Present sense

You can tell a lot about a man from the presents he receives.

While mourning the departure of Freshfields chief executive Alan Peck (who else is going to be so rude about lawyers now that he’s gone?), Tulkinghorn’s grief was much assuaged by hearing of his retirement haul. The London partners came up trumps, and in no particular order, the presents included: a bottle of 1989 claret; a blue Labrador collar; a fishing rod; a copy of The Thoughts of Chairman Mao; and a picture of a dead pheasant.

However, Tulkinghorn can reveal that while the Deringer Germans stumped up for a tree for Peck to plant in his garden, the Bruckhaus Germans didn’t even try for a whip-round. Oh, the ingratitude.