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Exclusive: MPs launch blistering attack on Allen & Overy, question its commitment to diversity, say firm "can't even come clean"
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20 June 2018

A parliamentary select committee has accused Allen & Overy of not taking diversity seriously after the firm refused to disclose gender pay gap data.

As RollOnFriday revealed last week, the chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, Labour MP Rachel Reeves, wrote in May to the five Magic Circle firms demanding they disclose details of their partnership pay gap. A&O declined.

Today the committee published the five firms' responses and Reeves blasted A&O. “Allen & Overy can’t even come clean on its partner data now", she said. "It’s easy to talk the talk on diversity and inclusion, but if a business is dragging its feet on providing even basic information about its gender pay gap then it begs the question of how seriously it takes its responsibilities to valuing all its staff and how dedicated it is to committing to promote female associates to partner level".

Reeves clambered onto her high horse even though firms were under no duty to include partner data. Alluding to the failure of parliament to draft appropriate legislation, but shifting the blame onto A&O nonetheless, Reeves said, "It is clear there are weaknesses in the reporting requirements, which firms such as Allen & Overy have been able to exploit". She said the committee "shall be looking at what recommendations we can make to ensure that businesses are taking their responsibilities on fair pay seriously”.

Allen's essay was not up to scratch.   

An insider told ROF that the letters were drafted with one eye on their expected publication. They show all the firms (apart from A&O) bending over backwards to provide the overall salary and bonus gender pay gap figures. Here's how A&O stonewalled those nosy MPs:

And here are the letters, which give up all sorts of other man/woman/pay stat stuff:

Allen & Overy

Clifford Chance



Slaughter and May

More on Friday .... read more >
Exclusive: Allen & Overy refuses to tell parliament the size of its partnership's gender pay gap
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12 June 2018

RollOnFriday can exclusively reveal that MPs on the business select committee wrote to the five Magic Circle firms demanding that they provide it with their partnership gender pay gap figures, and that Allen & Overy refused.

Clifford Chance and Linklaters had already publicly released their partnership stats (CC's mean partner pay gap was 22%, Links was a minute 2.2%). Both confirmed to RollOnFriday that they submitted their figures formally to the committee. Slaughter and May and Freshfields also confirmed to RollOnFriday that they provided their figures, although they have not released them publicly. But Allen & Overy declined, telling the committee that it would give them up when it was ready - in September. Apparently a calculator with a divide button is hard to come by at the firm.
A&O regularly and heavily promotes its drive for inclusion and diversity, which makes its decision to hide its partnership's gender pay gap from parliamentary scrutiny all the more remarkable.

    "A parliamentary request, you say?"

When law firms released their gender pay gap reports earlier in the year to comply with new legislation, most carved out their partnerships. Partner stats are technically exempt from the gender pay gap disclosure obligations, because they are classified as 'owners' under the statute, not 'employees'. That didn't stop critics accusing them of obscuring the true pay gaps within their businesses by eliding their male-dominated upper echelons.

The chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, Labour MP Rachel Reeves, was sufficiently exercised by the omissions that she called in Slaughter and May's human resources director, Louise Meikle, for a grilling before the committee in May. “What is being masked is the true gender pay gap”, Reeves said, calling Slaughters' gender pay gap report "meaningless". 

RollOnFriday understands that Reeves subsequently wrote to the Magic Circle firms on Friday 25th May demanding that they provide her with their partnership gender pay gap figures within two weeks. A source told RollOnFriday that, considering the subject matter related to fair workplace practices, it was an interesting choice by Reeves to force the firms to scramble to produce the figures over the half-term holiday.

