IT WAS “hangover central” in the City yesterday, said one mole, thanks to some enthusiastic networking at the City A.M. awards that continued into the early hours of Thursday morning in the basement nightclub in the Grange Hotel at St Paul’s.

However, the retirement party for Linklaters senior partner David Cheyne on the same evening was a more sedate affair, with elder statesmen such as Simon Mackenzie-Smith from Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Lord Rothschild, chairman of RIT Capital Partners; and trade adviser Lord Brittan calling it a night at a respectable 11.30pm.

Cheyne will leave big shoes to fill, says his successor Robert Elliott, who asked the 100 Linklaters partners and clients invited to the Natural History Museum farewell to raise a toast to the M&A lawyer described as “one of the last of the City’s corporate legends”.

From there it was over to Centrica chairman Sir Roger Carr, who presented Cheyne with his City A.M. award for Lawyer of the Year in absentia, before a few words from the man himself. Looking back on his long career at Linklaters, Cheyne reflected he had been loyal to the firm for 39 years since joining Linklaters & Paines in 1972.

But this isn’t the last the City will see of him, Cheyne added as a parting shot, reminding banking associates such as Morgan Stanley dealmaker Simon Robey he is still very much available for consultancy and advisory work when needed…

DLA PIPER partner Miriam González Durántez hit the front pages yesterday in her role as political wife, photographed in a party-correct yellow Topshop dress as she accompanied husband Nick Clegg to the last day of the Lib Dem conference.

What the papers didn’t say, however, was that earlier that day Durántez had joined charity campaigner Sarah Brown, designer Anya Hindmarch and Karren Brady, vice-chairman of West Ham FC, on the judging panel to draw up the shortlist for the awards that recognise the most impressive women working in business.

The high-fliers Durántez and her fellow high-achievers chose to make the shortlist for Red magazine’s Red Hot Women awards will be revealed exclusively in The Capitalist on 4 October. So watch this space for the creative, internet, fashion, start-up and pioneer contenders who will go head to head at this year’s awards on 23 November…

MEANWHILE, The Capitalist caught up with Keith Breslauer (right), the chief executive of private equity firm Patron Capital, ten minutes after he landed back in the country after completing a “brutal” climb up the world’s most famous granite rock face.

“Imagine climbing up the Gherkin for a three-and-a-half days,” said Breslauer on his 900 metre vertical ascent of El Capitan in California’s Yosemite national park.

Some of the teams that started the climb at the same time as Breslauer had to turn back, but the distressed real estate specialist conquered The Nose route to reach the top at 3.30pm on Monday, raising £30,000 for disabled Royal Marines in the process.

BUT Breslauer isn’t the only City name raising money for military causes – John Clougherty, the chief executive of Aviva Investors UK Fund Services, entertained guests at Wednesday’s Heroes At The Tower event as a sponsor of the fundraiser.

Following an introduction by General The Lord Dannatt, Aviva’s guests at the Tower of London watched a beating retreat by the Band of the Royal Marines and a special performance by the main cast of The Phantom of the Opera.

The party also took in a private viewing of the Crown Jewels, the White Tower, the Chapel Royal of St Peter Ad Vincula and the Ceremony of the Keys, before putting their money to work in the charity auction that raised £175,000 on the night.

ALSO on Aviva, watch out for next week’s promotion in City A.M. to give five readers the chance to win a professional makeover and photoshoot by fashion photographer Jillian Edelstein as part of its “You Are the Big Picture” campaign.

The photos will be taken on Tuesday 11 October and the images projected on to the Lyttelton Theatre later that evening. To find out more about the Big Picture campaign, see www.facebook.com/aviva