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Blog Name: Jamie Hamilton @ RoF

White & Case forced through Daily Mail mangle
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16 August 2017

Sterling work from the Daily Mail today, which has published an article taken from the Evening Standard and still manages to get everything wrong.

First up, Norton Rose Fulbright.

Perhaps Norton Rose Fulbright should have another 'f'. It should be 'full'. Because what's a 'ful'? You've got a nor, a ton, a rose and a bright, so clearly the firm was intending for every syllable to comprise a complete word. 

Not that RollOnFriday is at all perect, DM reporter, but you're also missing an 'and' in there. 

Next, it's that famous UAE institution, White & Case.

What the hell, let's screw up a couple of universities. The most famous ones please.

As RoF's media tipster noted, it's otherwise a nice story about leaving law for a different life. Probably safest to get it from the Standard though.

NB this was not written by the DM's other reporter on the law beat, who confused a lawyer with his client and wrote a whole piece on a solicitor with a full-face tattoo.
.... read more >
Firm breaks RoF's heart with plea for more rotten chicken cases
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16 August 2017

In a heartbreaking gambit to drum up business, an East Midlands firm has written about a family's unpleasant encounter with some poorly-cooked chicken.

Nelsons Solicitors' article, Clifton Mum Claiming Compensation Over Undercooked Chicken Upset, burrows deep - way deep, deeper than any firm has ever burrowed before - into how two people got the runs from a chicken wing with a yellow blister on it.

  "Oh boy, your whole life you work and you slave and scrimp and you steal just enough to get a sweet, sweet lick of that scabby chicken. Where’s Nelsons' lick, doesn’t old Nelsons get a lick?"

It is tasteless for firms to leverage a tragedy to flog their services, but this is not that. The only victims of this disaster were a woman, her grandad and their toilet. Vegans would argue that the feathery little clucker who turned them into a pair of burst bum gravy hydrants was also a victim, but she had her revenge.

Nelsons successfully shopped its sad story to local newspapers who reproduced it in full because it is free content. And now RollOnFriday will do the same, because RollOnFriday will always publicise a bird-based prayer-advert as over-extended as this. 


Chuck in the detail that Nelsons is fighting this travesty and that single paragraph is all that needs to be said on the matter. Or not.

Heron Foods advertises its products as "top quality - lowest prices". There is an argument that anyone purchasing bargain basement meat should expect a 50/50 chance of dinner ending up with the table overturned, the air hazy with gas, the walls spackled with chicken and the guests trying to smash the windows with chairs as their orifices violently expel top quality - lowest price food. Those odds are fair. A company charging 20p for 5kg of chicken shouldn't have to be diligent about checking the oven.

Three days until they could finish that packet of chicken wings. The torture. Sitting right there.

...yes, other sufferers must get in touch with Nelsons to provide "vital witness evidence". Ideally come with a pic of your gran barfing up a thigh. And, while you're here, have you...considered making a claim using Nelsons? We're the UK's premier undercooked chicken claims firm!

  "You found a nipple on your rasher? Oh boy, Nelsons is moving up to the big time!"

Don't lay it on too thick, they'll think you're exager-

Yes, Nelsons reveals that auntie was tasked with bringing lunch and picked the outrageously cheap option. And then "didn't fancy any" herself. Too right she didn't. She knew it was 85p from the orange sticker shelf. Good enough for dad and her niece, though. She was full anyway, scarfed down a Waitrose sandwich in the car before she came in. Then, after being informed that the chicken was covered in YELLOW BLISTERS, grandad "said his tasted fine" and polished off the rest. Of course he did. He's seen much worse, once ate a dog with the plague. Mild headache, that was it. Young people don't know they're born. In his day, you'd be lucky if you got any chicken with your dinner blister. In fact a blistery chicken was a luxury. He worked for a year to buy a blistery chicken for his wedding day. No-one had seen a chicken before. They ate it raw. Took bites out of it as it ran around the church. The vicar asked to keep the skeleton. 

Yes. He probably would have shat a lung. God, think of the compensation if he had. If only he'd eaten some of that bad chicken. I mean, "thank goodness he didn't have any of the chicken".

