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Blogs

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Blog Name: Jamie Hamilton @ RoF

How not to win clients, as demonstrated by a builder
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0
15 June 2017

I'm going through the rigmarole of getting builders to quote for some work. One of them is called Pete and Pete asked me to send him photos of the property via WhatsApp. I did and now my wife won't let us use Pete.



I'm not embedding Pete's video nasty or linking to it because it depicts a real-life gun death and it is freaking brutal. At 10 at night it did cross my mind that he was obliquely threatening me with murder, but I couldn't see what I could have done to offend him other than have a messy cellar, which never warrants execution. Luckily his explanation is as watertight as another builder will make my basement, otherwise I would have to conclude that he is a sicko who accidentally sent me footage of a killing intended for his weird pals. (Incidentally, I have friends who are in a WhatsApp group with a man who sends them family photos interspersed with clips of ISIS beheadings and hard core pornography. Not sure if he's also a builder). Anyway, the tip is: don't send snuff movies to potential clients. They will hardly ever like it.

.... read more >
Exclusive: BPP Dean Peter Crisp steps down
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1
09 June 2017
The Dean and CEO of BPP University is leaving.

RollOnFriday has learned that Peter Crisp announced to staff yesterday that he was stepping down. His last day will be next Friday. 

It follows the departure in March of BPP's Vice Chancellor Carl Lygo, and means that within the last 18 months, BPP has lost its CFO, CEO, COO and Dean. In February, BPP's owner Apollo Education Group was sold for $1.1 billion to a private equity consortium.

    2/1 he's off to be PM 

Crisp, a qualified barrister and culture vulture, joined BPP in 1997. He is widely credited with building the law school into a dominant force in legal education. Under his tenure it became the major law firms' favourite, and dozens sent their future trainees through BPP's GDL and LPC. In fact he pretty much is BPP. But not any longer. It could be the end of the university as a key player in the law. Read more on Friday. .... read more >
Exclusive: Legal recruiter in "vile" fat-shaming radio appearance
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0
09 June 2017

A legal recruiter has drawn criticism after boasting on talkSPORT radio how he was paid to achieve intimacy with an overweight girl at a party.

Jed Watson, aka Laddington Bear, phoned in to the Andy Goldstein Sports Bar show on Wednesday in response to a request for stories about love. After the show an "unhappy" listener complained to RollOnFriday that a "vile legal recruiter seems to find this funny and acceptable". Here's a transcript of Watson's heartwarming anecdote so you can judge for yourself.

Andy Goldstein: Let's go to Jed, anyone called Jed's going to have a great story. Jed, good morning.
Jed Watson: Hi, how you doing, alright?
AG: Yeah, good. What do you do for a living Jed?
JW: I'm a recruiter, legal recruiter.
AG: Legal, so you would hire, like, lawyers, solicitors.
JW: Yep, solicitors, barristers.
AG: Alright, how much does a good barrister earn a year?
JW: Probably about £150k?
[Radio show sidekick Jason Cundy makes snoring sounds]
AG: That's a bit harsh. Ok Jed, tell us your story.
JW: Right, so I was at a party, a friend's brother's 30th. All of his mates were there. I was only about 19 at the time. And they're all going, "Ah there's a really big bird coming over, you should definitely crack on when she gets here".
AG: A large lady, you mean, Jed?
JW: Yeah, large lady, sorry, excuse me, excuse me.
JC: Sturdy.
AG: Unless you mean the big creature from Sesame Street.
JW: Nah nah, it was definitely a big girl.
JC: Sturdy, sturdy.
AG: Sturdy on her feet.
JC: Difficult to push over.
JW: Planted to the floor.
[Laughter]
JW: So I'm anxiously waiting for her to arrive, a few beers down. I turn round -
AG: Hold on, sorry, Jed, sorry. Why? Is that your type?
JW: Nah, nah, I was getting a bit of money for it. I didn't think I could say on the radio.
AG: What, all your mates put money in?
JW: Yeah, all of us, a whip round.
JC: Hey, Jed. Jed. Jed. Honestly mate...
AG: How much was in the pot?
JC: The morals of an alley-
AG: How much was it for?
JW: Probably about a oner, nothing major.
JC: Fair enough.
AG: Hundred pound.
JW: So I turn round, said large female walks through the front door and I turn round to the group of lads and go, "Is that the big bird i'm meant to be cracking on with?" And one of the lads turns round and goes, "No, that's my fiancee".
[Laughter]
AG: Oh Jed!
JL: What a story, that is-
AG: Hold on, and how did you get on with said large lady?
JL: Said large lady never turned up.
AG: So you didn't get your money?
JL: Nah, I didn't get my money, I didn't get nothing, just left standing around with a bloke who absolutely hated me.
[Laughter]
AG: Jed. Jed?
[Sound of phone in pocket, because Jed has forgotten to hang up]
AG: He thinks we're finished with him.
[Call ends]
JC: Yeah, I mean-
AG: You can't do that, it's vile. A vile, vile man.
JC: Yeah, you don't do that.
AG: Vile man, vile man.

