Mergers can often be an unsettling time for staff, with new ways of working, new colleagues and new email signatures to set up.

There is also the worry that your own office traditions may be lost forever, but fortunately this was not the case for one Christmas ritual after the merger of Howard Kennedy and Finers Stephens Innocent in 2012.

As is the tradition in the army, FSI had a long-established practice of management serving Christmas dinner to their staff each year.

After the law firms merged, to become Howard Kennedy, and moved to an office near London Bridge, the custom was adopted.

Yesterday the tradition was duly observed, as Paul Millett, joint managing partner, Ian Harvey, chief executive and Craig Emden, joint managing partner (pictured from left to right) did their duty, serving lunch for staff members. Obiter is glad to hear it.