The Firm

To ensure fairness, our "100 lawyers to watch" is based on extensive research into every lawyer in the City. For example, here are the notes on three lawyers from medium-sized City practice The Firm.

Provisional draft (4 December 2000)

Tom Henderson: Managing partner and main rainmaker of leading City practice The Firm, Henderson is a popular figure, affectionately labelled "The Enforcer" by staff. As the leading figure in quarrying law in 2000 he masterminded the merger of Yorkshire-based rock retailers House of Slag and Rubble at t'Mill, brilliantly averting an eleventh hour crisis. An insider at The Firm says: "I was fantastic." He was awarded 'Lawyer of the Year' by Radio 4's Money Box (CHECK THIS). (Should be in top 10 – ed).

Alison Brett: According to our insider, so-called "head" of the Firm's corporate department Brett always brings something special to the party – "her pretty face". Not so hot on the law, she provides great "eye candy", and during last year's merger talks certainly gave the quarry men something nice to look at. (Don't bother with her – ed).

Bartholomew Chalmers: One of The Firm's young turks, Chalmers was seen as Henderson's "bag carrier" during last year's big merger. (Top 100 – ed).

Revised draft (13 December 2000)

Tom Henderson: Managing partner and only rainmaker of flagging City practice The Firm, Henderson has asked to be called "The Enforcer" by staff. As one of the only practitioners in quarrying law, in 2000 he handled the merger of Yorkshire-based rock retailers House of Slag and Rubble at t'Mill although he was absent during an eleventh hour crisis. A spokesman for the client says: "He was in the toilet. He'd been in and out of there all day – some tummy bug I expect." He was awarded 'Lawyer of the Year' by Radio Barnsley's The Slate Review (STILL CHECK). (Should be in top 100 – ed).

Alison Brett: According to clients, head of The Firm's corporate department Brett is guaranteed to bring something to the party – "a nice smile". Following last year's merger talks they add: "Don't get us wrong. She was very useful. Those detailed documents didn't photocopy themselves. Phnar phnar." (Maybe next year – ed).

Bartholomew Chalmers: One of The Firm's worryingly gaunt young partners, Chalmers was quite literally Henderson's bag carrier – I mean he just carried his bag – during last year's big merger. (Strange, always seemed a bubbly chap – ed).

Final draft (23 December 2000)

Tom Henderson: Managing partner and maker of no rain whatsoever at laughable City practice The Firm, Henderson is called "that f***ing t**t" by staff. As the sole City practitioner in quarrying law, in 2000 he nearly botched the simplest of mergers between Yorkshire-based rock retailers House of Slag and Rubble at t'Mill. One insider at The Firm who didn't want to be named said: "Boycott'd be turning in 'is grave if 'e were dead, which thank the Lord 'e ain't. Henderson were so chock full of Columbian naughty salt 'e nearly sold 'Ouse of Slag for £3.50 and a bag of batter scraps." He was awarded "Buffoon of the Year" by Radio Pontefract's humorous I'm Quarry, I Haven't a Clue (THAT SOUNDS RIGHT). (Put in list below Lionel Hutz, the bumbling lawyer from the Simpsons – ed).

Alison Brett: Head of corporate at The Firm, Brett is clearly the only person at The Firm capable of organising the party – and would still probably bring all the booze as well. Single handedly saved last year's merger after Tom Henderson went berserk shouting "the spiders, I must escape the spiders!" Someone poach her please. (If she moves she'll be top 10 – ed).

Bartholomew Chalmers: One of Henderson's man bitches, Chalmers is quite literally Henderson's bag carrier. This led to an unfortunate incident last year at Gatwick as he disembarked a plane from Bogotá just after the merger talks. Curiously, he pleaded with customs to send him to prison rather than go back to work. (I'll call Amnesty International – ed).