No tequila toast for Clooney twins

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Jul 05, 2017
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Toasts all round for the Clooney twins, but probably not with tequila.

Fresh from wetting the heads of the twins Alexander and Ella – born several weeks ago to Amal Clooney, the Doughty Street chambers junior barrister, and the Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney – the new father sold the tequila company he founded with Rande Gerber, husband of the supermodel Cindy Crawford. The two reportedly developed their tequila by trial and error in search of one that was hangover-free.

And, reports Linda Tsang, it seems that the name of the company, Casamigos (“house of friends”), has more relevance and prescience than would first appear. The four-year-old company was sold to the world’s biggest spirits maker, Diageo, for $700 million (£542 million) now and a further $300 million based on performance over the next decade.

The deal was announced rather prosaically by the US law firm acting for Clooney and Gerber – Sullivan & Cromwell.

That name will ring a bell with Mrs Clooney. Amal Alamuddin, as she was before she was married, worked for Sullivan & Cromwell for three years as part of its criminal defence and investigations group, where her clients included Enron. Its senior chairman is H Rodgin Cohen, whom [itals] The Wall Street Journal has described as “the country's leading banking lawyer – as well as a lifelong Democrat”.

It’s never too early for those Clooney twins to start networking.

Jurisdictional nods and winks

Barristers never to cease to amaze with the levels of court obsequiousness they are prepared to stoop to before senior judges.

At a recent High Court extradition case, Mr Justice Collins had just told counsel that he was adjourning the matter. The judge has sat in the Queen’s Bench Division for the best part of 23 years and will retire in a few days’ time.

But, reports our court spy, instead of merely inquiring when the judge would be heading to his potting shed, counsel opted for this contorted construction: “When will your lordship no longer have jurisdiction over this matter?”
There were nods, winks and chuckles all round among the lawyers at the allusion to the judge’s impending retirement. Presumably the client was left befuddled – but then they generally are in court.

Biting into Clyde & Co’s profits

Will senior equity partners at Clyde & Co start having second thoughts about the firm’s management opening an office in the US every other week? The City of London-based practice’s financial figures, the latest to come out of the Square Mile when released yesterday, suggest they might have a few qualms.

The shipping, aviation and insurance specialist practice clocked up a 14 per cent rise in revenue to £508 million, but top partners saw the profits slip nonetheless. According to the firm, the average profit per equity partner figure fell back ever so slightly by about 2 per cent to £650,000. Indeed, the average drawings of individual senior equity partners took a hit despite the firm claiming that overall profit was up by 9 per cent.

The firm attributed the drop in PEP to an increase in partners, with 40 joining in the last year bringing the total to just shy of 400.
In the last year the firm has added five offices to its network, including three in the US: Miami, Chicago and Washington DC. It has also opened in Dusseldorf and Mexico City. That sort of expansion don’t come cheap.

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