    Laaaads, including Watson, on tour. 

Watson, who is head of paralegal recruitment at a large legal recruitment agency, was less chatty when RollOnFriday called. He said he had "Nothing to say really. No comment". He is now expected to make a fortune placing DLA Piper's Very Hungry Banterpillar once they inevitably hit it off.

Enjoy a flashback to the era of Zoo, Nuts and Loaded here at the 55 minute mark. .... read more >
Furious puritan dobs in boozy, flirty associate
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-3
08 June 2017

Here at RollOnFriday we crave your tips, they are our lifeblood and we love every source dearly. 

Furious insider, we love you too (we're certainly impressed by the celestial scale of your wrath) and your font size escalation game is on point. That being said, if drinking and flirting were a scandal RollOnFriday would have 5,000 stories to post every week. Nonetheless your single-minded anger is impressive/scary, so we're printing your scuttlebutt - just with the names removed.



Redacted person: someone out there really, really doesn't like you. .... read more >
PI lawyers christen themselves "Agents of Good"
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-1
01 June 2017

It's all well and good and, indeed, important and delicious and wonderful, to occasionally poke fun at personal injury lawyers. But when an uninsured driver trips on uneven council paving and knocks you off a faulty ladder, you will see them for what they really are: everyday heroes.

That's the opinion of this shower in Canada, anyway. Paul writes, "this firm was opposite the Prime Gelato ice cream parlour I was in, in Thunder Bay, Ontario (their berry crumble flavour was excellent)".



They're not in it for money, ok? It's a vision to help those in need. So hey, "Let's have coffee". No. No. Let's not. Let's rather climb into that whimsical canoe with a goose a moose and a bear and try to navigate a lake, only for the moose to immediately drops its oar because it's a moose, it can't paddle, and thrash in roll-eyed terror as the bear slashes the goose into wet chunks, its goose screams dying on its goose megaphone, the boat rocking wildly now and the moose falling in, the bear lazily popping off our head with a twist of its paws and flopping into the water and snaking after the moose and shaking the moose to death in its jaws, and swimming to the shore and maiming a Sunday fisherman who while recovering in hospital from quite serious leg wounds wonders who the hell was responsible for that, anyway, and shouldn't they pay up, and as if by magic a nice lady drops into the ward and says she's from a PI firm called...wait a second. The Agents of Good..are in league with the Canoe of Fear? Should have bloody known.

"They proudly display their slogan "Agents of Good" in their window, too", says Paul. "Very Marvel superhero-esque. It got me thinking... can "Lawyers" and "Agents of Good" ever be legitimately used in the same paragraph?"

Not by this lot. Although they've picked a lovely colour scheme. .... read more >
Subliminal messaging from Charles Russell Speechlys
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1
01 June 2017

ROF readers can be very cruel. Like the one who points out an unfortunate juxtaposition, asking, "Any reason the CRS page for people shows a couple of mugs hanging around doing nothing and gradually fading out?"



