Law firm names from a bygone era

Lovell White Durrant Piesse ( Or something similar!)

Clifford Turner/Coward Chance

Denton Hall Burgen Warrens

Dibb Lupton Broomhead & Prior

Any others you can think of, I do like DLA's old monicker 

Cameron Markby Hewitt and McKenna & Co

Addleshaw Booth & Co and Theodore Goddard

I remember these firms as they were but then I am well old

These names sound so grand and posh, if not a bit pompous, why didn't they keep these names as supposed to CMS, which sounds like some sort of disease.

Also those were the days according to a relative who used to use these firms all the time where the partners had their names on the letter head. He apparently used to enjoy seeing how senior a partner was who was mandated on a transaction of his by looking where the name appeared . Apparently rather than being placed in alphabetical order they were listed in order of seniority.

Pity the poor bugger at the very bottom of the list.

Ah yes, I have been reading a lot of these in the 1980s diaries I am going through.

Lovell White and King (aka lovely white and clean), Turner Kenneth Brown, Gouldens,  Tucker Turner, Frere Cholmeley, McKennas.

 

 

They were generally listed in order of when they became a partner at that firm (other than the guy on the top of the list who was whoever had been elected senior partner) which is why you generally didn’t want anything too high up because it would have been a guy who considered the 85 Companies Act to be new fangled rubbish and who would definitely not be available to take calls after lunch.

Lol, strutters. I can imagine partners meetings starting at 11.00, and them being fed and watered like kings , with butlers on hand in the oak panelled partners dining rooms , which are fulll of cigar smoke.

Said partners meeting the minutes are taken in shorthand, and the only outcome is that the partners agree to charge clients more, and draw more cash in drawings regardless of cashflow and aged debt.

Cue quick call to the bank manager where credit facilities(unsecured) are extended that day, and the partners celebrate by quaffing more champagne at their business nous. Sounds brilliant

It was excellent.

Sometimes if you had been good (or if you were just good value) a non-partner chap might get invited to partner lunch.  Obviously it was expected that one would excuse oneself in order that business could be discussed after the meal.

Srutters, waaat non partners like the BD "DIRECTOR" being invited to partners meetings, I cannot imagine it! What possible use or value could these BD people add I imagine the partners saying. Did they even exist in the 80's to mid 90's?

It is ironic that in those days were even more poorly ran/managed than they are now. no credit control facilities I imagine, the partner would bill when he could be arsed and then chase outstanding bill up months later. Massive overdraft and loan facilities mainly to fund partners drawings, all of which were authorised by the branch manager after you got him pissed  as a newt over a long lunch.  Such things as credit commitees who would sanction extensions in borrowings, nah! Yet none went bust did they?

 

Today they fall like flies. Bizzare 

I started out at Nicholson Graham & Jones which is now part of the might K&L Gates.  They had the partners listed on the letterhead when I started.  They also still had a partners' lunchroom and a group of associates was invited to join them each day and contribute to the discussion of whether someone should buy a Rolls or a Bentley.

First partners' lunch I attended we spent 45 minutes discussing the fact that urinals in the gents were too close together

And of course, the bronze medallion Manchester powerhouse of the 1980's, Stock Aitken & Waterman which then became Pannone Napier.

Because I know several salaried partners who  nowadays certainly don’t attend a lot of partners meetings and I guess in the 80s to mid 90s salaried partners were relatively few and far between.

Heh, great thread.

To think there are pratners now, made up a mere 12 years after qualifying, who don’t get their name on the notepaper. 

To say nothing of the lunches. And the cheese of course. mmm, cheese. Port. Snooze.

Forsyte & Co.

 

Those bad boys used to go home for the luncheon their personal chefs had prepared washed down with pints of veuve cliquot. Every day. 

One of the only potentially good things about Brexit is the possible reappearance of the pint bottle of champagne doubtless Pol Roger wouod be the first. A pint bottle being acceptable to both Winston and Clementine Churchill, he wasn't happy with a half bottle, she wasn't happy if he had a full bottle so a pint bottle an acceptable compromise. As he put it, a pint bottle the perfect amount for two chaps to have as a pre dinner drink. Assuming of course one of them wasn't drinking that day.

It was Barlow Lyde Gilbert. For all the difference an ampersand makes. Which is fuck all. Unless you are Slaughter and May in which case you'll go nuts if one is used.

There were a few aguments around the Clifford Chance name at the time of that merger. Some wanted Coward Turner, but luckily common sense prevailed.

As did not putting partner names on the letterheading, which would have otherwise run well over a page in length.

lol@ buzz but quite true.  On the slaughters point the legal hacks still proclaim it is the most profitable firm in the UK, how would they know. But that label goes to stewarts apparently. Another myth about S&M is they don't have a written parttnership agreement, cool story but I doubt it.

