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Exclusive: DLA Piper staffer jailed for brutal homophobic attack
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28 February 2017
A man working at DLA Piper has been sent to prison for a vicious homophobic attack.

Faisal Ahmed, who worked in DLA's London office in the reprographics team, was walking drunk through Soho last November when he spotted Sam Martin and his partner Tom Davies holding hands. Ahmed shouted, "you fucking gay boy" at Martin and, when Davies turned and replied, "what?", grabbed Martin by the throat.

Once Martin was released by Ahmed, he began to film the DLA worker on his mobile phone, prompting Ahmed to punch him in the back of the neck, put him in a headlock and pull him to the ground. After the assault the pair followed Ahmed to a pub on Tottenham Court Road and called the police. As he was arrested Ahmed shouted, “I punched him and he fucking deserved it”.

  Ahmed attacks

Ahmed, who claimed that he could not remember the incident, was found guilty of assault and sentenced to ten weeks in prison and two and half months in the community on licence.

DLA used outsourcing company Ricoh to employ Ahmed. Sources told RollOnFriday that Ricoh knew of Ahmed's attack and upcoming prosecution in November, but the company "happily continued to employ him within DLA" and did not inform the firm. A DLA Piper spokeswoman said the firm did not become aware of Ahmed's situation until 25 February. As to whether Ricoh knew a lot earlier, DLA told RollOnFriday it has "begun an investigation with the supplier".

DLA's spokeswoman said, "we are appalled by the behaviour of this individual and it goes without saying this conduct falls well below the standard expected from anyone who works for us, even as a temporary contractor, and we expect our suppliers to uphold the same standards as us". She said, "valuing diversity and having respect for others are key values for the firm and an important part of our culture. We are proud of the work we do for the LGBT community both with our own people and for others through our pro bono work".

Prison takes care of one problem for Ahmed. At the time of his conviction he was advertising on an accommodation website for a couch to sleep on because he didn't have anywhere to live. On his profile he claimed to like, improbably, "people who are open to new experiences and ideas, who do not allow prejudices to dominate their essence". He also needs to update the 'One Amazing Thing I’ve Done' section. Instead of writing, "brutally attack a gay couple on camera", he described the time he rescued an abandoned kitten from the side of a motorway. Heart of gold. .... read more >
The Jones Day Trumpwatch: From partner to mobile phone snitch
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28 February 2017

Oh Don. You didn't think it would be like this. Did you, Don?

When Don McGahn left Jones Day as a partner to become White House Counsel and shoot black pipettes out his mouth at liberal activists, what visions he must have enjoyed.

Did he picture a scene like this, in which attorney Ted Sorensen advises JFK on something staggeringly important like the Cuban Missile Crisis?

Did a modern day version dance through Don's mind? Did he dream of nuclear sugarplums, of himself as Trump's right-tinyhand man? Did he imagine himself straddling the world stage like a colossus, solving global crises with intellectual brio, winning deadly games of brinkmanship with utter authority? 

If so, he must be sorely disappointed, because instead he's masterminding bumfluff like this:

How pathetic. How demoralising. How minor. How telling that the crackdown failed so badly even its existence was leaked. It's feeble sub-Nixonian nonsense. Far from steering world events, Don's a mealy-mouthed prefect for a terrified deputy head. Don is supervising staffers as they check each others' Whatsapps for a text to The Washington Post. Don is a shit bureaucratic version of MacReady from The Thing.

  "I've found a traitor and I'm burning her, Mr President, I'M BURNING MAVE FROM TYPING." 

I think Don might love it, though. I think building the legal framework to square away a besieged narcissist's frenzy of suspicion might be right up Don's alley. Some people thrive off office politics, but no-one loves an internal purge more than authoritarians. Is Don one? The close alignment between Don's preferences and Trump's is undeniable. They're both called Donald. If you need more evidence, this transcript of his interview for the White House job, which has of course also leaked, reveals just how much they have in common:

Donald Trump: Isn't this room amazing.

Don McGahn: It's magnificent.

Trump: It's my favourite bathroom. This toilet is pure gold. It is an antique, an amazing antique, that means it is so old, it is worth so much money. It started a war, they tell me it started the Trojan War.

Steve Bannon: It launched a thousand shits.

Trump: Is that a joke?

[Bannon turns on cable news]. 

: Telly!

[Trump is transfixed. Five hours later, Bannon returns and turns it off]

Trump: The best, oldest toilet. Who are you?

Don: I wanted to tell you about my experience which I think makes me suitable for the position. While I was chief counsel for the National Republican Congressional Committee between 1999 and 2008, it was investigated by the FBI and its treasurer was convicted of embezzlement.

