Tulkinghorn: Tooth and law

In the jungle, the legal ­jungle, Angus McCullough works tonight… Wimoweh a-wimoweh….

This isn’t Tulkinghorn’s favourite song, you ­understand. But a tribute to Angus McCullough, the barrister who was awarded silk at the end of last month (26 February), is fully ­merited.

McCullough is perhaps the only silk in the country who could genuinely list zoology as an outside interest on his QC ­application form, having gained a degree in the ­subject from Oxford.

The lawyer even spent time in Zambia as a safari guide before heading into the legal jungle to do battle with the top law lions. No doubt courts around the country are well used to hearing him roooaaaaaar.

Licence to spill

Tulkinghorn’s motor is in the shop after a nasty prang on the A40. As a result he has been reduced to taking that well-known mode of transport used by the plebs, the ­London Underground.

On his daily Tube trudge to work, Tulkinghorn has noticed that MI6 has ­started to run recruitment ads. On the back of this, one of his own (somewhat more discreet) spies tells him that Ropes & Gray’s latest recruit and White & Case refugee Tania Bedi has a brigadier for a father who is in charge of ­intelligence for the entire Indian army.

Now in Tulkinghorn’s day the Secret Service ­really was secret. His old friend Q would not be impressed.

To Hume it may concern

How’s this for an email sign-off: “There is nothing which is not the subject of debate. Amidst  all this bustle ’tis not reason which carries the prize but ­eloquence, and no  man needs ever despair of ­gaining proselytes to the most extravagant ­hypothesis who has art enough to represent it in any ­favorable colors. The ­victory is not gained by the men at arms who manage the pike and sword, but by the trumpeters, ­drummers and musicians of the army.”

These moving ­sentiments, penned by Scottish philosopher David Hume, appear at the end of each and every ­missive from John Quinn, ­legendary lawyer and founder of
US firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges.

What can it tell us about the great man? Why does he insist on it appearing? And what does it signify?

“Nothing really,” Quinn told Tulkinghorn. “I just like it.” Pithy.

Gold comfort

Spare a thought for 39 Essex Street’s Sean Wilken who has had a busy few months.

He was involved in the representation of ­Trafigura, which settled a high-profile claim brought against it by residents of the Ivory Coast, while also going through the arduous task of applying for QC ­status, successfully achieved last month.

But, far more ­interestingly, Wilken is the legal member of the Olympic Selection Appeals Committee responsible for deciding which athletes competed for Team GB
in the Winter Olympics.

In which we won one, ­solitary gold.

Maybe Wilken should stick to the law.

Rein of glory

Tulkinghorn can spot a ­kindred spirit when he sees one, so was overjoyed to see that Harrison Clark has appointed a new head of rural business in the delightfully equine shape of Frank ­’Harvey’ Smith. Smith’s role, the firm informs, will include the sale and ­acquisition of all manner of rural property, including pony paddocks.

But was it really ­necessary to underline this point with a press release entitled ’New man in the saddle at Harrison Clark’, complete with an array of pictures of Smith on horseback and in horsey garb?

Tulkinghorn applauds Smith for taking the bit between his teeth, no ­matter how much he may have bridled at some ­hapless PR’s muleish ­initiative.

Clearly he should have said “Neighhh”.