It was Boris bikes all round last week as the London cycling revolution got into gear. Legions of lawyers could be spotted taking their lives in their hands by braving the rush hour on two, admittedly stonkingly heavy, wheels.
Notably those sterling chaps over at Kemp Little, who’d picked up a role advising on the project.
Apparently several of the firm’s lawyers, including tech partner Mike Conradi, had been roped in to give the bikes a spin before the scheme went live. But not commercial head Calum Murray.
“Okay, I admit it,” Murray sheepishly confessed to one of Tulkinghorn’s scribes. “I can’t ride a bike.”
There was more green stuff later in the week, when two of Tulkinghorn’s spies were treated to a pre-moving in tour of Fladgate’s grand new Covent Garden palace.
The 250-year-old firm officially starts work in its new gaff today (9 August), leaving the wastelands of Mayfair behind after a weekend of shifting boxes. Last Wednesday (4 August), however, it fell to corporate partner Charles Wander and finance director John Goreing to show off the wonders of electronic doors, open-planless floors and walls encrusted with Cumbrian slate.
“The whole building’s very green,” Wander told the admiring hacks as they gazed across the empty acres of office block. “It’s got an excellent Breeam [BRE Environmental Assessment Method] rating.”
Post lunch, the Fladgate partner demonstrated that their green credentials even go so far as to encourage the use of two wheels. Wander tucked his suit trousers into cycling clips, strapped on a snazzy helmet and clambered aboard another of Boris’s bikes for his trip back to North Row for the final time. And, courtesy of Goreing, Tulkinghorn’s hacks did the same. Now that’s what Tulkinghorn calls environmentally friendly.
Brummagem and rummagin’
Lawyer in clueless shocker: Tulkinghorn was intrigued to hear one lawyer’s recollection of her days as a trainee in a seat with a very well-known practitioner at an extremely high-profile firm.
“I remember most of all his complete bafflement when questioned about a particular part of the CPR [Civil Procedure Rules],” recalls the lawyer. “Not, as you may reasonably have assumed, because it was a particularly obscure part, but because he had no idea what the CPR was. I note this was post-Woolf. He had an amusing time trying to guess what it might stand for, but ultimately failed.”
On the plus side, this hapless chap wasn’t quite as much of a pest as the firm’s recruitment partner.
“He was well-known for doing six-monthly reviews with trainees, which for female trainees involved watching him play pocket billiards while gawping at their breasts,” adds the lawyer.
Who can she possibly mean?
Two weeks ago the former Halliwells lawyers who joined Kennedys in Sheffield showed the world (unintentionally, they hastened to add) just how disastrous it can be when lawyers sing – or show any signs of exuberance, for that matter.
In case you missed it, the firm marked its launch in Sheffield through the acquisition of a 65-person team from Halliwells with the – in no way tasteless – production of a musical video miming to Queen’s hit song Don’t Stop Me Now.
So, upon hearing that one of Tulkinghorn’s spies witnessed a lawyer rapping – yes, rapping! – last week, readers might be forgiven for assuming it would have been a cringeworthy affair of a magnitude to rival the bit on Celebrity Big Brother when George Galloway pretended to be a cat.
But no. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher associate Gregory Shill inexplicably managed to rap his way through a karaoke version of Warren G’s seminal hit Regulate without looking or sounding like the proverbial ’tit’.
Quite how a litigation associate and Harvard graduate can utter the words, “they took my rings, they took my Rolex. I looked at the brotha said ’Damn, what’ s next?’” and not have the whole bar wishing the ground would swallow them up through vicarious embarrassment is beyond Tulkinghorn. But it’s true.
A new career surely beckons for Shill – or it would have done had Big Brother not called it a day.