Tulkinghorn: The signs are bad

While Tulkinghorn and his many spies are used to passing ­sentence on the prospects of competing law firms, none of the aforesaid expect commentary on the ups and downs of the ­profession to find its way to the offices of The Lawyer from the road sign-writers of England’s South Coast.

Yet here is the evidence of a rather crude assessment of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s fortunes offered to any motorists passing through Bexhill-on-Sea. Sure, it’s not been the greatest couple of years for the firm, but is it really heading for a dead end?

It’s certainly a harsh judgement – harsh to the extent that Tulkinghorn wonders whether this may have been the work of one of the firm’s rivals.

Using his technological skills to trace the provenance of the email that brought the sign to light, Tulkinghorn discovered it was sent from an IP address at another magic circle firm.

Tulkinghorn loves a good bit of industrial sabotage.

Dare ­bedevilled

The perils of international travel, as Tulkinghorn knows all too well from his days as an attaché to the Rhodesian Embassy, are legion.

It’s often hard to know how to refuse local hospitality politely and without offending one’s host.

So spare a thought for the agony suffered by Ashurst Dubai managing partner Joss Dare on a recent trip to Delhi. Eating, somewhat bizarrely, in a Chinese restaurant, Dare was asked by an attentive waiter whether he was ­dining alone.

“We can find you some company,” said the waiter mysteriously, and scuttled off before the happily ­married lawyer could demur.

Sweating into his pint, Dare began wondering how to turn down the dubious ’company’ that was no doubt on its way, when the waiter returned – with a goldfish.

She was called Rosie and, by all accounts, was a great ­listener.

It’s nice to know New Delhi is not the new Las Vegas.

Ringing in the changes

The Taylor Root Law ­Society Rugby Sevens is an annual chance for ­associates and trainees (and their muscle-bound semi-professional mates) to strut their manly stuff.

But a clampdown on the old-as-the-hills practice of using ringers has thrown the tournament into ­disarray.

Stringent new ­regulations requiring all players to provide proof of ­employment before ­playing have left a number of firms facing
the ­embarrassing prospect of not fielding teams.

Taylor Wessing for one has had to pull out after not finding enough Lord of the Rings extras knocking around its corridors.

Tulkinghorn applauds the sentiment of the rules, but wonders where such regulations would leave the England cricket team and its legion of southern hemisphere ringers.