Except Allen & Overy did not. A spokesman for the firm told RollOnFriday, "We were asked for a number we didn't have". When ROF suggested that some of the other firms also didn't initially have the number, he said that A&O would release its figure in September, and added that the firm was being "extremely rigorous" in its calculations. 
Sources expect Reeves to publish the results of her fact-finding mission imminently. RollOnFriday understands that the firms have drafted their responses accordingly, with one eye on the public exposure which their submissions will receive. Except A&O. .... read more >
Exclusive: Lord Harley is being prosecuted for fraud
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07 June 2018

Alan Blacker, AKA Lord Harley, AKA Dr The Right Honourable The Lord Harley of Counsel of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, is being prosecuted for fraud.

The court character, who infamously drew the ire of a judge for having the temerity to adorn himself with badges and ribbons and a ponytail, is set to stand trial in January next year for failing to notify the DWP of a change in circumstances. It is not known whether the specific charges are related to disability benefits, social security credits or undeclared royalties on Blacker publications including 'Hauling Trailers, the law made simple', and 'All you wanted to know about medals but were too afraid to ask'.

     Orange is the new Blacker?

Blacker has been suffering a whirlwind ride to the bottom ever since his disastrous appearance before Judge Wynn Morgan in 2015, when the judge compared the self-styled Lord to "something out of Harry Potter". Media attention quickly turned to Blacker's 12,500 word LinkedIn profile. His profile boasted that Blacker was a 'Licensed Boiler Examiner', attended colleges at Oxford, Cambridge and Dublin Universities (none had any record of him), owned patents including one for a mortar weapon called a 'Hedgehog', and was fluent in Urdu.

In 2016 Blacker was prosecuted by the SRA. He refused to attend because, he said, the hearing overlapped with his birthday. He was struck off and ordered to pay the SRA's costs of £86,000. Blacker appealed the order on the basis of his health. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal ruled his evidence "unconvincing", then handed him another bill for £7,500.

Blacker's trial is set to begin on 7 January 2019. He did not respond to a request for comment. .... read more >
Blackmailer threatens to release video of ROF staff self-pleasuring
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31 May 2018

The RollOnFriday team is sad to have to report that a man in Belgium has caught one of us self-pleasuring.

'Krebs Ferree' emailed to let us know that he recorded a pervert through a camera in one of our computers at ROF Towers. He says that unless we cough up he's going to send it everywhere.

Against the veracity of all this, he did address his email to a woman who left the business ten years ago. But in its favour, it's true and it was me.

I missed the deadline by a couple of hours, but Krebs has not replied and mother hasn't called, so fingers crossed he's got nothing. .... read more >
Exclusive: Herbert Smith Freehills poaches WFW transport heavyweight, plus more
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17 April 2018

The global head of transport at Watson Farley Williams has been poached by Herbert Smith Freehills. 

Several other lawyers are also leaving with Rex Rosales.

Even if he was departing solo it would represent a hammer blow for WFW. And an interesting coup for Herbies. 

Rosales is a 30 year veteran of the sector. An aviation finance specialist, he effectively founded WFW's transport practice when he joined in 2010 as part of a defection of five transport lawyers from Reed Smith. As its global head he built the department up into a significant team for WFW. As recently as last summer, while announcing new hires from White & Case, he said that transport was "one of the firm’s key specialist sectors" and "one we are committed to expanding”.

Just not with him. Or the rest of the lawyers who are leaving too. 

    He's leaving, on a jet plane. 

A spokesman for WFW declined to comment on how many other partners and associates were following Rosales out the exits, and HSF was also taken a bit by surprise when ROF called up. 

Rosales told RollOnFriday he was not able to comment. .... read more >
Hill Dickinson and RPC cut ties with Exeter Uni Law School students exposed in racist WhatsApp chat
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20 March 2018

Hill Dickinson and RPC have cut ties with members of Exeter University's Law Society after they were accused of making wildly racist comments in a WhatsApp group.

In the exchanges on the 'Dodgy Blokes Soc' group chat, law students including future Hill Dickinson trainee and General Secretary of the Bracton Law Society, Matthew Bell, and an RPC Brand Ambassador and the BLS pro bono officer, Alex Crawford, appear to have used racial epithets to refer to their peers. They also appear to have proposed a race war and joked about gang raping other students. 