Chambers did it really ultimately make a difference Coward turner sounds as daft as clifford chance, both equally sound like a second hand car dealership.

Not when I was there Ebitda, just after their merger. It was just the usual line saying partners names are available for inspection at [wherever office].

1981/2 I applied to 139 London firms for articles and had about 25 interviews. I was interviewed at most of these. Interestingly after I had trained I always seemed to get jobs almost immediately with hardly any trouble. I suppose that often the case - hardest thing is getting started.

 

  1. Adlers
  2. Allen & Overy
  3. Allison & Humphreys
  4. Baileys Shaw & Gillett
  5. Cameron Markby
  6. Charles Russell
  7. D J Freeman
  8. Denton Hall & Burgins
  9. Fishburn Boxer
  10. Frere Cholmeley
  11. Gouldens
  12. Herbert Smith
  13. Hewitt Wollacott and Chown (2 interviews)
  14. Ince & Co
  15. Kenneth Brown & Baker
  16. Knapp Fishers
  17. Lovell White & King
  18. Merrick & Co
  19. Nabarro Nathanson
  20. Herbert Oppenheimer Nathan & Van Dyke
  21. Norton Rose Botterell & Roche
  22. Radcliffes
  23. Reynolds Porter Chamberlain
  24. Rowe & Maw
  25. Slaughter and May
  26. Theodore Goddard
  27. Trower, Still & Keeling
  28. Vizards
  29. Wedlake Bell

I think when I was there S&M and the firm after only had equity partners so the isuse of whether salaried partnes came to lunch did not arise although as someone said above we were regularly invited into partners' lunches. My diary goes into detail about the food (it was very good)

Lydia, are these the firms you applied to? given all your prizes and books you have written these firms are very disparate and wide. Some are low end commoditised knock about PI firms, and some are MC/SCfirms. How come they are so varied?

These may have been done already. me paenitet.

Davis Arnold Cooper which merged with Beachcroft Stanleys which had merged with Wansbrough Willey Hargreave.

Arnheim Tite & Lewis

Linklaters & Paines

Dibb Lupton Allsop

Ashurst Morris Crisp

 

 

ebitda which firms on Lydia’s list are “low end commoditised” etc? She was applying a long time ago, much has changed. How old are you?

How much was leaked about that Freres “merger”....?

and lol at the trailblazing Denton Halland Field Fisher Waterhouse

I remember a weekend partners meeting where an England rugby international was on TV on the Saturday.

After the afternoon tea break the room thinned out considerably. The senior partner quiped that they might want to consider moving the meeting to the bar.

 

I am still amazed that Lyds applied to 139 London firms tbh. I applied a couple of years later than her. Can't remember how many firms but probably about 15. I had 3 offers, one MC, one SC and one Mayfair. I went to the SC. I recall it being an excruciatingly awful experience and sods law meant that my offers all came late in the process. I was on the verge of putting in applications to some firms in Cardiff when the offers finally turned up.

Heh, phone their senior partners and tell them that, see what they say to you. 

Never mind when Lydia was applying, 

They might well do some commoditised PI etc work but they were, certainly back then, doing big ticket insurance work, multi multi million professional neg/construction/surveyors stuff. 

It amy be because I was 19 when I was applying (mu law tutor throught that might be it) Others around me were getting offers. I had the best A levels in the school, won an very difficult entrance scholarship  ( 3 x 3 hours of exams) to university, was top of the first year with another scholoarship for that and it was hardly an ex poly (it as Manchester taught by people like Brenda now Hale - our most senior suepreme court judge today) although the fact itw as not Oxbridge and I was from Newcastle might have been a factor.

I started with the better firms  (first interview was S&M (who hired me on qualification) but they rejected me for articles) and went on from there.  I had work experience in a Newcastle law firm. I was doing huge amount sof owrk - or at least once a week anyway at a law centrre, week week out for 2 years advising immigrants, benefits, claimants and all sorts. I was taking part in university moots which most people weren't. Iwas doing well that final year too (I won top place in 2 subjects and got a 2/1 although this was applications before I finished my degree)

 

So something on my CV must have been putting the 139 off - being female? being 19? being from Newcastle? and secondly hwen I got the interviews clearly I wasn't doing those too well either although by the end I was feeling a lot happier in them as I had so much experience of them. Anyway it was all okay in the end and it is useful for people to know it wasn;'t always easy for people who then did okay. Just keep trying.

So something on my CV must have been putting the 139 off - being female? being 19? being from Newcastle?

 

 

was it the seven page application letter with the pictures of you naked trampolining with your fannoir bush trimmed in the form of a swastika maybe?