Trump: That's a huge tick. Whiter than white is only good in one sense, if you know what I mean. You know what I mean. Everyone knows I mean, that's why I won the election. A huge win. The biggest ever they tell me. Bad people can't believe it, the win was so big. It's a movement. The fake news is crying about it, whining. I hate whiners, so they keep attacking me, they wont stop, it's disgusting.

Don: I defended Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay when DeLay was indicted for improperly using campaign contributions. I also defended him when he accepted donations from Russian oil tycoons. 

Trump: I have never met Putin or been to Russia. I know about it, because I read. I read more than anyone you know. I read so much when the words go along the bottom of the screen, and I like some of the words, some of them say very nice things about me. I think they are very fair words, but many, many other words attack me and it is so, so sad and bad for the country. The world is laughing at us.

Don: I was initially passed over for a role with the Federal Election Commission because of concerns over my work as an ethics lawyer for Delay.

Trump: I run the most ethical white house in history. It's so ethical they will write books about my ethics. It's - people cannot believe how ethical I am being. They say President Trump, it used to be a mess. We were stealing things, staplers, no-one cared, we had - you know they took computers home, paintings, parts of the walls as souvenirs and I stopped that. On day one, I said leave everything here. From now on we will just add to the White House. Bronze, big paintings, make it much classier. And they said to me, President Trump, we hated it, it was so drab, but now there's brass coming in and gold and the ethics, we are so grateful. And they love the ethics, they tell me we love working for you, we're scared of the ethics, they admit this to me, I'm a nice boss, I'm the nicest boss you ever saw, and they say we are scared of the ethics, and I told them, don't be scared of the ethics we're putting in place at huge expense, you will do very well with me. Am I too lenient with them? Maybe. I'll be lenient to them. They're such great staff, so loyal. I was lenient on Hillary. Too lenient maybe. People say, was that a mistake? Lock her up, they love that I suggested that, which I was right to do, she was convicted by the FBI, the first time that ever happened. If she steps out of line I might have to send her a message. Bang bang. She knows, she knows. She respects me a huge amount. She calls me all the time. She needs me. I don't need her. She is obsessed with me. She won't stop talking about me, I hear -

[Bannon thwacks Trump on the back of the head, stilling him]

Don: When I finally bagged a spot on the FEC courtesy of a nomination by George W Bush, I blocked attempts to reform campaign financing, and actually loosened the rules on spending. Eventually, I resigned.

Trump: I have had enough of red tape. My new rule is that for every new rule that is made by my administration, two rules must be broken.

Don: Before joining Jones Day, I set up my own practice doing a lot of work for the oil billionaire, climate change-denying Koch Brothers.

Trump: Many people say I am a much better billionaire than them, and there are two of them, there's only one of me but two of them, and I'm still better apparently. They are very shy. Shy billionaires. I'd be shy too if I was called Koch. They're lovely guys though, huge fans. Brothers. Close brothers. Very close. Some people say too close. I don't know about that. They're big fans.

Don: Some of your closest advisers are failed comedians, like battered waxwork Kellyanne Conway and grave robber's assistant Stephen Miller. I too am a wannabe entertainer, wearing my hair long and playing in an 80s cover band. I own 30 guitars. I do it to feed an internalised myth that I am not what I am, which is a composite of the presenters of Top Gear who can degrade humanity with his drafting.

Trump: I don't have losers in my team, some of them did try entertaining and they couldn't do it like me, but they did new things and they were very, very successful with them and in fact Steve Bannon, my close adviser Steve Bannon, he made a lot of money out of Seinfeld so when people say, oh, Bannon is a Nazi, the truth is he loves those people, one at least.

Don: I worked at Patton Boggs before moving as a partner to Jones Day's Washington office in 2014.

Trump: I like those Jones Day guys, they love me so much, very brainy, and I don't say this about lawyers much, but I do like them. I can do without lawyers in a lot of ways, but you can't kill them. You can kill some of them. I could kill all of them. That would get me even more votes, right? Shall I kill them all? I'll think about it. But I couldn't kill Jones Day lawyers. I could but I won't. They are such great lawyers, so supportive. Ok, I will let you have this amazing, amazing job.

Don: I would love the job. I want to ride the Trump Train to the top of Donald Mountain and I am just so happy right now I could cry.

Trump: You are a very stupid idiot, a lot of top people are wanting to have this job, but you are just too dumb and in fact I turned you down. You are a failed lawyer. Dumb!

Don: But President Trump I do want the job! Desperately. Oh God, I just peed my pants.

