You don’t have to be mad to work here…

While Tulkinghorn spent the last week sipping sherry, puffing on cheroots and contemplating taxing dilemmas of jurisprudence, the lesser minds of his minions have been occupied with The Lawyer’s forthcoming Careers Report.

The research for the second edition of the weighty tome has offered some curious revelations about HR thinking in the legal world. Among them is the diversity policy at Birmingham-based Martineau Johnson.

While other firms sleep easy in the knowledge that their outfits do not discriminate on the basis of race, age, sexual preference or disability, the diversity policy at Martineaus goes further. Much further.

According to a survey sheet filled in by the HR department, the firm’s diversity policy, introduced in 1999, covers “gender, race, mental status, colour, ethnic or national origin, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or belief or age.”

Although born in the great age of Queen Victoria, Tulkinghorn is every bit the modern man and congratulates all firms with a non-prejudiced approach to employment. But surely non-discrimination on the grounds of mental status is going a bit far?

The great man was left pondering the thought of rabid Martineau lawyers foaming at the mouth during partner meetings; partners telling clients: “Eep”; somnambulant partners interviewing clients in their sleep; and assistants engaged in Timothy Leary-style due diligence under the influence of mind-expanding hallucinogens.