Lawyers Against Loneliness

World Cup of Law Firms: the final

At the start of this tournament we assumed a Moon Beever v Wright Hassell final was a foregone conclusion but we were soon disabused of that notion. Then we thought two of the magic circle firms might sweep imperiously through, but that has proved false as well. In the end we have two unexpected firms in the final, both of which beat larger, more fashionable opposition to get there.

Bird & Bird quietly has come through a tough run, with Freshfields’ army of [employees?/Russian bots?] that served it so well in the quarters deserting that firm in the semi-final. The other magic circle firm fell short too, with Allen & Overy missing out to Baker McKenzie, which in Ashurst, Cravath and Slaughters has defeated a host of blue-blood firms in earlier rounds.

Let voting commence for the final! Results on the 15th because I’ve got next Tuesday off…

Route to the final Bird & Bird Baker McKenzie
beat with X% of vote beat with X% of vote
Semis Freshfields 62.1 Allen & Overy 54.5
Quarters Mishcon de Reya 59.8 Slaughter and May 59
Round of 16 HSF 52.5 Ashurst 62.9
Group stage 2nd place Latham & Watkins (40.4) Cravath (58.7)
Group stage 3rd place Simmons & Simmons (40.4) Wright Hassell (58.7)
Group stage 4th place Peters & Peters (40.4) Stephens Scown (58.7)

Dog of the Day

“The black-coated fella is Max, 6 years old and the fluffy girl is Mila, 8 months old,” says DAC Beachcroft paralegal Alex Dimitrov. “They are both rescues from Bulgaria and are keeping me sane and happy during the lockdown.”

“When we brought Mila into the family, at three months of age, Max was very jealous, but only took a couple of days for them to become inseparable, as you can see. They are the mascots of the Cyber Risk team at DACB and team members, including partners, are known to take turns babysitting them on weekends.”

Video of the Day

Never let it be said that we can’t get a bit cultured when we want to. In A Bit Lit, experts talk about history, theatre or literature with specific reference to the lockdown. This short video is highly engaging: Dr Emma Whipday relates the witches of Macbeth to contemporary ideas and anxieties about the home and contagion – including a reference to a pamphlet on how the home can be protected by law from anyone bringing sickness.

The Lawyer Listens

With the majority of the legal market working from home, The Lawyer is curating a playlist of songs to listen to while working from the living room or kitchen.

Pretty Thoughts by Galimatias

Galimatias is a Danish producer who rose to prominence with his EP Urban Flora, released in 2015 in collaboration with the vocalist Alina Baraz. It captivated listeners and kickstarted a number of young producers to begin their careers. This song, Pretty Thoughts, is a good representation of the album as a whole: smooth and perfect to have in the background while working or at the end of the day while stretching. 

A bonus of the scene that Galimatias is part of is that a lot of artists remix each other’s songs, and Pretty Thoughts is no different. The renditions of the song by producers FKJ and Petit Biscuit add an upbeat and fun or even softer mood to the tune, depending on what you’d like to listen to. –Ana de Liz

Recipe of the Day: Chocolate Chick Cupcakes 

Something for the bank holiday weekend: Nancy Lee, practice assistant at Wilberforce Chambers, created this recipe herself.

Chocolate Cupcakes: 175g plain flour – 185g caster sugar – 30g cocoa powder – ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda – ¼ tsp salt – ½ cup cold coffee* – ½ cup buttermilk** – 115ml vegetable oil – 2 medium eggs

White Chocolate Buttercream Icing: 150g white chocolate – 250g butter – 400g icing sugar – Yellow, orange (or red) and black gel food colouring

* Cold coffee – If you don’t have brewed coffee available, use half a cup of water and a teaspoon of instant coffee.

** Buttermilk – if you don’t have buttermilk available, half a teaspoon of lemon juice into half a cup of milk. Leave to sit for 10 minutes stirring occasionally until it thickens.

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180C/gas mark 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper muffin cases.

In a medium bowl add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Stir briefly just to combine, then set aside.

In a larger bowl, add cold coffee, buttermilk, vegetable oil and 2 eggs. Mix with a hand whisk until combined. It will look slightly separated at this stage but don’t panic!

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a hand whisk until smooth. The batter should be a pouring consistency.

Transfer the mixture to a large jug – this will make filling the cases a lot easier! Pour equal amounts into the lined tin and bake for 23 – 25 minutes until the top of each cake springs back when lightly pressed.

Allow to cool completely.

In a small microwaveable bowl, melt the white chocolate gradually checking every 20 seconds until smooth. Set aside to cool as this will make the icing too thin if added to the other ingredients when warm.

With an electric hand whisk, beat the butter until soft then add the icing sugar a little at a time until it is fully incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and beat on high until pale and fluffy, followed by a small amount of yellow food colouring. Continue to mix until completely smooth.

Transfer to a piping bag and pipe a large ball on top of each cupcake to create the Chick’s body, followed by a smaller ball on top of each to create the Chick’s head.

Using the remaining icing, separate a small amount into two small bowls. Colour one orange and one black. Pipe the beak and feet using the orange icing and little eyes using the black.

Bon Appe-Tweet!

Yesterday’s quiz answers

Theme: Odd One Out. Answers highlighted in yellow

  1. Brown; Adams; Smith; Chisholm – the rest were all Spice Girls
  2. Madonna; Tom Jones; Shirley Bassey; Bruce Springsteen – the rest have all done Bond theme songs
  3. Neeson; Knightley; Nighy; Dench – the rest were all in Love Actually
  4. Nurse; Beluga; Carpet; Megamout – it’s a whale, the rest are all sharks
  5. Buccellato; Tagliatelle; Bucatini; Mafalde – it’s a cake, the rest are all types of pasta
  6. Guatemala, Bolivia, Paraguay, Ecuador – it’s in Central America and the rest are all South America
  7. Emily, Rachel, Janice, Carol – the rest were all married to Ross in Friends
  8. Hydrogen, Helium, Neon, Argon – the rest are all Noble Gases
  9. Fly agaric, Chanterelle, Morel, Psalliota Campestris – it’s a poisonous toadstool, the rest are edible mushrooms
  10. Pepe Le Pew, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Porky Pig – the rest are Looney Tunes characters

Get involved

Anyone in the legal sector is welcome to contribute to any of the sections of Law Against Loneliness.

Here is how to contribute to a few of the regular features we have run so far.  Everything can be sent to richard.simmons@thelawyer.com.

Video of the day

What we want are individual, personal contributions from lawyers and legal sector professionals working from home. You could be demonstrating a recipe, videoing your daily run, telling a joke, singing us a song, showing off a skill, or just telling us about yourday and what you’ve been up to. We are very open to creativity – anything that uplifts or diverts.

What we don’t want is too many firm-branded videos talking about how seamlessly you have transitioned to a new way of working, please.

The Lawyer Listens

Contributors should send us a YouTube link and 100 words about the song in the style of previous entries.

Dog of the day

Self-explanatory. Send us dog pix. Or cats, ponies, rabbits, budgies etc. Don’t forget to let us know their name and give us a line of detail too if you’d like.

Pictures

Show us life in isolation, either via email, or alternatively Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn posts can be tagged #lawagainstloneliness

Other ideas

We welcome other suggestions to go in these articles.