Screengrabs of the chat were exposed on Twitter and Facebook by Exeter Uni Law School student Arsalan Motavali, who said he decided to reveal the messages after seeing the coverage of racist chants at Nottingham Trent University.

In the chat, the students appear to have frequently used terms such as "n***er", "coon" and "monkey". Bell allegedly suggested organising a social "where we invite pure ragheads and turn them away". First year law student Bailey Grant appears to have replied that they should hold the event in South Africa instead as it "means we can add in gang rape". He allegedly said they could "buy blacks in bulk" and put "bars on the shed". Crawford appeared to reply "You only need to go as far as Mauritania to get slaves. Much cheaper". In January this year, the group again turned to rape, with Bell allegedly commenting, 'Hey rape is funny'. He appears to have asked Grant to tell a female student they knew that "we'd all like to gang rape her".


Motavali set up the WhatsApp group in 2017, but said that when Bell took over as the administrator and added more students the content "became increasingly racist and deplorable". Motavali said he decided to stay in the group to collect evidence. "I refuse to stand by and let such people who speak in these terms go on to recruit at future law firms", he said, while "cowering behind their phones and talking like this about people that are part of the society they represent".

In the chat, Bell appears to have said of a fellow student, "He's such a stupid little arse licking paki". Ash Chandraharan, who is currently running to become the next Bracton Law Society General Secretary, is shown allegedly replying, "He's why I'm for racial discrimination", and referring to another person as "such a dirty arab".

The group also apparently discussed a photo of London Mayor Sadiq Khan at a football stadium. Grant, allegedly identified in the screenshots by the last three digits of his number, 594, appears to have commented, "I'm disgusted", "get that cancer away from my ground" and "this is why we need a race war".

This morning, within 15 hours of Motavali posting the messages on social media, Hill Dickinson and RPC have both severed ties with Bell and Crawford.

In a statement, Hill Dickinson CEO Peter Jackson confirmed the firm had terminated Bell's training contract. He said, "Following serious allegations made against an individual who was due to join the firm in September 2019, we have now spoken to the individual and revoked his offer of employment. We are deeply disturbed by the messages that were brought to our attention last night and would like to stress that the views expressed by the individual and others involved in this matter do not in any way represent the views of the firm and we absolutely do not condone this behaviour."

RPC Training Principal Simon Hart said that the firm had ended its relationship with Crawford. The student, who did not have a training contract with RPC, was paid by an agency on behalf of the firm to promote RPC on campus. Just not like this. Hart said, "We are absolutely appalled by what we have read this morning, and condemn this sort of behaviour in the strongest possible terms. It is indefensible, vile, and has no place in any society. Despite the fact this individual was never an employee of RPC we, of course, treat the situation as seriously as if he was – it goes wholly against everything we stand for. We can confirm that we are no longer working with him in any capacity. We have also decided to terminate our Brand Ambassador agreement with the agency who employed him with immediate effect".

Bracton Law Society said in a statement, "Bracton Law Society has taken the decision to remove those involved from committee, ban the candidate from the ongoing election and indefinitely ban all those involved from the Society. The Society does not condone or tolerate such behaviour". The University of Exeter said it was investigating the allegations.

Alleged screenshots from the group chat:

.... read more >
Eversheds Sutherland partner tries hard to be diverse
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08 March 2018

You are white. You are male. You are holding a frame. You are diversity. And so is your pal who looks just like you, he is also diversity. Together you can made (sic) a difference.

.... read more >
Jones Day does not care if it is snowing
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01 March 2018

Ice and Eastern Beasts have, as usual, created havoc in the UK. But Jones Day does not give a flying snowball f**k if all your trains are cancelled, your kid's school has shut or if you have slipped and died. Get. To. Work.

Thanks to ROF's source who just wanted "to let you know that Jones Day really cares for their staff's safety".

