Operation Santa Claus

Lawyers' swashbuckling time for charity donations

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 December, 2013, 3:03am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 December, 2013, 2:45pm

"Avast, me hearties!" a law firm's managing partner greeted colleagues in his best buccaneering fashion. It was Clifford Chance's annual charity quiz night and this year the theme was pirates.

All eyes were on managing partner and quizmaster Peter Charlton as he read out the questions - and kept his spyglass handy to catch out the cheats.

"You'd think they'd play by the rules, but they cheat," he said. "They play for pride. Lawyers like to win and non-lawyers like to beat the lawyers. That's why there is so much cheating."

Staff competed in 10 teams of six, with at least one team from each area of the firm. They had to answer over 50 questions - about the sea and oceans, food and drink, jewellery, famous people and symbols. And anyone caught cheating didn't have to walk the plank - they were fined, by two "police officers" collecting cash.

"HK$100 for every offence or less if I have pity on them," Charlton said, adding the fine was based on who they were. "Partners HK$500, tea ladies HK$10."

But Charlton, in his pirate hat, didn't go easy on the contestants - even when they weren't looking up answers on their phones he found a reason to fine them.

That's because all funds raised from the fines and entrance fees went to Operation Santa Claus, a charitable campaign jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK to help the needy.

Quiz organiser and the firm's regional head of corporate social responsibility, Rebecca Roth-Biester, chose this year's theme - and made sure there were plenty of skull and crossbones and nautical decorations to set the mood. The teams did their best to look the part, too - in costumes from "legally blonde" to Mr Incredible.


  • Donate online by credit card at osc.scmp.com
  • Donate at an ATM or at any HSBC branch (account no: 502-676299-001 for SCMP Charities Ltd - Operation Santa Claus)
  • Send a cheque payable to "SCMP Charities Ltd - Operation Santa Claus". Mail it to: Operation Santa Claus, Morning Post Centre, 22 Dai Fat Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, New Territories
  • Donations of HK$100 or more are tax-deductible. If you require a tax receipt, please send the completed donation form and original bank receipt, with your name, address and telephone number, to the previously mentioned address. Please call 2680 8159 or e-mail osc@scmp.com with any inquiries, or visit us online at osc.scmp.com