.... read more >
Exclusive: Sexy Kirkland & Ellis includes viagra in offer to trainees
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5
10 May 2017

In an inspired combination of business and pleasure, Kirkland & Ellis is currently advertising a brand of Viagra to future trainees:

  K&E: Putting the firm back into law firm

As the spotter put it, "Doesn't sound so flexible to me".

Was it a hack? Was a sacked IT worker taking revenge (it would not be the first time)? Will trainees achieve the tumescence they demand? RollOnFriday asked Kirkland, but a spokesman declined to comment. Too busy pushing down an absolutely raging ten-hour boner. Healthymanviagra be strong.

Fingers crossed that boob-honking partner didn't get any. .... read more >
Men drink for free and women pay at awful-sounding 'Legal Gentlemen' dating event
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8
05 May 2017

There's still a place for real life dating events.

For a while there it looked like apps might kill them. Bumble and Happen were going to replace the palm of your hand with the masses, by putting the masses in the palm of your hand. And everyone is on them. They haven't quite overcome the stigma of internet dating, but lying in a wedding speech is a small price to pay for the huge pool of candidates apps have opened up. No more dodging lonely hearts serial killers, no more marrying racist Ian the postman because he's the only single person you know.

But solving the choice problem has created a new one: too much choice. Bringing a huge field of mates into play has made people picky. Love is Chandlerised before it can blossom. His smile's too kind, swipe, her pupils are wet, swipe, he built a snowman, swipe, her hair looks hairy, swipe. Prospects who would have been shoe-ins before smartphones get depth-charged out of contention before they can even meet, denied the chance to prove that their off-putting face is actually ravishing in motion.

E-singletons are experiencing the heartache of rejection like no generation before them, because they are rejected by multitudes. As hundreds of crushes fail to reply to their pokes and nudges and winks, app users become by increments vast wobbling bags of vulnerability, one 'no match' away from bursting with defeat and flooding the whole carriage with curdled love, of which they had so much to give.

Which is all to say, there's still a place for real life dating events. Because everything depends on chemistry, and chemistry only happens in the real world (ignore those stories about penpal lovers who meet and live up to each other's expectations - in reality they all lock eyes and realise, whelp, that's 12 years of erotic poetry wasted). So yes, there's a place for real life dating events. Just not Tom's event. Surely. However bad it gets, surely not this event from Tom, who got in touch with RollOnFriday asking us to promote it to you. 

Let's go through his horseshit line by line.



Maybe that was unduly harsh. Hi Tom!



 If it involves jelly and smoke machines then you thought right.



Mmm. "Dubai's popular Gentlemen's Nights" definitely all feature trafficked women, don't they. Liam Neeson's forged a career around Dubai's popular Gentlemen's Nights.



Will do.



Around 90 degrees until bedtime, then 180 degrees.



Sorry, different angle. What are "London's legal men", though? Over 18? And what is an illegal man? This sounds like a Dubai thing, like Dubai lingo and the definitions hinge on whether you were bussed in to die building a football stadium or flew in to oversee construction. 

Quick, to the attachment.



HOLY macaroons. Everyone appeals to someone. It doesn't matter if you're a bore who reeks of mice or Katie Hopkins, dozens of life partners are out there and desperate for you, willing to crawl over broken glass to jump your bones. You've just got to wade through billions more who would rather pluck out their own eyeball and leave it dangling on its gross cord and play swingball with it. But that's fine. The important thing is not to hide your niche. Lean in to your niche. This guy is. His niche is disguises.



Yeah! Exclusively for the L.A.D.S. bANTER! Anyone murdering prostitutes outside of the designated areas will be removed.

 

Is it because scientists want to observe how much spit drunken misogynists fleck on each other as they man-to-mansplain why women are cheap in a room completely devoid of the opposite sex?



By my own logic, the men turning up to this - men sick and tired of getting a raw deal, men convinced that 'ladies nights' are engineered not to benefit them but to cuck them into betahood, men who think it would look pretty swag not to foot the bill and see the women pay for once, the bitches - will be exactly the type of fellows some women are after. It's a pretty freaky kink though.



