Lawyers are well-known for their work hard, play hard attitude to life. Tulkinghorn respects the long hours, as well as the copious amounts of alcohol in which most lawyers indulge to get them through.
Take Hammonds’ London head Robert Weekes. This chap proved long ago that he was destined for a job in the law with some pretty hardcore drinking and wild behaviour during his younger days.
During a university rugby trip in Bristol, Weekes was celebrating a win in the Bristol University student union bar. However, he was subsequently barred from said watering hole after attempting to steal the juke box.
Hopefully the senior Hammonds figure has mellowed. But Tulkinghorn still says hats off.
Tulkinghorn is quite partial to the summer season. There’s nothing he likes more than heading out on the estate for a spot of shooting followed by a long evening gorging on recently slaughtered pheasant, accompanied by claret and cigars.
But it seems that such savoury pursuits are not favoured by all his peers. Take Addleshaw Goddard head of projects Mike O’Connor and Manchester City Council in-house lawyer Des Gardner, for example. This duo recently embarked on a journey in what Tulkinghorn understands is known as a ‘camper van’ to the pleasant Somersetshire town of Glastonbury.
This fair southern town is famous for its historic abbey and tor, but Tulkinghorn gathers there were no soul-enriching visits on the agenda for this reckless pair. Forming, as they do, part of a musical band called Mandrills, O’Connor and Gardner played on the Thursday night at the local music festival of ill-repute.
According to O’Connor, their repertoire at said festival included “covers from the 1960s, 70s and 80s, anything from In the Midnight Hour, to I Predict A Riot. Floor-fillers and crowd-pleasers.”
Lovells might not usually set the world alight with its financial results – well, to be fair, 11 per cent up in this dire market is borderline exceptional – but at least its PR people know how to start a fire.
More accurately, head of corporate communications Chris Hinze knows exactly how to light a firework. Having stepped up to light the blue touchpaper at his son’s school’s firework display some time ago, Hinze was roped in to make the rockets go bang at St George’s Day celebrations in a field in Essex – and in competition with three groups of battle-hardened Catherine Wheel-wielding experts.
“You have to wear full protective gear, including a hard hat, goggles and fire-retardant gloves,” reveals Hinze. Tulkinghorn believes he’s talking about setting off some bangers, not working on Holborn Viaduct.
There were some strange goings on at the fourth annual CIS Local Counsel Forum over in Kiev last month, where Tulkinghorn sent one of his spies.
A large number of the most influential lawyers in Ukraine, Russia and the former Soviet states listened attentively to worthy seminars on issues affecting their unique markets.
English-speakers were aided by competent translators who provided a running commentary on the events. That is, until the unfortunate moment when one management consultant gave the listeners a real earful.
This chap took the unusual decision to open his presentation with an analogy that likened a law firm to the human body.
“When your body has a pain, you remedy it,” he began. “When your law firm is in pain, you fix it.”
So far, so good. But it didn’t stop there.
“Hands up please… who is ready to part with money for services to your body, below your belt?”
Now, it may be that the finer parts of this interrogation had been lost in translation, but it was met with silence. Eyebrows were then raised by Russian speakers and non-Russian speakers alike.
With the translators flustered over how to phrase the next part of his speech, those wearing headphones were treated to the words “sexy”, ”pleasure” and then, surely in a first for any legal seminar in the world ever, “genitals”, as the voice in the headphones gamely tried to decipher an analogy that should have died before it struggled horribly to life.
Cue giggles and red faces as English-speakers tried to work out why they were being asked such personal questions.
For the record, no one put their hands up and the seminar continued without this important issue being resolved.
Your money or your wife
Tulkinghorn is sure readers of The Lawyer will appreciate a spot of Ukrainian humour, straight from the CIS Local Counsel Forum in Kiev and courtesy of one particularly crestfallen partner at a Ukrainian firm.
Lamenting the effects of the recession, the browbeaten lawyer was overheard claiming: “This crash is worse than a divorce – half of your fortune is gone yet your old wife is still here.”