Slaughters' Nigel Boardman sailed through the room like a stately galleon. Herbert Smith's Philip Talboys revealed his past as a choral scholar. Linklaters' Terence Kyle and Giles White grinned all evening. SJ Berwin's David Harrel suggested a merger to Lovells' Lesley MacDonagh just so he could get an office in the new building. KLegal's Nick Holt crowed about Manchester United's latest victory. Mark Philips QC swapped footballer gossip with Clintons' Liz Vernon. And Clifford Chance's Adam Signy sadly nursed a cranberry juice, talking wistfully of falling off the wagon in February.
But Tulkinghorn would like to send his greatest respects to Clifford Chance's very own James Johnson. The delightful Johnson surpassed himself by trying to pull off The Lawyer editor's rather lovely Diane Von Furstenberg dress – not once, but twice. Was Johnson jealous? Does he want his very own Von Furstenberg? Is there something you're not telling us Johnson?
What Johnson seemed to miss, though, was that it was not the only Von Furstenberg dress in the room. He could have targeted Julie Lake of Osborne Clarke, who had turned out in an identical number, thwarting the editor's claim that hers was an “exclusive”. Still, thanks must go to Theodore Goddard's Caroline Davies and Osborne Clarke's own Leslie Perrin for bundling the offending item (and its wearer) out of the room.
Unfortunately Davies was unable to help out when Theodores' chief operating officer Nigel West encountered The Lawyer's deputy editor. A practised and seemingly genial handshake was accompanied by a rather more surprising upward motion of the right knee, in the definite direction of the deputy's groin. A very brief conversation ensued along the lines of:
Deputy: “You made contact!”
West: “I should hope so.”
Few first meetings have been so memorable.
As the champagne flowed and the canapés were nibbled, the talk slowly turned to paedophiles. Apparently there are supposed to be lawyers' names on the infamous Operation Ore list. Now this has sent legal types – or at least the ones Tulkinghorn was talking to – into spasms of panic about whether they'd once accidentally happened upon a dodgy website and were about to be arrested. Some, they told Tulkinghorn, even have email filters to stop this kind of filth being sent to them. However, this can be a problem, since any hint of a rude word in an email is stopped, which one lawyer said is a real pain, said lawyer acts for Scunthorpe County Council.