A couple of months ago The Lawyer labelled 2006-07 as the annus horribilis of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
As it turns out it’s more accurate to say that the last month has been its aestiva horribila. (That’s a crappy summer, for all you non-speakers of Latin.)
By unhappy accident, the last few weeks have been incredible just in terms of how many high-level partners have been embroiled or named in hearings of one kind or another.
First there was the hearing of former insolvency partner Peter Bloxham’s £4.5m age discrimination claims. You can read the full story as to how events snowballed to their litigious end-point in today’s edition of The Lawyer. See story.
Then came the news, exclusively broken by The Lawyer, that even if Bloxham’s claim is the first against the firm, it won’t be the last: former corporate partner Lois Moore is also bringing a claim.
And then this week sees the long-awaited disciplinary hearing of head of corporate Tim Jones and corporate partner Barry O’Brien in a conflict of interest case involving their role in Philip Green’s £9bn run at Marks & Spencer three years ago.
So if the rain is getting you down this aestiva horribila, you can seek solace in the thought that somewhere there’s probably a Freshfields partner sweating in front of a tribunal, disciplinary hearing or court.