Tulkinghorn: An eye for fine dining

There are some moments that cannot be captured with mere words, where only a high-resolution colour photograph can record the true glory of what has unfolded.

The look on CMS Cameron McKenna managing partner Duncan Weston’s face as he struggles to hold back a rising tide of vomit after swallowing a fish eyeball is one such moment.

Weston, (above, centre), was taking part in the firm’s I’m A Celebrity-themed charity fundraiser last month. Also gamely tucking into a menu of scorpions and crickets are senior partner Richard Price (left), dispute resolution head Liam O’Connell and insurance partner Belinda Schofield (right), who organised the event to raise money for the Meningitis Research Foundation.

Tulkinghorn was particularly impressed by the trio’s choice of a dry white wine to accompany the feast. How else is one supposed wash down a raw fish eyeball?

Tulkinghorn would like to congratulate all the participants on their efforts. The rest of us, meanwhile, can celebrate another name added to that great pantheon of managing partners whose bizarre exploits have been committed to film. Like the image of Lovells senior partner John Young in a silver jumpsuit at the firm’s annual party, this one is not going to go away in a hurry.

Straight blush

Tulkinghorn passionately believes that firms should be given credit in these desperate days for coming up with innovative ways of building morale. But even he, world-weary man that he is, was forced to raise an inquisitive brow at the news of Hammonds’ latest effort.

The national firm, which has faced more than its fair share of tricky issues over the years, recently invited the lawyers on its associate and partner forum to come up with some team-building plans. One bright spark ­suggested ‘a porn night’, an idea that was later clarified as having, in fact, been ‘a poker night’ before all the partners turned up in
gimp suits.

Ska phase

One of Tulkinghorn’s spies was in the depths of the English countryside ­during August and spotted two stalwarts of the UK legal market in rather unusual circumstances.
Nick Luckman, senior practice manager of The Lawyer’s Chambers of the Year, 24 Old Buildings, and David Beadel, ­managing partner of ­Ashfords’ Plymouth office, had ditched the suits and were wowing the crowd

at Devon’s finest ­international summer school, Dartington, with an Ashes-inspired ska number entitled ­Rain Stopped Play.

Rumours that the pair have ditched the law and secured a residency at The Walkabout in Newquay could not be confirmed.

Snappy tune

Staying with tunes, one of Tulkinghorn’s hacks was left visibly shaken the other day after being kept on hold while calling Shearman & Sterling’s Brussels office.

The sense of impending doom had nothing to do with the length of time the reporter was left dangling. Frankly, with the number of departures the US firm has suffered recently on the Continent – the most recent being antitrust partners Annette Schild and Silvio Cappellari, who left for Arnold & Porter in Brussels last week – she had already cleared her diary to allow the switchboard operator to find somebody.

No, what prompted the attack of the heebie jeebies was Shearman’s choice of hold music. With a ­ponderous ‘der dah, der dah”, what appeared to be John Williams’ Jaws theme swam down the line and into the hack’s cochlea. Scary stuff. Although later investigation revealed it in fact to be none other than Dvorák’s Syphony No 9 in E Minor, From the New World. Most appropriate for a US firm.

Write on

News just in on the ­burgeoning literary career of Burness litigation ­partner Gary Moffat.

You may recall from last week that Moffat is the author of the Scottish legal thriller Daisy Chain and its sequel Fallout. Tulkinghorn was pleased to see the following message from Moffat on 28 August: “Agreed a deal with my publisher yesterday for two more books after Fallout.  That’ll take me to 2013 for paperback of No4.”

By which time surely the film and TV rights will have been snapped up. Tulkinghorn is looking ­forward to snaring a role as a grizzled, cynical but honest ­patriarch who sacrifices himself for the greater good – or at least a good lunch.