 Motto of the US Postal Service/Jones Day. .... read more >
Hell hath no fury like a lawyer's partner scorned
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16 February 2018

While not something we would cover in the news, this missive from 'Gwyneth' does give an insight

Lesson: don't dip your quill in the company inkwell. I've changed or [obscured] all the names, dates and places for reasons which will become abundantly clear. Gwyneth writes:

"My now ex-partner 'Mark', 42, [In-house lawyer], [company], [Twitter handle] had an affair with one of his colleagues ('Maria', 25, [company], [Twitter handle]). I have outlined the sorry saga below as well as including a copy of the letter I sent to her should you be interested. 

In a nutshell, he told me he was going to Durban a night earlier than he actually was so he could take her to Dublin on the Valentine's trip that he arranged for us back in September, despite telling me he wasn't seeing her and was trying to work out what he wanted i.e. if we should give our relationship another go. Anyway, the moron sent me a screenshot on the Saturday night accidentally revealing he was in Ireland. Anyway, I am now done with him and his lies so on Valentine's Day I sent her a massive bunch of leeks (I'm Welsh) with a scathing letter, multiple selfies of me and him along with various emails where he spoke of proposing and even to the reverend he wanted to marry us. I also sent him a bouquet of helium filled balloons with her social media profile picture printed which arrived in a big white box while he was out of office in Durban. He is an incredibly private person and has desperately tried to keep the lid in his work based affairs over the years (all bar this one took place before he met me) so the vision of the balloons with his paramour's face floating out in their open plan office is hilarious and the stuff of office legends! I'm not typically a spiteful person so I should add that I have only gone after her so venomously because when I initially approached her via Facebook she was less than apologetic for sleeping with my partner, she is only 25."  

    Do not open the box Mark 

"Hey Maria! 

Hope you had a lovely Valentine’s weekend in know Mark booked that hotel months ago for me and him, right?! I only realised he’d taken you instead when he sent me a screen shot on Saturday night confessing he’d been stalking me on social media and he inadvertently gave the game away that he was in Ireland!  He’s more dumb than I gave him credit for! Oh, and just so you know, he declared to Sam and me in February that he was SINGLE! Are you enjoying still being his dirty little secret?! Cause you are certainly not his girlfriend 🙊

We went for lunch on Friday after I accompanied him to a GP appointment. He concocted some elaborate lie telling me he was going to Budapest with Sam on Saturday night! Guess he must have wanted to keep me sweet. Trouble is I am way more intelligent than him, and you, for that matter.

We actually stayed at the same hotel in Dublin the same weekend in 2017, he's a creature of habit so he wanted to stay there again this year when we did the 10k....sadly that event didn’t know how he doesn’t like to cancel things so I guess he thought you’d do for company, you lucky, lucky whore. 

For me, a shit shag is a shit shag regardless of the country. And yet I persisted with him thinking his personality and the promise of a life together was worth the trade off, more fool me! Perhaps for someone of your age and unscrupulous character you’ll put up with shit sex from Mark and his ‘Tiddler’ 26 years of age, you probably haven’t had better and, from what I’ve seen and heard, you’re unlikely to get better. Mark is probably a step up from go girl! But let’s face it....your ‘City Lawyer’ actually outsources any real legal work to the Magic Circle.....not so much of a ‘City Lawyer’ after all! If he gets made redundant he’s done for and will need to sit tight till he can draw his pension which, coincidentally, isn’t that far off 😂

You’re more than welcome to my stolen boyfriend you deluded, immature, vile and unscrupulous whore.....turns out he’s a pathological liar and I am far too good to waste any more of my time on him. Given you have demonstrated yourself to be a person of limited ‘sense’ ‘reason’ and ‘trust’ as well as being a patronising and vile bitch I am sure the two of you will be blissfully happy together, I give you my fuck each other’s lives up! 🙈 Liars and cheats deserve each other and therefore, my dear, you and him are a match made in heaven! 

