Macfarlanes has banned its private client associates from going on holiday for three months next year, with potentially disastrous results for their social calendars.

The private client practice, which advises the well-heeled on "tax, philanthropy or the orderly transfer of your wealth to the next generation" is prohibiting its associates from holidaying from January until April, in order for them to focus on the changes to non-dom rules. A source told RollOnFriday it "effectively means that the poshest department at Macs can't use their family ski chalets next season".

Rubbing Fortnum & Mason Pink Himalayan Rock Salt in the wound, some of the partners have apparently "already booked in their own holidays" on the optimal dates.

"Smile Lady Bumfington, this is to cheer up the kids in my office" 

These days Macfarlanes' reputation as an old-school outfit may be one-dimensional, but if bluebloods are still in abundance anywhere it is in the firm's private client department*. After all, ultra high-net-worth individuals don't want to watch their lawyers using the wrong fork and getting confused about grey horses. It remains to be seen whether Macfarlanes associates' inability to banter about the powder at Klosters will give Withers an opening.

A spokeswoman for Macfarlanes said the first three months of 2017 is "going to be an unusually busy time for private client practices across the city", and that, "in recognising this period of exceptional client demand we are introducing a policy which asks that our people regulate their holiday between January and April in order that we can best serve our clients"

However, she said the curfew extended to lawyers "at all levels" and that "any leave booked prior to the announcement internally is being honoured". And if partners happened to organise themselves a little quicker than their assistants, then so be it.

*A quick scan reveals two Charles, a Sebastian and a Tristan, although Withers stills wins. It boasts Bertie Hoskyns-Abrahall, who advised Tatler on grouse-shooting dos and don'ts.
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