The green, the black and the hack

Joe Martin, general counsel at Italian-based catering company Autogrill, certainly wasn’t the only lawyer ­letting his hair down in ­London on St Patrick’s Day.

But he was probably the only one to do so wearing a large leprechaun’s hat and a sparkly green dickie-bow. Unfortunately for Martin, he also happened to pick the same pub to celebrate the day as a group of hacks from The Lawyer.

Despite his obvious discomfort when Tulkinghorn’s spies’ identities were revealed, the affable Martin – perhaps loosened up by several pints of the black stuff – eventually agreed to an interview. Although not then and there in the boozer. Shame.

Word reached Tulkinghorn later that, along with drinking buddy and Autogrill colleague Padraig Drennan, Martin was somewhat subdued in the office the following morning.
Tulkinghorn isn’t sure whether this was a result of the Guinness or agreeing to the profile.the profile.

Christl ball

Announcing the outcome of an election before the vote has actually happened is a practice that wouldn’t seem out of place in such open and transparent regimes as the North Korea of Kim Jong-Il or Stalin’s Russia.

But now the Association of Women Solicitors (AWS) has joined in by ­contacting the press with ’news’ of the election of Christl Hughes as ­Chairwoman of the ­Glorious Central ­Committee – seven hours before the vote took place.

“Christl will be voted in by the AGM at 6pm,” declared the AWS Chief Commissar of Truth and Enrichment of the Popular Mind.

One of Tulkinghorn’s minions questioned how the people’s will could so confidently be predicted? In the ­tradition of other ­pluralistic regimes such as Pyongyang, was this by any chance an ­uncontested election?

“Yes it is,” responded the chief. “However, that’s why it’s ­embargoed, because something could go wrong between now and 6pm tonight.”

What could possibly go wrong? pondered ­Tulkinghorn. Might the masses revolt and abstain from voting in the ’correct’ candidate? Or is it that the Revolutionary Guard feared that, after an AGM last year that made some attendees want to sever their own legs with a blunt spoon, nobody might in fact turn up to rubber-stamp the decision?

Legal aid

It’s a truism that every law firm on God’s green earth waxes lyrical about its ’unique collegiate ­environment’, even when half-a-dozen partners leave overnight amid infighting that makes the Labour Party look like a paradigm of harmony. But it’s a rare thing indeed to see it in action.

So Tulkinghorn’s heart was suitably warmed by the tale of the confused SJ Berwin associates who insisted on trying to buy the coffees and cakes for their beleaguered partners as stories of withheld profit distributions swept through the office.
Ah, bless. These ­philanthropic juniors had failed to realise that their not-so-impoverished ­elders were still getting their monthly dues, so weren’t quite on the ­breadline. Yet.

Mystery of the Plumley role

Rarely is The Lawyer’s ­People page a source of major contention. But last week Chris Plumley, who has just joined ­Birmingham firm Anthony Collins, risked the wrath of the People page editor by refusing to divulge which firm he worked at prior to his move.

“I’d prefer not to reveal that,” the former Mills & Reeve associate told the hack, who turned to the oracle that is Google and had the answer two ­seconds later.

Why the mystery, Chris, why the mystery?