Equal opportunities is what feminazis say. Tables, turned.



Yes.



In return, they'll have a room full of smirking, bitter and bladdered mens' rights activists to fend off and later testify against for sexual assault.



Ladies nights are not catering to women, Tom, they're catering to men by creating an environment - free drinks - which is attractive to women, to get them through the door. Also, when you refer to women as 'females' you make it sound like they are animals in a zoo and the men are zoophile interlopers who've scaled a fence with a bag of sugar cubes, it's creepy. 

It was decided at the highest levels to decline the invitation:



 So. Will you be going?

    "I'm going!"

    "I'm going!" 

    "I'm going!" 


.... read more >
SRA rips up GDL and LPC with new super exam
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-2
25 April 2017

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has overruled objections from lawyers and law firms and is pushing ahead with a standardised exam for solicitors.

The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) will replace all the current routes to becoming a solicitor, including the requirement for qualifications including the GDL and LPC. Instead, anyone wanting to become a solicitor will need to complete five elements. Firstly, candidates will need either a law degree, a non-law degree, an "equivalent qualification" or an apprenticeship comprising "equivalent experience". Candidates will then have to complete SQE stage 1, comprising an assessment of legal knowledge in six areas:

-Principles of professional conduct, public and administrative law and the legal systems of England and Wales
-Dispute resolution in contract or tort
-Property law
-Commercial and corporate law
-Wills and trusts
-Criminal law

And, in addition, they must pass a practical assessment of legal research and writing skills. Candidates must then complete SQE 2, which assesses five practical legal skills:

-Client interviewing
-Advocacy
-Case analysis
-Legal research and written advice
-Legal drafting

Each of the five skills will be assessed twice, in the context of two specialisms picked from dispute resolution, property law, commercial and corporate law, wills and trusts, or criminal law. The fourth element of the SQE will be two years' work experience. In a significant change from the current system, it will no longer have to be completed as a block two year training contract with a single provider.  Instead candidates will be permitted to gain work experience at up to four different places, including student law clinics and pro bono work. It means students on a so-called 'sandwich' degree course which wraps up two years' work on the job could fulfill the work experience element of SQE before they even graduate. The SRA said this would "remove a barrier which has created a real block on numbers and diversity".

The fifth component is a "character and suitability test" to be administered at the point of a candidate's admission to the profession. So far the SRA has not provided details of the requirements, but it has said the standards will be supplied to candidates when they register to undertake SQE 1.



After initially forecasting that the SQE would be introduced this year, the SRA has pushed back implementation until 2020. Candidates will have until August 2020 to start training under the existing regime.

The SRA said it had undertaken 18 months of "extensive engagement" before coming to its decision. It received "over 240" formal responses to its first consultation in September 2015, and exactly 253 to the second consultation. It also "engaged with more than 6,800 people through 45 events, meetings and digital activities" and received "237,00 impressions on social media". The response was overwhelmingly negative. 60% of consultation respondents either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the suggestion that the SQE was a "robust and effective measure of competence". Over 80% of academics, 70% of law firms and 65% of solicitors disagreed or strongly disagreed.

But the SRA has said that the public are in favour, touting an August 2016 poll in which 1,866 people were asked if they would have "more confidence in solicitors if they all passed the same final exam". 76% agreed with the (arguably rather leading) question, although the poll did not specify that the SQE would only apply to solicitors qualifying in England and Wales, and not to foreign-qualified lawyers.

At a press conference this morning SRA Chief Executive Paul Philip called the consultation "full-blooded", and said it had been the "most contentious" project the SRA had attempted. Executive Director Crispin Passmore said that (luckily for the SRA), "popularity has never been the objective of a regulator", and that "our board is clear this is the right way forward".

