Tulkinghorn: world parties, free books and not-so-cheap thrills

Allen & Overy (A&O) New York is having a frugal ­festive season this year.

Tulkinghorn: world parties, free books and not-so-cheap thrillsNot-so-cheap thrills

Any client is a good client in a downturn, even if it is a group of German pornographers.

News reaches Tulkinghorn about Davenport Lyons advising DigiProtect, a company that owns the rights to several blue movies, on copyright issues.

It transpires that the firm sent out a letter to a Hertfordshire couple in their sixties demanding £500 for the illegal download of a two-hour gay porn film called Army F*ckers.

The couple have protested their innocence, claiming they are so bewildered by computers that they have to get their son to download music on iTunes for them.

Tulkinghorn won’t spoil the ending of the film for any readers. You’ll just have to download it yourself – legally, that is.

Scrooge hits Manhattan

Allen & Overy (A&O) New York is having a frugal ­festive season this year.

Rather than shell out for a slap-up do in a trendy Manhattan nightspot, the magic circle firm is hosting its staff Christmas party in-house.

New York managing partner Kevin O’Shea said: “It’s very different this year and we need to be more prudent. As a trade-off we’re closing the office the day after Christmas. I think most people would prefer the extra time off.”

Although it’s good to see firms being thrifty during the downturn, ­Tulkinghorn is glad he’s not an A&O lawyer. Exchanging a night out in the Big Apple for plonk and pretzels in the office doesn’t sound like fun.

No such thing as a free book

Nothing rouses ­Tulkinghorn from his ­cogitations as much as the unmistakable thud of something substantial in his mailbox.

This week the thud came courtesy of ­former barrister David Hallchurch, who has ­written The Law is Not a Bore!. The book is stuffed full of spirited exchanges between counsel and judges in court.

However, it was sent with some strings attached. Hallchurch wrote: “I would be ­grateful if you could give it some favourable ­publicity. If… you do not consider you can help me on this ­occasion, perhaps you would return the book as it is one of a limited edition.”

Well, Tulkinghorn likes the book and wants to keep it. But for everyone else, it costs £9.50 from all the best bookshops.

World party

Tulkinghorn sent a few of his scribes to the Law ­Society International ­Division’s end-of-year extravaganza, with the promise of cocktails and Cossack dancing.

Tulkinghorn is informed that pretty much all of the guests had a great time. With the ­Italians eating fish and chips and the Spanish lawyers loving the sushi, the melting pot ­environment was given a surreal tint with a Cossack dance involving a man thrashing about with a wooden dummy.

Stranger still were the words that flashed up on the projector at the front of the room: “Not the end of the world” – which was heartening.

Tulkinghorn hopes the Law Soc will do another party when the world does, indeed, end.

Style challenge

The good people at Bristows do not grace ­Tulkinghorn’s pages very often but this week one of his ubiquitous scribes learnt that the firm had approached its office move in a rather unusual way.

Bristows moved to the Unilever building on the Thames this year, taking careful attention to detail. Before the move, the firm fitted out one of the rooms in its old offices with a mock-up of different types of office chairs, tables and colour schemes and invited all staff to vote on which style they liked best. Power to the people.

Tulkinghorn is informed that the new scheme is pitched tastefully between Philippe Starck and Conran. No cushions, then.

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