of the firm’s HR practice Martin Warren and being met with nothing but blank looks, he was somewhat bemused. After all, we’re not talking about a work experience student here.
Eventually Warren’s name was located on the computer and the difficulties were explained away by the fact that he was visiting from the Cardiff office. Mystery solved.
Except that when the hack relayed the anecdote to the man himself it prompted a nonplussed Warren to exclaim: ”Really? I’ve been in London for years.”
Time for a career in espionage, maybe?
It’s always heartwarming to hear of firms obliging their clients, so Tulkinghorn was shocked last week to read a friend’s Facebook update bemoaning the lack of biscuits at a White & Case meeting in London. Apparently the ration had been axed as an austerity measure.
But an appeal to the better nature of the host firm led to a fresh batch of cookies being baked and presented in time for afternoon tea. Cue happier – if slightly fatter – clients.