Bent double by a Turkey Drummer? Barking poison in the street thanks to a rancid pork loin? Go on, give old Nelsons a lick, won't you? .... read more >
Glimpse inside RollOnFriday
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10 August 2017

After speaking to a spokeswoman for a firm advertising training contracts for a salary of £10,000, I received a call from someone calling herself "Jess". She said she handled reputation management on behalf of the firm. Because it was an odd call, here is the transcript (skipping introductions).

Jess: Isn't it time someone wrote a review about you?

JH: Sorry, you're suggesting that someone write a review of RollOnFriday?

Jess: No, I'm suggesting that because of your negligence and because of the inaccurate information that you are publishing it would be just for somebody to write a review about your business online.

JH [sighs]: I'm not sure what the point of this conversation is, but I mean, you can. I'd dispute that we're writing anything negligent or inaccurate.

Jess: It is inaccurate because it's a clerical error.

JH: That's what the firm's told us, but it doesn't appear to be. There are adverts that were put up in 2016 and 2015 that also advertise a £10,000 salary.

Jess: Wouldn't that suggest, then, that it's an ad that's just repeated and obviously the error is also repeated because it's just a repost of the ad. Doesn't that make sense?

JH: Not really. I'm very suspicious of the suggestion that an advert can be posted at least three years in a row containing the same error without someone at the firm realising that it's advertising an incorrect detail.

Jess: Jamie, is this your company? RollOnFriday? Or do you work for the company?

JH: I work for the company.

Jess: You work for the company. Ok, and how long have you been working there for?

JH: Four years?

Jess: Oh, ok, so you write gossip, for a living, for four years?

JH: Well, I mean-

Jess: Grand! Gosh, you're punching.

JH: Well, I was a lawyer for-

Jess [laughing]: You WERE a lawyer! Wow, what happened to that career? You went from being a solicitor to writing gossip. What happened Jamie?

JH: I left.

Jess: You left! You obviously weren't very good at it then. Ok, yeah, stick to the day job, please. You failed miserably with law. Ok, [laughing] we will be suing you.

JH: Sorry?

[Jess hangs up. JH weeps. Can he and Jess ever make it work?]
.... read more >
All shall be welcome in the house of the Lord
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10 August 2017

"Dear RollOnFriday, 

I was worshipping on Sunday when I noticed this servant of mammon resting cheekily on a pew. I wonder if any other readers have spotted similar desecrations?

A Men"

How about it, readers? Have you spotted a Withers umbrella in a mosque? Or a DLA mousemat in a synagogue? Email for a chance to win forgiveness.

(NB the pen must be loved - it predates Herbies' name change.) .... read more >
"I've been waiting all day for her to respond"
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07 August 2017

The perils of being a personal injury lawyer on Tinder. Ali's suitor said he's been "waiting all day" for her to respond.

(via reddit)

.... read more >
Macfarlanes partner publishes amusing book
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02 August 2017

A tip of the hat this week to Geoff Steward, a litigation partner at Macfarlanes, who wrote a book on his sabbatical.

This in itself is hardly unusual. RoF gets contacted pretty much every week by agents representing lawyers who have used their copywriting skills to more useful effect than drafting version 26 of a sideletter. But not many of them are partners at City firms, fewer manage to get their books published by Biteback publishing (most famous for inflicting Lord Ashcroft’s pig fuckery fest “Call Me Dave” on an undeserving public) and fewer still send in a friendly and self-deprecating email explaining it:
"As someone with whom I have worked over the years, I hope you don't mind me troubling you with an announcement about a book I have written which may (or may not) be of interest to you.  I should stress from the outset that it is not about the law; nor is it self-published!
Last summer I took a three month sabbatical.  The word "sabbatical" originates from the Hebrew "Shabbat" meaning literally "a ceasing".  Its modern day meaning is "an extended absence in the career of an individual in order to achieve something".  Wikipedia goes a bit further and instructs that a true sabbatical taker should write a book or travel extensively.  Not wanting to disappoint Wikipedia, I decided to do both.
To my surprise, I found a publisher who wanted to publish the book and the above link gives you more detail.  The book is released on 15th August and is available now for pre-order from Biteback or on amazon.  I am told that it will be in Waterstones as well.  It is being released in the US in April 2018 [and] has been described by The Telegraph as "light-hearted and very, very funny".
...For the avoidance of doubt, I haven't given up the day job."

