It's great fun being a managing partner, as it seems all one's little eccentricities can go unchecked. Take this unnamed example, who runs a large City firm, and plays games of 'management bingo' to amuse himself in meetings.
His game involves first learning every example of management doublespeak, such as 'proactive blue sky thinking' or 'outside the box'. Then bored or befuddled attendees, such as said managing partner, can amuse themselves by mentally checking off every phrase in turn.
This particular managing partner likes to say “bingo” when all of them have been rattled off, just to keep himself amused.
Tulkinghorn's scribes liked the idea so much that they are now playing their own version – PR bingo. Here are a few of the most commonly used phrases, with translations for our readers who are not jaded legal hacks:
•”Do you have a legal correspondent?” (Doh.)
•”I'm ringing about the 27 e-mails I sent you last week.” (I work for an external PR agency and our clients pay us for the time we spend on the phone and writing press releases.)
•”My client's a leading international law company in Bolton/ Bakewell/Leigh-on-Sea.” (I'm also an external PR. I know nothing about my client, but I have cynically assured them they will get lots of coverage in The Law-yer.)
•”What is your angle?” (The man-aging partner's having kittens over this story. Please don't write a nasty headline.)
•”Of course you can trust me.” (I'm a duplicitous fiend.)
•”I'm just here to facilitate, not get in the way.” (I am in the way and I intend to stay here, but I can't answer most of your questions.)
•And, finally, “that's not a story”. (That will definitely hit the front page.)