A Milbank partner's email which celebrated the Easter holiday by telling his team to provide "24/7/365 client service" has resurfaced after being passed around City lawyers.
Apostolos Gkoutzinis, an international capital markets and finance lawyer, moved to the London office of US firm Milbank from Shearman & Sterling in January 2018. He has described himself as "passionate, impatient and aspirational".
Headed, "Happy Easter and some thoughts", the email he sent to his team on 31 March last year began with fire and brimstone sentiments about the importance of Easter.
"As we are pausing for a few precious moments to reconnect with our families and recharge", wrote Gkoutzinis, "and perhaps for some reflect on the true meaning of Easter, the passing of the old world of sin and failure to the new world of hope and redemption, I wanted to thank you all, sincerely, for making our transition to the firm and the practice a wonderful experience."
Instead of ending there, Gkoutzinis launched into a call to arms. "There is no doubt that we are at the very beginning and most of the challenges are ahead of us", he wrote, possibly while mentally riding a horse along a line of his solicitors. "But, we have assembled a team. We are doing deals. We are getting to know each other".
"You need me on the call, now?"
Promising that "there is so much more to come...we have barely started" and listing an action plan and big deals he was working on, the partner warned staff to calm themselves. "A word of caution: the new reality of our premier team has not yet arrived. We are all seeing the nascent signs of the repositioning of this practice into the elite status in the European capital and financing markets. But the reality of unqualified elite and dominant status is not yet here. We have to work hard for that".
In the email, a copy of which was passed to RollOnFriday, Gkoutzinis specified that the first guiding principle for the team was "24/7/365 client service". That meant "clients first, ahead of our personal time, leisure or preferences", he wrote.
The partner signed off by wishing "you and all your loved ones my warmest wishes this Easter weekend".
Asked for their reaction to the email, a Milbank lawyer said, "Unsurprised. We're aware Milbank don't care about our personal lives, but great to be reminded over Bank Holiday weekend".
Cleary would approve. Milbank declined to comment.