The Firm

Tom Henderson and Rodney Bickerthwaite, both bedecked in tuxedos, are discussing disturbing recent events in the City…

Henderson: It's effectively vanished. One minute Biddle was on our radar screens. The next minute nothing… thin air.

Bickerthwaite: Like when satellites went missing in the Bond film Moonraker?

Henderson: That's the analogy we're trying to set up, yes. The only clue to Biddle's whereabouts is a reference in The Lawyer to a new firm that's recently appeared in the City – Pinsent Curtis Biddle.

Bickerthwaite: Is that why we've come to this massive hollowed volcano/secret bunker complex in the middle of Leeds?

Henderson: Quite. For years we've all thought Pinsent Curtis was just some bloody rural firm dealing in pigs and stuff. Maybe we were wrong…

At this moment our heroes come face-to-face with a crack team of paralegals. After a fierce fight involving a writ and counter writ they are taken to the boardroom.

Hedley: Ah gentlemen, we've been expecting you. I'm Andrew Hedley, head of… shall we say "marketing"?

Henderson: And who's that with the cat?

Hedley: Our senior partner, Julian Tonks.

Henderson: Does he? Well, we live a liberal age. Now tell us of your brilliant scheme to dominate the world of law.

Tonks: It began last year with our long-term strategy review. It led to two plans. One – stop being rubbish. Two – take over the world. So we hived off the chaff of our client base. The pig breeders and the like. Then we constructed this office-cum-volcano in Leeds and began picking off City practices. Today Britain – tomorrow, Britain and maybe the Isle of Wight!

Henderson: And all the while maintaining the ingenious cover of a firm slightly floundering. You'll never get away with this, you evil genius!

Tonks: But Mr Henderson, we already have. As we speak my doom-o-matic press ray is preparing to fire.

Henderson: What does it do, you fiendish maniac?

Tonks: It will target every major corporation in the country… with the Pinsent Curtis Newsletter explaining our medium-term strategy and commitment to quality. And simultaneously Mr Hedley will play the press like a piano. Bwah haa haaa.

Henderson: There is just one flaw in your plan.

Tonks: And what's that?

Henderson: Everyone still thinks you're a bloody rural firm who deals in pigs and stuff.

Tonks: Fine words, Mr Henderson. It is a shame they will be your last. No one crosses us. Last year, someone at Pinsent Curtis had the temerity to speak to the press. Let's just say… I sent them a memo telling them not to do it again. You see – ruthless. For example, you are currently standing on a trap door. If I press this button you'll fall into a pit of tax lawyers eager to discuss changes to capital gains thresholds in Latvia.

Henderson: You monster. Quickly Rodney, activate the homing beacon! You think we came alone but reinforcements are on the way.

The door crashes down as Jack Pratchard abseils in.

Henderson: Jack! Hurray! Get your men to tie up Mr Tonks while we attempt …

Pratchard: What men? I was supposed to bring men? I've got a packed lunch if that helps.

Henderson: Oh dear.

Bickerthwaite: You're a disgrace to Yorkshire. All this obsession wi' London. I've been there. It's full of half pints and rocket salad. What's wrong wi' staying in Yorkshire? God's country. Boycott's homeland. I remember seeing Geoffrey once grace Headingley with a five-hour 18 not out…

Tonks: Does not compute! Too boring! Does not compute!

Mr Tonks' head explodes.

Henderson: Good God! Julian Tonks was just a robot the whole time being controlled by you, Hedley. You're the real genius.

Hedley: My beautiful creation! It's ruined.

Henderson: Come on, we've won. We've just time for martinis and dames…