An extraordinary email spat between two partners at collapsing KWM has taken place in full view of the staff, shining a light on the extraordinary levels of dysfunction and ill-will at partnership level.
On Saturday private funds partner George Pinkham, who manages KWM's New York office, sent a valedictory email round the firm to let them know the good news that his job was safe and that he'd be transferring, along with the rest of the NY office, to KWM China. As well as being a cloth-eared announcement given that many of the recipients of his email are not being paid by the firm and are in the process of losing their jobs, in a stunning decision to break ranks Pinkham pronounced that "London management has managed to sink SJ Berwin".
Pinkham's accusation would have been sensational enough. But colourful self-promoter and Dubai partner Tim Taylor responded to accuse Pinkham of being tactless and wrong to assign blame. He did so by telling him "See you next Tuesday", a euphemistic backronym for 'ladypart'.
|Taylor (appearing on Made in Chelsea)|
Having essentially called his fellow partner a front bottom in front of the entire firm, Taylor railed that Pinkham, who founded SJ Berwin's Paris office in 2001 and headed up its Hong Kong practice in 2012, should "try re-reading your own email and then asking yourself whether a culture of self-preoccupation and blaming others might have had something to so with how all this has happened".
In the next of the emails, which were leaked to Legal Cheek, Pinkham addressed the entire firm, writing, "Tim has chosen to distort my message and to gratuitously attack me". He doubled down on his accusation, specifying that the London managing and senior partners "made a series of catastrophic decisions in the past few years". He also appeared to reveal that he was banned from taking part in partnership votes after stepping down from his management position.
Taylor struck a semi-conciliatory tone in his reply which utterly failed to undo the impression of headless chickens trying to fight a duel.
A KWM spokeswoman declined to comment.
Meanwhile RollOnFriday continues to receive responses to its appeal to find screwed-over KWM staffers new jobs - updates are here.