This morning a preview copy arrived in the post at RoF Towers, accompanied by a hand written note from Charlie Martin, the firm’s Senior Partner, saying that he knows we will love it. So all in all there’s probably enough cause to give it a bit of puff and say that you can buy your copy here:
We haven't had an opportunity to read In Search of Nice Americans yet, but according to the blurb, "With his blend of waspish wit and mischievous charm, Steward seeks out normal Americans, such as Joe le Taxi, the former NYPD officer who was one of the first on the scene at the Twin Towers; Pam and Bob, a paranoid psychiatrist and a failed actor who once saw the back of Meryl Streep’s head; and Sheriff Duke of Calhoun County, South Carolina, who reintroduces Steward to the long (and armed) arm of the law". All "without his trusty PA and life support, the unflappable Charmaine, for whom contentment lies in Jesus Christ and custard creams".

£9:99 for an ebook or £12:99 for a dead tree. Bargain.
.... read more >
Ban this sick filth: Kingsley Napley's obscene Brexit crossword (possibly NSFW)
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19 July 2017

I love a good, clean word puzzle, who doesn't, and so I was understandably delighted when Kingsley Napley unveiled its Brexit-themed crossword promising no "cross words" (nice) and that it "won't offend".

How wrong I was. It quickly became apparent that this was an absolutely filthy puzzle.

Kingsley Napley has not responded, with champagne or otherwise. .... read more >
Update: Clifford Chance partner has sense of humour
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19 July 2017

Couldn't not publish this, really.

Update: Sadly, after this blog was published things escalated.

.... read more >
HFW advised on new logo by Saatchi
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14 July 2017

MARCUS BOWMAN, managing partner of HFW, paces a meeting room in the firm's London office.

Suddenly, an axe smashes through the meeting room door. Poking through the hole appears the snarling face of none other than adman extraordinaire and part-time neck-wrangler CHUCK SAATCHI, the marketing legend who rescued Dentons and fieldfisher and Herbert Smith Freehills at vast expense.


BOWMAN: Hell's bells, what are you doing?

SAATCHI: Making an entrance, libtard. What are you doing?


SAATCHI: Wetting yourself, that is what.

Saatchi retracts his head, cutting his neck badly on the splintered wood, and enters the room. 

BOWMAN: As you know we've just rebranded Holman Fenwick Willan as HFW. Where's our new logo? It's overdue.

SAATCHI: Suck it you muppet.

BOWMAN: You can't talk to me like that.

SAATCHI: Poor snowflake, are you scared of my lit ass?

BOWMAN: I don't...we just want the logo.

SAATCHI: Here you go.

BOWMAN: That's the BHS logo.

SAATCHI: It has become available.

BOWMAN: But we're called HFW.

SAATCHI: How quickly can you change it to BHS? I can guarantee that BHS has greater brand penetration with women over 65.

BOWMAN: BHS sells clothes and went bankrupt.

SAATCHI: Come on man. Solutions not pollutions.

BOWMAN: You'd better have something else.


BOWMAN: That's a sandwich.

SAATCHI: EAT is unable to compete with Pret because it does not have the money to lease more space for on-site kitchens. Which means it cannot promote its food as made fresh on-site. 


SAATCHI: A little birdy told me that if you play your cards right, EAT would be prepared to share its brand with you in exchange for a large cash injection.

BOWMAN: You've lost it mate.


BOWMAN: You're also bleeding badly from the neck. Do you want me to call an ambulance?

SAATCHI: Do not dare. My blood likes to take in the air. Listen to what I am saying. Instead of making money from one thing - law - you could be making money from two things - law and sandwiches. And hot soups. Three things. Hello? It is a no-brainer.

BOWMAN. It certainly is. Listen, we are not renaming HFW as EAT or anything else.

SAATCHI: Fine. Here.

BOWMAN: That's H&M's logo.


BOWMAN: H&M. It's a clothing label. That's its logo. 

SAATCHI: Do you like it? 

BOWMAN: It doesn't matter if I like it. It's for a different business that, like BHS, sells clothes. 

SAATCHI: What if it was not their logo. 

BOWMAN: Well it is, and it has different letters to HFW. It's two thirds wrong.

SAATCHI: An ampersand is not a letter, so in fact it has only got one letter different to HFW. Cuck.

BOWMAN: Are you high?

SAATCHI: What if I told you I was joking, and also, yes? 

BOWMAN: I'd be relieved and annoyed.

