Holman Fenwick Willan has thrown the Christmas party to beat this year after the police got involved.

The shipping specialist's Singapore office went for lunch at Open Farm Community, which describes itself as an "impassioned restaurant hidden from the world in a little urban garden in the big city".

The event went smoothly until it came time to pay.

Singapore Managing Partner Mert Hifzi cast his eye over the invoice and decided the restaurant had overcharged.

"When we went to pay the bill, we pointed out a number of additional charges that we believed had been incorrectly added to the total", said an HFW spokesperson. 

Hifzi and the restaurant's manager engaged in a heated exchange, said a source.


The customers always fight.

After "prolonged discussion" with the venue manager, said HFW's spokesperson, "the issue could not be resolved, so we suggested that he call the police". 

HFW insisted, it said, and when police arrived they interviewed both factions at the restaurant. Eventually, the manager relented and took off the 'extra' items. He "finally agreed to accept the reduced amount", said the spokesman, "so we happily paid the bill and left".

"Suffice to say, we'll be choosing a different location for our Christmas party next year."

Open Farm Community declined to provide a comment, but presumably the feeling's mutual.

If you fancy a much quieter bash, please join Reed Smith

STOP PRESS: After originally declining to comment, the restaurant has now got in touch with RollOnFriday with a very different version of events. They claim that the HFW party was vulgar and drunk, that the firm refused to pay an entirely reasonable service charge, that it was the restaurant which decided to call the police, and that it is still pursuing the matter. More to follow next week.

Tip Off ROF


anon 13 December 19 13:55

Bad behaviour, but nice to see the shoe on the other foot slightly. Clients routinely challenge our bills as lawyers, but you wouldn't go to a restaurant, order off the menu, and then challenge the bill...

Anon 13 December 19 14:27

Re: anon at 13:55

Yes you would if you were unhappy with the quality of the food and/or service. You are entitled to do this and we have legislation such as the Consumers Rights Act which gives us rights in this respect. Whether or not the restaurant agrees with you is another matter.

Anon 13 December 19 15:33

Is HFW in financial troubles? Not able to pay their bills..... I'm glad that the restaurant finally had their say la

3-ducks 16 December 19 13:11

Why were the police called? Disputes over restaurant bills are civil, not criminal, matters.

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