Pembroke: Receivership could hold up the reindeer

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The Independent Online
SANTA will be arriving late, if at all, in some households this Christmas. Four charities - the Worldwide Fund for Nature, London Zoo, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Childline - have fallen victim to the administrative receivership of Design Marketing, their catalogue producer.

Customers who paid in advance by cash or cheque for goods may find themselves unsecured creditors. Touche Ross, appointed administrative receiver on 2 December, is dispatching orders for panda mugs, penguin sweatshirts and gorilla slippers, but warns that no refunds will be made even if presents arrive late. If goods are not in stock, customers have little chance of seeing their money again.

Those who placed orders after 2 December will receive their goods or have their money refunded. Touche is looking for a good home for the hapless charity catalogues.

BELLS, or rather burglar alarms, are ringing out across the nation this Christmas. A colleague, whose alarm would not stop ringing, met a weary response when she rang the security company. 'Have you got Christmas decorations up?'

Tinsel, streamers, helium balloons and mistletoe cause havoc with passive infra-red detectors. If decorations move in a draught, they trigger the alarm. In addition, people going away at Christmas often set their alarms incorrectly, having forgotten how to use them. It all adds up to a very busy Christmas for the Banhams and Chubbs of this world.

LEGAL BUSINESS, that worthy publication for serious-minded solicitors and barristers, has published a very racy Christmas quiz.

Prize for tantrum of the year is awarded to the lawyer who, at the International Bar Association conference, threatened to commit suicide unless the hotel changed his room to one with a view.

Questions include: 'Which QC occasionally celebrates her victories by exercising droit de dame over the juniors in her chambers?'

Sadly the answers will not be published until the January/February 2094 edition.

LEHMAN BROTHERS is celebrating Christmas in style. The theme for its party at the Grosvenor House Hotel tonight is 'Out of this World'. As well as the obligatory disco and karaoke, there will be arcade and virtual reality machines and a cabaret act performed by two robots.