New year’s peeve

Now is the time that a lawyer’s thoughts turn to Christmas shopping, the holidays and blessed time away from the office with loved ones. So spare a thought for the unlucky ones who are certain to find themselves stuck on the wrong end of an international conference call on Christmas Eve, waiting for the deal to close. It happens every year – and this time it could be you.

Dundas & Wilson corporate star Ewan Robertson was the unlucky soul one year. While still based in Edinburgh (he’s now a permanent fixture of the firm’s London office) Robertson was working on a deal that had to close whatever the day, whatever the time. It was a US deal with Scottish aspects, and although by this stage of the transaction, Robertson and his put-upon assistant had barely nothing to do, they were required to be in the office until the call came through from the US saying that the deal was done.

The night was New Year’s Eve. Try to imagine the scene, as Robertson and his serf sat in Dundas’s office in Castle Terrace on Hogmanay, the biggest night of the Scottish year, as the crowd of revellers began to grow and the clock ticked inexorably towards midnight. Perhaps the Yanks had forgotten the time difference, or maybe it was all a cruel joke, but the deal closed at 12.20am. This year Robertson’s staying at home.