THE City’s summer season is officially underway, marked by yesterday’s Macmillan Gulls’ Eggs City Luncheon at the Merchant Taylors’ Hall.

The quirky institution serves guests green speckled gulls’ eggs – which are only in season for four weeks of the year – as they get stuck into some serious networking. “It is like Linked In in 3D,” said Max Audley, partner at Olswang.

“Now that so many people in the City spend their time in front of electronic trading screens rather than enjoying liquid lunches, the Gulls’ Eggs lunch reminds people you are alive.”

Mark Thomas from River and Mercantile, Brian Winterflood of Winterflood Securities, and Rathbones investment director Malise Reid Scott were also among the 600 bankers, lawyers, wealth managers and hedge fund traders who ate their way through 3,500 gulls eggs to raise more than £100k for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The event’s founder Mark Cannon Brookes of Smith & Williamson, who chaired the event for 17 years, wouldn’t name the “well-known aristocrat” with a grouse moor in the North of England who originally donated the rare eggs – although he did let slip that said landowner owns large swathes of London.

Meanwhile, current chair Zoe Couper, founder of Couper & Partners, has beenreinvigorating the event by broadening the guest list to include private equity firms and Mayfair hedge funds.

No doubt they will be first in line for the rumoured launch of an additional event near Christmas, to be held on their West End doorstep.

ALSO at the Gulls’ Eggs lunch was Patrick Evershed, investment manager at Hargreave Hale, who declared he will “fight on” in his unfair dismissal lawsuit against New Star, the fund manager founded by John Duffield that was bought by Henderson Global Investors in 2009.

Legal proceedings were suspended for six months, after Evershed (pictured right with former colleague Clare Gore Langton of Rathbones) underwent a triple bypass shortly before Christmas on doctors’ orders.

But Evershed, 70, returned to the office just nine working days after leaving hospital and is now “fighting fit” and determined to win the ongoing dispute, after spending £400,000 in legal costs. “I am totally confident I will win,” he told The Capitalist.

TOM Barnes, the Spreadex trader who has been entertaining his colleagues with his appearances on Countdown, has produced a string of nine-letter words – “urbanised”, “epilators” and “tenancies” – to win his sixth consecutive game and an automatic place in the quarter-final on 30 May.

Add in the fact that Barnes won Monday’s game by the show’s “highest-ever margin of victory”, and his chances of winning a set of Countdown dictionaries in the Grand Final on 3 June are looking very strong indeed.

THERE was no banker bashing when Spurs sponsor Investec took on its clients at a football game at White Hart Lane, as the bank drew 2-2 with the opposition.

Investec’s goal scorers were Graeme Baker and Jon Sawbridge, while Man of the Match was Jay Hockey, an equity dealer from Cazenove Capital, who received his trophy from Spurs players Peter Crouch and Rafael van der Vaart.