This week’s black propaganda includes a chat with Tony Bingham’s Malayan fanclub and some helpful advice on dealing with unwanted architects
Chief executives up and down the country have been left bemused at the recruitment strategy for locating the chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority. Headhunter Rockpools is currently bombarding everybody, everybody’s dog and everybody’s dog’s best friend for the post, which carries with it a salary of £250,000. A sign of premature desperation, or a laudable desire to cast the net as widely as possible? Most bigwigs we bumped in to were not over-impressed.
What’s a putter-upperer?
It was good to catch up with Building’s old friend and correspondent Tony Bingham at the Kensington Roof Gardens get-together hosted by Fenwick Elliott. Tony, as readers of our legal pages will know, likes to tell a good yarn, and this one comes all the way from Kuala Lumpur, where he was on a lecture tour a few years ago. After he’d finished his talk, an enthusiastic law student came up to compliment him on his writing style. When he expressed surprise his work should find favour among the legal community in Malaysia, the student replied: “Oh, yes, Mr Bingham, your articles are of great interest to us; every week I take them to my colloquialism classes and we study them very carefully.”
And now: daughter of Bingham!
And if you thought there was only room for one construction lawyer going by the name of Bingham, think again. It appears that Tony’s daughter, Billy, will join the fray, having completed her training at London law firm CMS Cameron McKenna. Apparently Billy did not take the decision to specialise in this sector lightly – which is understandable given the likelihood she could be crossing swords with her father in some of his many adjudication and court appearances. Hmm, might pop along to one of those …
A fitting memorial
Some 300 cyclists rode from Kensington Gardens to Victoria Embankment last week in memory of the late Richard Feilden, the founder of architect Feilden Clegg Bradley who was killed by a falling tree last December. At the Inner Temple Garden, his business partners, friends and family gave upbeat tributes sprinkled with cycling references.
“Our first date was a cycle ride around Hyde Park,” recalled Feilden’s widow, Tish. And quantity surveyor Paul Morrell recalls driving to a meeting with Feilden and being greeted with the remark: “You have too many wheels on this vehicle.”
Fashion victims welcome
Just days after revealing in last week’s Building that he may move into building design, Jasper Conran opened up his Mayfair “home” to dedicated followers of fashion at last weekend’s Open House. Better yet, each guest was given a 10% discount on any of the items from Conran’s collection on sale around the “home”. But with the average price of a dress around £900 post-discount, it was more the thought that counted.
Kevin goes to Funky Town
Back to the Fenwick Elliott bash, where it was good to see Gardiner & Theobold’s Kevin Arnold on top form. He was one of the last men standing – and very disappointed when his request for disco music was turned down.
How to get rid of an architectDelegates at the national conference of the Association of Women in Property were treated to some advice on dealing with architects from the Duchess of Northumberland. It seems she had secured the services of the cutting-edge modernist Tadao Ando for her pet project, the Alnwick Garden, in the extremely grand setting of Alnwick Castle. There was just one problem, though – the garden’s patron was the Prince of Wales, and he hated Ando’s work. So, somehow, she had to put Ando off – and a cunning ruse ensued. “I told his assistant I wanted to stick mussel shells on the outside of the building and cockle shells on the inside.” Sayonara, Mr Ando.
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