Tulkinghorn: Fives alive

Late last month the annual footballing ritual of The Lawyer’s Legal Fives football and netball tournament rolled around again. As ever, it was a hard-fought battle ­featuring the sporting cream of the UK legal market.

Storms might have been raging across the UK, but it was a blazing Saturday in North London – at least until just after the tournament ended.

So once again it was a scorching-hot day for sport, and the quality of the games at the event – which saw 18 men’s football teams, five women’s football teams and six netball teams duking it out to be crowned champions of their respective competitions – didn’t disappoint.

Denton Wilde Sapte won the Women’s Cup after conceding only one goal all day, in the final against the beautifully monikered Bird & Bird & Bird & Bird & Bird.

The Lawyer’s own team reached the semi-finals of the men’s plate competition before being cruelly dispatched on penalties
by the Irwin Mitchell Galacticos.

Meanwhile, Edwin Coe (champions in 2007 and 2008) came through Group A to best an in-form Fentons, a side with a 100 per cent record, in the semis.

With Ashurst squashing Squire Sanders 7-0 in the other semi, this set up a rematch of the very first game of the day from Group A: Edwin Coe vs Ashurst.

With the game holding at 1-1 for quite a while, Ashurst squeezed ahead only to see their captain sin-binned. But the two minutes out didn’t matter in the end and Ashurst managed to add a third to crush Edwin Coe’s dreams of a historic treble and claim the Legal Fives 2009 Men’s Cup crown.

Green king

Tulkinghorn can reveal the secret of DLA Piper ­managing partner Sir Nigel Knowles’s success. Forget legal skills, forget leadership skills and, no, it’s not planet-sized brain power.

One word: golf. To expand, it’s Knowles’s unswerving determination to play an utterly ruthless game of golf that has taken him to the top of the legal tree.

According to one of Tulkinghorn’s moles, Knowles says he would never throw a game no matter who the opposition – he always plays to win, no matter who the opponent might be, thus garnering the respect and admiration of all who foolishly cross his path. Probably.

Apparently that extends to recently taking a tenner off the South Korean ambassador. Did Knowles let on to the Ferrero Rocher muncher that he plays off a handicap of seven (which, for those who don’t follow golf, is exceptionally good)?

Tulkinghorn cannot say.

Pet project

Four-legged infestations can cause havoc in the workplace. Lovells ­partners know this only too well.

Tulkinghorn learnt recently that the firm’s London office has had a bit of a rodent issue, although at least one partner was able to see the funny side.

Before leaving the office for the day, said partner caught one of the vermin and trapped it in a box. Instead of asking for little Mickey to be disposed of properly, the big-hearted partner left a note on the lid of the box asking the cleaner to “take good care of my pet”.

The mouse was still ­happily enjoying his box the following morning.

Pub rock

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) showed Tulkinghorn a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘an absolute shower’ last week.
Tulkinghorn had always thought it merely meant a bunch of unkempt, barely literate yobs who wouldn’t know a 1787 Chateau Lafite from pop. You know, like trainees?

But he was shown a whole new meaning to the phrase courtesy of BLP partners Vanessa Barnett and Michael McKenna. This duo, along with ­attendant PRs Keith Hardie and Caroline ­Jessop, kindly escorted Tulkinghorn and a couple of hacks to that gleaming cathedral of the great unwashed, Wembley ­Stadium, to see the lords of laddism, Oasis.

And they didn’t disappoint. Throughout the evening the crowd added to the ­entertainment by throwing half-empty plastic glasses of beer on to the unsuspecting watchers below. By the end of the show, it would be fair to say that all attendees might as well have jumped in a bath of booze. At least, Tulkinghorn trusts it was booze.

Tulkinghorn can reveal, though, that the only BLP representative to sing along was Keith Hardie. That’s the problem with rock concerts – no subtitles.