I also remember when Ogier (Jersey offshore firm) set up in Guernsey. Nothing wrong with that you may think, but there was an infamous criminal in Guernsey at the time of the same name.

But Chambo, isn't everyone in Jersey and Guernsey essentially inter-related: Mourant, Ogier, Ozannes, Martin, Bedell

On a serious note, Lydia, I think it goes like this.

 

You were very young and clearly had a strong academic record.  However, it is very likely that the recruitment partners picked up on the fact that all that pushing to succeed so early left you long on academic achievement and short on worldly wisdom.   Slaughter and May will have decided to take a punt on that. This is something they are still happy doing. They have some of the most intellectually capable people in the business and yet only a few of these young Oxbridge prodigies have sufficient life experience to allow them to crack, let alone boil, an egg.  Slaughters unashamedly keep a dual track - all lawyers equal though some more equal than others. The starting point is you come in with adequate brain calibre and some develop their EQ and commerciality. Some do not and are kept in the shadows, producing excellent grunt materials.  At some point they go off that and do their own thing.

This will have been a conscious decision by Slaughter and May to disregard something that other firms would have felt was an impediment.  Some other firms will have wanted more maturity from the get go because of their intended utilisation of trainee/associate headcount.

In the due course of things you will have banked good brownie points on the brainpower and developed your own, unique commercial acumen* and all that will have gone by. But that's the analysis, I think. 

 

*dildo law, mucky privacy etc

Lydia, you got the highest A levels in your school and ended up at Manchester?? Manchester back then was certainly not regarded as Manchester is now, in which it is considered mostly alongside durham, and bristol.

 

Back then it would have been paired with York, Lecister  and Keele?

Good Lord. You can imagine the conversation in the club that evening.

...and to top it all Sebastian, she was a Welsh!

 

My siblings went to Oxbridge. My sister was the first ever to get to Oxbridge from our school.  Hardly anyone went to hniversity at all from my class. Remember in those days only 15% went at all, fewer women of course even fewer than men  etc etc A neighbour suggested when I got my A levels I apply to Oxbridge the next year but I was just keen to get on with mmy degree and it worked out fine.

I don't think Manchester was too bad. i was taught by Harry Street who cwronte Street on torts and also I got a lot of interviews so I doubt it was the instituion. I think we need to remember there was a marrive recession going on . In fact a whole generation of ordinary graduates never got graduate jobs who left around that time. That might have been part of it.

 

On Mutt's point in fact Slaughter were not prepared to put a punt on me for articles and rejected me. They wanted me in 85 perhaps because by then I was unsuaul and had experience. I had a 1 year old, I was married, I owned a hose and I had a prize in the subject they were recruiting for so probably a combination of those things stood out in 85 rather than when I was 19 and first interviewed by them.

Lyds, could I suggest that you draft your posts in a word doc and then use spellcheck?

I almost wet myself laughing at your boast you owned a hose.

Another funny one. I went to Tokyo with Lovells. 'Ah, you're from 'Vuvewws' said our hosts. Very friendly and polite, but they couldn't pronounce the L.

Do we change the name of the firm?

Back in the day, it was a seriously proud day to get your name on the list of Partners on the letter-heading.

When I was made up to Partner in 1992 I would genuinely have accepted 20% less dosh, as a choice. It was that big a deal.

But I would agree with other posters - back then in the provinces it was a great time to be a lawyer. Long liquid lunches with  clients and colleagues, easy money from LEI and Legal Aid, still some respect from the public and no wretched SRA on your back.

Many lunchtimes played pool in the pub and then wandered back to the office, via the bookmakers, to sign the post.

 

I used to be deputised to go drag the finance director out of El Vino on New Bridge Street at 4.30pm on a Friday to sign cheques. He had been there since midday and I was the only sober one in the office capable of physically dragging him out, which it came close to a couple of times.

I don't really miss those days.

So the questions are:

  • was it a typo or not; and
  • if it was a typo did she own a horse or a house?

I think she may be packing a hose. 

There is quite a lot about gardening in the diary actually including about my hose. In 1988 I demolished a large old garden shed and took the bits to the tip - it was a substantial job (I was also 4 months pregnant) and then I levelled the land and assembled our new hut and my greenhouse. A bit later the summer was quite dry so the hose was used quite a bit. we had a garden which went down at the back of the semi detachedh ouse and then instead of stopping it turned to the left and had a chunk more of garden where the hut was - that was our second house after we sold the first, So I had a hose and a house and in 88 a flat too. The pony came later. It was in 1988 that the girls were first on a horse ever I think.

TBF to HJJ&J it's pretty amusing to name a law firm after what sounds like the commentary on the build up to a try in a 1970s Five Nations game.