The Firm

The Lawyer Awards, where a marvellous night was had by all – well, nearly all…

Clive Anderson: …and the award for Legal Personality of the Year goes to… Jack Straw! No, just a little joke there. Oh, apparently it isn’t. The legal personality of the year is Jack Straw. Now, I’m told Jack’s a very busy man fighting crime wherever he finds it, so fortunately, sorry unfortunately, he can’t be here tonight. So to collect the award on his behalf is the runner-up. Ladies and gentlemen… Robert Mugabe!

Meanwhile, on a table by the toilets…

Henderson: Jack Straw. Jack Bloody Straw!

Pratchard: What have you got against Jack Straw?

Henderson: Lots of things. His son owes me £60 for a start. Who on God’s earth voted for Jack Straw?

Pratchard: I did. 600 times. Well, somebody told me it was a Straw poll…

Henderson: My dear little Pinochet, that’s the worst thing you’ve ever said.

Pratchard: Well I’m bored. I hate these events. We never win anything. This year we’re nominated for Best Law Firm in a Foreign Language (Kosovo branch) and Legal Rear of the Year (Bill “Big Tosh” Toshington) and I just know Ian Terry’s got them both in the bag already. And why are we sat near the toilet? It’s like we’re the paupers of the City.

Henderson: Nonsense man. Haven’t you read the papers? Us lawyers are in the million pound a year club. Ah, here’s our food. Waiter… yes, we asked for the special menu… err Mr Pratchard’s having the salad… the fish fingers and beans was Chalmers… and actually, I can see some half eaten guinea fowl on Linklaters‘ table… I might as well finish them off. Okay, we’ve got a little cash flow problem. I can’t bear to be sat near bloody Slaughters. Oh no, Giles Boardfour’s coming over.

Pratchard: Where?

Henderson: There! In the sedan chair. Hello Giles.

Boardfour: Tim Henderson! How are you? I’m just off to the bog. I don’t think the escalope of falcon in swan’s tear juices agreed with me. Ah, I see you wisely went for the fish fingers and beans. We haven’t chatted for ages. I’ll grab a bottle. How about the ’98?

Henderson: The ’98? Get a couple, good man.

Boardfour: Waiter, can we get two bottles of the 1798 Chateau de Rothschild? How much? £18,000… Good God. I don’t think I can pay you.

Henderson: What’s the problem old boy?

Boardfour: I haven’t got anything small enough. Here take this £50,000 note and throw in a couple of cigars. Well, business has been good for us all this year eh? We’ve started negotiations with the NatWest bank today.

Henderson: Are you going to be acting for them?

Boardfour: No. They want to borrow some money. I hear things aren’t going too well at The Farm.

Henderson: The Firm. And things are going very well. In fact, we’ve been nominated for a couple of awards tonight. I see you’re only up for one.

Boardfour: That is a good point. Many of the partners would give all the money back if it meant becoming The Lawyer’s IT team of the year. I guess there are some things £1.2m can’t buy.

Clive Anderson: …and the award for Legal Rear of the Year goes to… Ian Terry of Freshfields!

Boardfour: Your burly security man seems to be softly weeping into his arctic roll. I guess you didn’t win anything after all. Look, I must dash to the toilet. We must meet up again soon.

Henderson: Thank God he’s gone. Come on guys, let’s go.

Pratchard: Off to your club, Tom?

Henderson: No, off to the kitchens to wash up. Those fish fingers weren’t free you know…