One of the key motivations for the SQE was, they said, a desire to increase the diversity of the profession by opening it up to those who were either put off by, or saddled with debt by, the "LPC gamble". At present, candidates who do not obtain a training contract and sponsorship from a firm have to decide whether to pay around £15,000 in course fees for the LPC, with no guarantee of a job at the end of it. SRA Director of Education and Training Julie Brannan said that "students who pay £15,000 are subsidising the cost of the big City law firms who bulk buy places [from LPC providers] at a discount, which does not seem fair". With the destruction of the LPC, those costs are gone. Despite that, LPC providers like BPP and ULaw may not be losers in the SQE era. Although SQE assessments are to be outsourced to a single body, legal education providers will be able to design SQE-preparation modules for candidates and firms, while City firms are expected to continue to demand bespoke training modules relevant to their specialisms. Professor Peter Crisp, Dean and CEO of BPP University Law School, said, "We have been consulting with law firms for some time now to ensure that any new programmes continue to meet their needs for commercially aware and technically able trainees". 

Crisp also said that apprenticeships could now become one of the "major ways in which people qualify as a solicitor", and that there would also be an "exciting opportunity for smaller firms that historically have not paid for LPC training to recruit graduate talent at a much earlier stage than under the current system". For those recruited, "it will bring a welcome end to the financial burden of funding their own training".
 
While the SQE, particularly SQE 2, will still cost money, the SRA predicts it will be far cheaper that the LPC. Its executives rejected suggestions that the SQE would create a two tier system in which firms will continue to pick the candidates they have always picked, while the remaining candidates who obtain piecemeal work experience until they qualify will find themselves unable to secure a job. Passmore said that after "a while" firms would realise that some of their redbrick picks were not as good as the candidates qualifying elsewhere, and would change their recruitment processes to accommodate them.

With firms generally cutting the number of their trainee places and consequently hiring fewer NQs, and an increasing reliance on cheaper labour such as paralegals (or robots), the successful implementation of the SQE could result in lots more newly-qualified solicitors ending up unable to work as solicitors. Despite that, and the fact that many of those may be the more diverse candidates, the SRA has said that as a regulator its role was not to restrict the number of people who are permitted to meet the required standards. Philip said "we need to be able to trust those who enter the profession are fit to practise. The current system cannot provide that confidence". Whereas the SQE would "help law firms recruit the best talent", "help education providers to show just how good they are" and give candidates "from all backgrounds a fair opportunity to qualify". Sqeeee.
.... read more >
Lima law firm boss trolls Chambers & Partners
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2
13 April 2017

A law firm boss has greeted the news that an editor of the legal directory Chambers & Partners is quitting by telling her at length how he has ignored the company and thinks it's rubbish.

Laura Mills posted on professional networking site Linkedin that she was leaving her job as editor of Chambers & Partners USA, giving thanks in particular to "all of the firms whose participation in our research has made the guides such a great success".


A touching moment. Cue, said a source, "the standard gushing goodbyes and good lucks from contacts". Except for one man. One dedicated griper who decided to cut through the back-slapping like a pissed-off ex at a funeral. Victor Marroquin, a partner in Peruvian firm Marroquin & Merino, informed Mills and the world that "As we are a very discrete boutique in Peru, we have never responded to your research requests".

He continued, "It is part of our philosophy not to advertise in any way or to be "rated"" and confirmed that "we will not answer to Chambers". He went on, "a lawyer who touts himself or herself (or is touted by an entity, i.e. Chambers) loses in our view legitimacy".

    Peruvian party pooper 

With the Llama bit firmly between his teeth, Marroquin wrote, "clients are not with us because you or anyone else ranked us in Chambers", seething, "I have never replied to any of their requests, for the reasons I have just told you". Having done the LinkedIn equivalent of climb onto a desk and shout "Boo! BOO! BOOOOO!" during her leaving speech, Marroquin somewhat oddly wished Mills well, concluding, "Now, time to celebrate your move! Wherever you will go, you will be a STAR! :-)". 



Jobseekers interested in the vacant position will need to bone up on Chambers & Partners unique interview process, which allegedly includes deeply personal questions such as, "Do you have any sexual dreams?" Good times.
.... read more >

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