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Heart's in right place

Heart's in right place

Corporate social responsibility is all the rage in London’s law firms now. As Lawyers Weekly reported last week, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has published its latest CSR report, which paints…

Corporate social responsibility is all the rage in London’s law firms now. As Lawyers Weekly reported last week, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has published its latest CSR report, which paints a picture of client demand for proper CSR systems in their law firms.

And it appears that lawyers and clients alike are on the bandwagon, or the environmentally friendly version of a bandwagon, whatever that may be. Perhaps is one of those carbon-neutral, electric, solar-powered vehicles Hollywood starlets drive. But while lawyers and partners’ hearts appear to be in the right place, there remain a few who find clamouring on to the bandwagon a little tiring. As a result, cynicism has won the day in some firms.

Following the launch of one firm’s new CSR scheme, one young lawyer claimed: “No, really, I just love all this CSR bullshit — I even drove here in a [Toyota] Prius.”

Lawyers don’t sell: Clooney

Hollywood star George Clooney last week dismissed any hope that his lawyer character in the film Michael Clayton would win him an Oscar, before the ceremony was held on Sunday.

The actor heart-throb branded himself the “Hillary Clinton of the Oscars”, telling Time magazine “if it weren’t for Barack Obama, it would have been a very good year”.

The 46-year-old was nominated for his performance in the legal drama Michael Clayton, but told media he expected the statuette to go to Ireland’s Daniel Day-Lewis.

“I thought Daniel Day-Lewis had the best performance of the year,” Clooney told Time, referring to the London-born star’s portrayal of a tyrannical oil prospector in There Will Be Blood.

Partners make partner’s Achilles heel

Vicious news from London, where rumour has it the race for the managing partner and senior partner role at Allen & Overy has turned ugly.

London’s The Lawyer has reported that while those in the race had promised to keep it clean, outgoing senior partner Guy Beringer has been spotted hobbling around the office, having sustained injuries to his Achilles heel. Apparently the injury was incurred after a friendly three-a-side partnership football game in the firm’s gym.

Some have suggested hiring around-the-clock security detachments and a PR agent to ensure the Achilles heel’s future safety and the preservation of its integrity, say reports.

Oranges and lemons, said the court to the criminal

Tough criminals in Holland became less aggressive and had fewer fights when exposed to the scent of oranges, a recent study found.

Rotterdam police have announced the four-week study proves criminals, many of them violent drug pushers, can be calmed down when the aromas were circulated through cell air vents.

The head of police social services, Herma Heester, told the UK’s Daily Telegraph: “It’s amazing, fighting in the cells has been dramatically reduced and we are using 10 per cent fewer sedation drugs.”

Rotterdam has one of the highest crime rates in the Netherlands, with violent drug-related crimes accounting for more than half of arrests. Looks like California will see an export boom.

Celebrity lawyer wants world to be a better place

Sometimes with the law comes celebrity. US attorney John Burris has gained a measure of fame as a television commentator on legal matters.

Burris built a name for himself by representing Rodney King, San Francisco police chief Earl Sanders in the “Fajita Gate” case, actor Delroy Lindo, and three professional athletes: baseball’s Barry Bonds, basketball’s Gary Payton and football’s Keyshawn Johnson.

While Johnnie Cochran was defending Simpson, Burris commented regularly on the case on Channel 2. Burris has continued offering legal insights on local TV.

Burris and Cochran were close friends until Cochran died in 2005. The two met in 1997 and referred cases to each other.

“He was like a big brother to me,” said Burris, 62. “He told me, ‘John, you need to do what I’m doing, prosecuting these police cases’. In many ways, that’s how I got going. We talked often and did cases together.”

But the latest of his big claims comes as he articulates a strong social conscious. “It’s a high-risk business,” he said. “You either win and get paid or you lose and you don’t get paid,” he said.

“Look, I could make a lot more money doing other stuff, but I really want to improve the quality of life.” That’s nice of him.

All creatures great and small… and lawyers

God loves us all, we hear. But did you know he also loves lawyers? In fact, UK-based Godloves Solicitors has been trying to spread the word that God actually loves solicitors the most.

Don’t believe it? It’s true; check out www.godloves.co.uk. The firm, yes, law firm, has an ethos to “deliver professional legal advice in a personal, friendly way”. Its “specialist and experienced solicitors offer businesses and private individuals access to quality legal advice across a range of areas”.

Messy moment in Google search for firm

Folklaw was researching UK firms for the European Report last week when it stumbled upon an embarrassing example of what happens when you don’t get your IT department working with you. Searching for a small practice called Dixon Coles & Gill in Google will bring up an awkward result.

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