Bannon: Don't worry, the lies of the liberal media have convinced a lot of candidates to reject jobs with President Trump and it's got to him. He'll realise you accepted in a few seconds, sieg heil.

Don: President Trump what are you...why are you...lying on the floor.

Trump: Just let me...don't move...let me slide...just underneath, between your legs...on the floor. This is a real marble floor, I bought this floor from Europe, it cost millions of dollars, it was Caesar's floor. 

Bannon: Don't move, Don.

Don: What are you doing? President Trump, the pee, it will-

Trump: Let it fall. We are bound now, you and I. 

Don: [Sobbing] I am straddling world events like a colossus. 
.... read more >
The Not 100 list: Part 2
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24 February 2017

Posters on the discussion board have identified the cream of the crop of the top of the best of the nowest lawyers of the moment. Yes, with apologies to The Lawyer's Hot 100, it's part 2 of 2 of the Not 100 list.

Part 1 is here.

.... read more >
ULaw wins weak boast of the week
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23 February 2017

And the Bestly Worded Self-Appraisal Award goes to...

Well done Peter, time for your milk and a nap. .... read more >
Jones Day partner deals sick burn to anti-Trump journalist
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23 February 2017

RollOnFriday has already covered the extraordinary flow of Jones Day lawyers into the Trump administration, with 12 partners deciding, like a boil lancing itself, to leave the firm and join the sulky egobeast in his fight against the enemies of white supremacy, climate change and kleptocracy. 

But evidence suggests the JD swamp is far from drained.

Before Christmas anti-Trump online magazine Slate published a critical history of the electoral college, which has come under scrutiny for the way in which it disproportionately benefits the Republican party. But slagging it off as an "instrument of white supremacy - and sexism" did not sit well with John A Vogt. John A Vogt may sound like Clockwork Orange slang for nicking a car or Norfolk slang for pleasuring a ferret, but it is actually the name of a Jones Day partner. John A Vogt was so annoyed at seeing the electoral college portrayed negatively that he responded to the article's author by email. Vogt's erudite riposte, tweeted by the author and spotted by Above the Law, demonstrated a grasp of cool critical reasoning which would do Trump proud. If he's after a 13th man from his favourite firm, look no further:

Happily, this is a level of articulation at which RollOnFriday can compete.

.... read more >
Exclusive: BLP retains just 55% of trainees
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20 February 2017
Berwin Leighton Paisner is retaining just 11 out of 20 trainees this March.

Only 55% of the trainees in its spring 2015 cohort are joining the firm as newly-qualified solicitors. One left midway through the training contract to become a teacher. The disappointing score places the firm at the bottom of the table so far. 

While it's surprising that a firm of BLP's considerable stature should perform poorly, it has form. In fact, it has not posted a decent retention rate since 2014, when both its spring and autumn intake sizes were smaller than usual - 18 rather than 20+.

In the last five intakes BLP has failed to retain more than 71% of trainees, and the rate has now fallen over three consecutive intakes, from 70% to 65% to 55%. The stats suggest that it has not been adequately forecasting what its NQ requirements will be two years down the pipe. Whatever the cause, it's unfortunate that the firm is still struggling to get it right. 

Anthony Lennox, BLP partner and Training Principal, told RollOnFriday, “We’d like to have been announcing a higher proportion of qualifiers. However, our NQs will continue to be a huge asset to our Firm, across the teams that they will shortly qualifying into. Our qualifiers have shown an exemplary ability and attitude during their training contract, embodying BLP’s culture of personal client service. We look forward to helping them develop their careers at our Firm in the coming years”. .... read more >
Exclusive: Slaughter and May appoints first ever lateral partner in London
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17 February 2017

Slaughter and May has appointed its first ever lateral partner in London

An email has gone round the firm this morning informing staff that the Magic Circle firm has appointed Daniel Shaffer to its Pension & Employment Group. Shaffer leaves his role as Head of Pensions at Herbert Smith Freehills.


It marks a huge departure from Slaughters' standard operating procedure. It only made its first ever lateral partner hire three years ago, in Hong Kong. .... read more >
Exclusive: Celebrity law student's sex tape leaks
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17 February 2017
A sex tape featuring a celebrity law student has leaked online.

RollOnFriday is not identifying the wannabe lawyer, because it would be cruel to hobble his legal career before it has even started, particularly with footage of the young man tugging away for Britain. 

In the Skype call video, Mr X can be seen collapsing onto his pleather couch and pulling off his top to reveal a sculpted body 100% more pleasant than fellow celebrity onanist Leslie Grantham's. And then off come the trousers. 12 minutes later, he's ready for his seminar on torts.

