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Tea and sympathy

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It was the end of an era for Davis Langdon and Everest, marked at its lavish annual party at the v&a last week. Nick Davis stepped down as senior partner, making this the first time in dl&e's history when it has employed neither a Davis, a Langdon nor an Everest. Also celebrating was Mrs Merrall, the company's cleaning lady. Eighty years old this week, she has been with the firm for 50 years and has, said Davis, 'made me at least 20,000 cups of tea'. She is not to be confused with the outspoken Paul Morrell (arch-critic of the new parliamentary buidling's cost), who succeeds Davis. Previously head of the London office, he has to give that up in order to head the firm. But he will keep two clients under his personal wing: Stuart Lipton and Norman Foster.

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