SAATCHI: Well relax and get angry, because I WAS joking! I am not proposing you use the H&M logo.

BOWMAN: Thank goodness.

SAATCHI: I am proposing we rip it off!

BOWMAN: No way, that is very dodgy.

In a fit of rage Saatchi seizes up his axe and beheads a potplant. He lurches towards Bowman with his weapon, his face is beaded with sweat, his neck squirting blood. He has gone quite pale and is frothing at the mouth.

BOWMAN: I love it!

SAATCHI: Do you? Do you really? You said it was dodgy.

BOWMAN (breaking down): Please, just tell me what you want me to want.

SAATCHI: Will you be satisfied if I change the colour, like this?

BOWMAN: Yes! Yes. Perfect.


BOWMAN: It's...trendy?


BOWMAN: Unstuffy! Down with the kids. Looks like a logo for an upstart estate agent which thinks it's a disruptor.

SAATCHI (lowering the axe): Correct. It is woke. That colour change will cost you an extra 50p, though.

BOWMAN: No problem, absolutely.

SAATCHI: Where 'p' stands for pounds! No backsies!

Cackling wildly, Saatchi knocks Bowman to the ground and straddles his chest. He rifles through Bowman's pockets until he finds the terrified partner's wallet. Plucking out £50, he also removes Bowman's driving licence. Saatchi stares deep into Bowman's eyes.

SAATCHI: What do you want to be?

BOWMAN: W...what?

SAATCHI: What would you be? If you could be anything in the world?

BOWMAN: The...the UK's leading shipping firm?

SAATCHI: I have your licence. I know who you are. I know where you live. I am keeping your licence, and I am going to check on you, mister Marcus Bowman. In three months, and then six months, and then a year, and if you are not the leading shipping firm or on your way to it, you will be seeing me again.

BOWMAN (eyes closed, whispering): Fuuudge.

SAATCHI: Marcus Bowman, your dinner is going to taste better than any meal you've ever eaten, and tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of your life.

Wincing, Saatchi rises. He staggers out the door, weakened by massive blood loss from his neck wounds.

BOWMAN: I'm calling the police!

SAATCHI: It's LORD Saatchi! 

Saatchi weaves across the car park to the disabled bay where he has parked his hoverboard. His attempt to mount it goes poorly and he ends up with a photography column in the Evening Standard. The HFW launch is a huge success.
.... read more >
Exclusive: BLM managing partner leaves firm with no replacement in place
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14 July 2017

BLM's new managing partner has left the firm, with no replacement in place.

Gary Allison assumed the role on 1 December 2016 for a three year term when he took over from longtime MP Andrew Relton. Senior partner Mike Brown said at the time that Allison "has all the experience and credentials to make a real difference in the months and years ahead”. 

But it's turned out to be just months. Eight of them. Sources told RollOnFriday that the only evidence of Allison's departure has been the quiet removal of his profile from BLM's website. There has been no announcement of his departure or confirmation of his replacement. When approached by RollOnFriday, a spokeswoman for BLM said, “Gary Allison has decided to retire from BLM to pursue other interests. Gary would like to thank his colleagues for the last 23 years’ of support and wishes BLM all the success in the future”. Asked for the identity of the new MP, she said "we shall be announcing this next week to the firm".

If you're thinking it sounds unusual for a firm to have no new managing partner in place when the old one retires, it is.

  "Hello BLM, Otto is now flying the firm." 

One source asked, "What's going on at BLM?" and referred to "plummeting profits and poor staff survey results". The firm was certainly thrashed by its staff in the RollOnFriday Firm of the Year 2017 survey. One lawyer said, "management's vision to 'future proof' us, aka Project Graphene, is so sexed up with management speak that it is totally unfathomable". 
After "losing AXA, the MOD, and half the Southampton office", said another, "Mike Brown reminds me of that dog in the meme surrounded by fire saying 'this is fine'". Staff told the survey that morale was "at an all time low" predominantly due to the "diabolical" management's "ridiculous goal of being 'leading global risk and insurance business by 2020'". They said the ambitious vision was "undermined by 'Where's Brown Been?'", which is a "monthly map showing him travelling, by jet, from Manchester to Liverpool". In June, as revealed on RollOnFriday, the firm attracted even more criticism from its staff for a mass axing of secretaries. .... read more >

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