The City Diary

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The Independent Online

Let him come, let him come, let him come. Let Lacey come down to the Den

City law firm Denton Wilde Sapte has, at last, admitted to being the lawyer to Graham Ferguson Lacey (right), the man trying to bring down Millwall Football Club.

Clearly scared at the prospect of fronting up to 40,000 angry Lions fans in south-east London, the law firm has repeatedly denied that it is working for the eccentric fundamentalist preacher cum wheeler-dealer financier. But a spokesman has finally come clean, telling us with some gusto: "We can now confirm that we are advising Graham Ferguson Lacey."

So the question all Millwall fans want to know – will Ferguson Lacey be turning up in person to the EGM on 2 July in the bear pit that is the New Den?

"No comment."

Thong goes her secret

After Jeremy Paxman's rant about the pants sold by Marks & Spencer, underwear is again hitting the headlines.

A Los Angeles traffic officer is suing the Victoria's Secrets group, represented by model Miranda Kerr, right, after she was cruelly struck down by her, er, thong.

"I was putting on my underwear from Victoria's Secret and the metal [clasp] popped in my eye," howled 52-year-old Macrida Patterson. "It happened really quickly. I was in excruciating pain. I screamed. That's what happened."

Sure – that's what happened, Macrida.

Roman buys art for art's sake – if the price is right

'Le Journal du dimanche', a leading Sunday newspaper in France, reports on Roman Abramovich's ever-classy behaviour at the Basle Festival art sales recently. Having stunned everyone by laying out $120m (£61m) for works by Freud and Bacon, he was drawn to the stand promoting the American Pop artist Jim Dine. However, upon being told by stall-owner Daniel Templon that Dine's works "only go for a few hundred thousand", Roman abruptly turned heel and walked away. "Clearly, not expensive enough for him," sniffed the 'Journal'.

To Russia with love, and disappointment

So is David Levin, chief executive of UBM, leaving? Following his botched attempt to buy rival Informa, which collapsed last week, we learn that Levin is set to depart ... to join his wife on a trip to Russia. His deal commitments had previously got in the way of the planned charity jaunt but apparently his bags are packed and he's ready to go. Seems every cloud has a silver lining, David!

According to Amex, we'd do better staying at home

Those cheery buggers at American Express have given us all something to look forward to this summer. A survey on family holidays commissioned by the credit card group tells us that the most common causes of arguments are overpacked suitcases and problems getting to the airport. People from the North-east, it turns out, have on average four rows before they even get to their destination. Happy bloody holidays.

Isn't Jonny overqualified to be working at UBS?

Here is the city, the website that focuses on the Square Mile, has compiled a list of celebrities that have, or are still, plying their trades in the City of London.

Rugby, royalty and politics, as expected, have a fair smattering in the list, which includes the likes of Shaukat Aziz, the former prime minister of Pakistan, Thomas Castaignède, the former French rugby international, and Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of old Slick Willy and Hillary.

But who was it who caught our eye? Jonny Briggs, from the Eighties children's television show, has worked for UBS. What's the price on Jossy Blair of that seminal programme 'Jossy's Giants' turning up at Nomura?

Natural stablemates?

It hasn't taken Martin Scicluna, who has just retired as chairman of Deloitte, long to find himself a new high-profile role. He's been appointed a non-executive director at Lloyds TSB, which is chaired by Sir Victor Blank. The two go back a long way – Scicluna was formerly auditor to Trinity Mirror, when Sir Victor was chairman. But they have even more in common than meets the eye. Scicluna wears a signet ring that carries the crest of his Maltese family, featuring a rearing black stallion. Lloyds' corporate mascot is, of course, also a black horse. Uncanny.

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