View Full Version : Lawyer Humor, City of London Style...or something...

Nicholas Carey
06-04-2006, 03:53 PM
From London's Daily Mail (http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=352586&in_page_id=1770&in_a_source=) comes this tasty tidbit of life within the bounds of the City:
17/06/05 - News section

Saucy email shame of City lawyer
by NICK CRAVEN, Daily Mail

As a City solicitor specialising in computer law and electronic commerce, Richard Phillips should have a good idea of the power of the Internet.

But now its unrivalled ability to inflict toe-curling embarrassment has been well and truly brought home to him.

An unfortunate email exchange about an incident in which a secretary splashed tomato ketchup on his trousers has been doing the rounds, not only among his colleagues but in London's legal community.

And it has left the 36-year-old solicitor, who is said to earn well over 100,000, with egg on his face after he demanded 4 to dry clean the trousers.

Not only did his email make him appear - in the words of a colleague - 'tight', but a subsequent complaint that the money had not been paid was explained when it emerged that the secretary had been off work mourning the death of her mother.

Accidently splashed

The story begins last month when Mr Phillips, a senior associate with the world's biggest law firm, Baker & McKenzie, was at lunch.

That was when Jenny Amner, a secretary who also works at the firm's offices near St Paul's, accidentally splashed the ketchup on his suit trousers.

While many might have laughed off the incident, Mr Phillips chose not to. On May 25 he sent Mrs Amner, a mother of two in her fifties, a polite but somewhat insistent email.

It read: "Hi Jenny, I went to a dry cleaners at lunch and they said it would cost 4 to remove the ketchup stains. If you cd let me have the cash today, that wd be much appreciated. Thanks Richard."

Mrs Amner's response was a little slow, so on June 3 she arrived at her desk to find a Post-It note left by a colleague chasing her for the 4.

And that was when the secretary made plain why she had not been quick to respond - not only to Mr Phillips but to all the 250 staff working on the third floor of their office. She sent out an email which read: 'Subject: RE: Ketchup trousers.

"With reference to the email below, I must apologise for not getting back to you straight away but due to my mother's sudden illness, death and funeral I have had more pressing issues than your 4.

"I apologise again for accidentally getting a few splashes of ketchup on your trousers. Obviously your financial need as a senior associate is greater than mine as a mere secretary.

"Having already spoken to and shown your email and Anne-Marie's note to various partners, lawyers and trainees in ECC&T and IP/IT, they kindly offered to do a collection to raise the 4.

"I however declined their kind offer but should you feel the urgent need for the 4, it will be on my desk this afternoon. Jenny."

Worse to come

Mr Phillips's embarrassment as his lack of generosity was laid bare in front of his colleagues can only be imagined - but worse was to come.

The email exchange was soon pinging its way around the City. To add to his discomfort, many of those passing on the emails took the chance to add their own comments about him.

One of the recipients in Baker & Mackenzie noted: "She [Mrs Amner] copied it to the whole floor and everyone was in stitches. She had come into work this morning to find a Post-It chasing her for the 4 after having the funeral the day before. He's so tight."

Another wrote: "This guy's name is currently getting a severe trampling around the legal community (and beyond)."

Last night Baker & Mackenzie said: "It is a private matter between two individual members of staff that has clearly got out of hand. The matter is being investigated and we cannot comment further."

It refused to say whether any disciplinary action would be taken against any members of staff.

Mrs Amner, from Bexleyheath, Kent, declined to comment. A neighbour confirmed that she had recently lost her mother, Polly.

Mr Phillips was not available for comment. Whether the incident will harm his prospects of becoming a partner, only time will tell.

But he would do well to heed the advice of one of those passing on the emails, who told his colleagues: "Remember to be nice to your secretaries."

Paul Pless
06-04-2006, 04:04 PM

What an unbelieveable jackass.