Global megafirm blues: Life as a rockstar lawyer after the merger

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By Mike Kitson on

Meet new fictional columnist Mike Kitson, whose boutique firm has just been swallowed up by a US commercial behemoth


It was Brad Jett’s (Head of People & Branding, Global) idea.

We need to reach out. We need to announce. We need to impact.”

It is a consequence of the merger [1] that one must spend large chunks of one’s day failing to communicate with people who speak the upmost gibberish.


Un-huh? We need more than un-huh, Mike.”

Sorry… it’s… it’s… inspiring.”

Inspiration is my middle name.”

Really? Conceivably?? Brad Inspiration Jett???

And we need you as head of English…

Fe fi fo fum bring me the head of English-man. Be he alive, or be he dead…

… I’ve drilled the data and surveyed the sabrenomics… are you still with us, Mike?


Great. So if you could have a presence on Legal Cheek.”

A what? On where?

Legal Cheek, Mike, my people tell me it’s only the UK’s fastest growing legal website with a burgeoning reputation among…

Who knew?


Some background. I was backstage at a Stones gig when I was struck by the rockstars’ conundrum. In public, it was part of the job description to be seen as drug-fuelled maniacs; in private, they yearned for sober long-term financial advice, particularly on pensions. A niche firm could serve both needs and, in tandem with a couple of non-Oxbridge educated sharpies keen on advancement, I formed the eponymous ’boutique outfit’ from my flats in the Albany. They hit the law books and I hit the clubs and bars. It proved to be a potent combination.

I soon discovered that what was true for rockstars was also true for movie stars and, over time, footballers. We curated both their public images and their private incomes, using the former to boost the latter. Nice work if you can get it. And I could get it.

My second piece of inspiration was to recognise there was no limit to the capacity of a lawyer to name-drop. And because at Kidsons we worked with some of the heaviest names you could wish to drop, David Bowie not Deutsche Bank, the magic circle refuseniks arrived in their droves.

Fast forward a couple of decades and on 22 June, mere hours before Brexit, the ink dries on our merger [2] with ‘Houston-Headquartered’, ‘white-shoed’, ‘global behemoth’ Foulks Carmichael. My founding partners and I pocketed a very comfortable seven figures simply on ‘currency fluctuations’.

But every silver lining…

The Saturday after Brexit and we are pretty much compelled to attend Barron ‘Hoagy’ Carmichael the III’s fourth wedding to the unfortunately-named Melania.

As you do, if you don’t happen to be chums with ‘Stoker’ (that’s Lord Cavendish to you) he hired Chatsworth for the occasion. As you don’t, unless you are certi-fucking-fiably insane, he hired the Orient Express to take us from St Pancras to Chesterfield (the nearest railway station which is to say not very near at all).

Hoagy’s speech was… different.

Hiya, pardners. And a happy Texan afternoon to one ‘n’ all. Now you may look around the tent and say what a bunch of swell guys and dolls. I look around and see north of 1.2 million in unpaid legal bills.”

No one laughed.

I jest. I reckon, in today’s climate, I’d settle for 750 thou, cash, on the nail.”

No one laughed.

Dadgummit, you are allowed to laugh.”

Everyone laughed.

Now as anyone who has been billed by me will tell ya I am not a man to do things by halves. And I am a man to mix business with pleasure. When I get hitched I get really hitched. So I can now officially announce that this week I am merging [3] not only with the lovely Melania who will be my life pardner between the sheets but also Mike Kidson from London-headquartered media boutique outfit Kidson’s who will be my work pardner among the spread-sheets. Mike, are you in the house?

Jesus wept.

On you feet, pardner.”

I arose. Only for my phone to ring and ring and ring. As discreetly as possible I fielded the call.

Head of English it’s head of people & branding comma global here calling from our London HQ.”

Hi, Brad.”

Just doing a solo brainstorm and worked out that if your name is top of the bill we will be K.F.C…”

And if it is last… we will be F.C.K.”

I closed out the call.

[1] If you wish to be pitilessly legalistic about these things perhaps takeover would be more accurate.
[2] See above
[3] see above

This is the first instalment of ‘Global mega firm blues’, the trials and trebulations of ‘City lawyer’ Mike Kitson. Tune in later this month for more.