    The next Supreme Court Justice

Meanwhile, in Jerry Springer news, an inside source has revealed the results of a paternity test which became necessary when two lawyers married to other people conducted a year-long affair and then discovered she was pregnant. Who was the dad, husband or boss? An insider said, "if your piece on 'badsexy/paternity' testy behaviour refers to [name of partner redacted], and his associate, [name redacted], then the paternity test proved that the child was [the partner]'s".

Staff in the department "all had a very uncomfortable time" while "they were sneaking in and out at lunch times for a quick shag and we weren't supposed to notice". Now that the less-than-happy news is out, "we are all supposed to think it is all OK but it really isn't".

Hooray for the febrile office atmosphere of your average law firm. Winky Wankerson will fit right in. .... read more >
The Not 100 2017: Revealed
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15 February 2017

Welcome to the Not 100, the definitive list of the UK's topish lawyers.

In-house, in private practice and in the Bar, these men and women have made a huge impression on the legal profession, or sponsored these awards. From Managing Partners who have grown their firm to the outer limits whilst pushing huge risks five years down the line, to wildly self-promoting associates who will never be heard from again, if they're Not - they're in the 100. And if they're not Not they're not. In it.

Thanks to posters from  the Board including Shami's Chakra botti, Hey there! I am using WhatsCYP, in the ningwangnong, TDB, Heffalump, Trigger Warning, daddycam, Daydort, Mr Nonsekwita, Yes! we have no bananas, Buzz, The Real Anna, Malonie, Nexis, Lears Fool, rural_lawyer and Handle for compiling the profiles of these illustrious figures. 

Part two of two next week. .... read more >
Meet Mr Kellyanne Conway, Wachtell partner
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10 February 2017

When historians tackle the Trumpian Age, how will they portray Kellyanne Conway? 

As Trump's favoured spinner, who spent her days defending the Idwig's spoutings.

As a sleep-deprived factotum, condemned to be ready 24/7 with slap and a nice frock and a batshit defence whenever her boss tapped out an incensed 3am truth rocket blasting Saturday Night Live.

As a strategic genius who realised that justifying the unjustifiable required her to fight Trump's fires by setting herself aflame.

As the person who most eerily resembles a South Park cartoon character. 

As a wildly incorrect humanoid babelfish who achieved infamy by offering "alternative facts", right up until the bombs fell, which she said were just big drops of explodey rain.

As a woman who, on television, appeared to bleed from the eyes, more and more as the weeks rolled by, until she resembled a melting miracle statue, waterfalls of blood pouring down her face, terrifying viewers as she insisted that President Trump's approval ratings were not the lowest but in fact the highest of any President in the history of the Republic, twin jets of blood arcing across the screen, until her television appearances became logistically impossible because cameramen were flailing in a pool of blood in the studio and Conway was bobbing around, spinning faster and faster as the blood shooting from her eyes propelled her in circles, which made it difficult to pick up sound.

They will portray her as all of these things, but also, one hopes, as a wife and mother.

And the curious historian should wonder, who would marry such a dedicated agent of dangerous fiction? And by the way, who is that manspreader in ill-fitting jeans? The answer to both is a US lawyer, and aside from the outfit he is an excellent match.

George T Conway III is a partner at US firm Wachtell. A litigation lawyer, in 1995 he achieved a great victory acting for cigarette company Philip Morris when it brought a defamation claim against ABC News. ABC settled, paying costs of over $2.5m and agreeing to apologise twice on air for claiming that the tobacco manufacturer manipulated nicotine levels to addict smokers. Which, like the chunks of tarry lung Philip Morris' customers cough up, must have stuck in the craw.

Mr Conway is a member of a group of conservative lawyers called the Federalist Society, and was part of a second, secretive group of conservative lawyers who fought to bring down Bill Clinton in the 1990s with a series of lawsuits. The New York Times reported that Mr Conway was particularly clandestine, keeping his name off the suits to avoid getting into trouble at Wachtell, where "influential Democrats" like Bernard W. Nussbaum, a former White House counsel, are also partners. But he also does pro bono work, albeit of a particularly conservative bent. His profile on the Wachtell website boasts that Mr Conway successfully fought to deny prisoners in New York State jails the right to vote on behalf of victims of crime.

So hopefully historians will record that Conway, who is also a lawyer, was not just a narcissist's fizzing liebot, but one half of a legal power couple. And if the Trumpocalypse leaves only fragments of this world and one of them is this photo, historians will also conclude that they were royal:  

.... read more >

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