According to your Twitter profile you are a self proclaimed “human rights campaigner”. But you are actually a pathetic excuse for a human being who deliberately embarked upon a sexual relationship with a man whom you knew was already taken. Even after my Dad had died suddenly you still shagged Mark when you knew he was still in a relationship with me. I sat and cried, alone, in my flat that night desperate to see Mark, it was the first time I'd been back to London since my Dad died. He spent the next day with me and slept in my bed that night. What sort of vile human being are you? What sort of vile human being is he? Do you really want to be in a relationship with someone who could treat a person he loved the way he treated me? He’d actually been to look at engagement rings and was planning to propose in Durban before you flung yourself at him!  You really are a nasty piece of work and one day, both you and him, will reap what you have sown, or you'll have to lie in the putrid beds that you have made for yourselves. Bad things happen to good people so who knows what fate has in store for individuals like you. So “champagne by day, Netflix by night” actually sums you up very well as a superficial, fickle, easily pleased bitch! You’re not even an’re just a contradiction that did a law degree but wasn’t good enough to do a better hold on to Mark for dear life for he, my under achieving tart, is your ticket and you better trap him before he gets bored! 

FYI don’t get too comfortable, when I asked him to cancel our holiday to Cuba in 2018 he refused.....he doesn’t want to cancel it “in case we give things another go” 😂😂😂😂 As I’m sure you’ll know, he’s 43 this year so be prepared for some grand gesture of a holiday, probably funded out of the £10k engagement ring fund, or even project HM.....that was the code name for his Honeymoon savings BTW! Lucy didn’t even bother to turn up to his 30th birthday holiday so he’s particularly sensitive about these and will no doubt seek to pin you down to dates’s not that he’ll want to spend it with you specifically, he just won’t want to spend it alone or with just his Mum! It was on his 43rd birthday in Berlin that we were aiming to break the news to his Mum that I was pregnant with his baby....Rose for a girl and Nathan for a boy, in case you are interested. Thank fuck I dodged that bullet! 

Please don't think you're special, when I asked him why he cheated on me with you, he said he "liked the attention" he didn't actually have anything to say about you as a person and I really did press him on that because I wanted to understand what was so special about you. He had nothing to say, not even something nice! All he had to say was that he “liked the attention”. Isn’t it pitiful that someone would throw away a relationship for a bit of attention from a bland whore? He could have paid for attention from an actual prostitute but instead he chose to let himself be played by you 😂 This isn’t the first relationship he’s fucked up by cheating, he cheated on Lucy with another two dumb bitches from work, Esme and Gina. Although, to be fair, Esme wasn't that dumb and managed to get a decent amount of money out of him to buy her silence. Gina got a holiday to Vietnam and then told him to fuck off, that one hurt him. Cleo sounds like she was too successful in her own right and too much of a handful for him. Spot a pattern? You and him won’t last, he can’t trust you and he’s exceptionally insecure about trust. 

I felt humiliated for a while but now I don't feel so bad, I mean, look at Beyonce! However, no one could ever accuse you of being 'Maria with the good hair' more like ‘Maria with too much hair in all the wrong places’ and just like Jay-z, Mark was 'punching' with me!  🙊 

In shagging you behind my back he's shat on his own doorstep once too many times. Both of you need to learn that your actions have consequences. Did you really think I was going to let you speak to me like you did in December and not say a word back? If you did then you are as stupid as he was, thinking he'd placated me enough to not let rip at you. Google me. I don't take shit lying down, you naive silly tart. 

And just so you know, he said the sex with you isn’t great, it’s 'immature'. I guess by that he means he hasn't got down on all fours and asked you to 'make me feel vulnerable' and stick your finger in his arse yet?! Or maybe it means you've let him cum on your face, he was desperate to do that to me for 3 whole years but I always said no. Nothing more degrading, if you ask me. He was furious with you for taking that selfie on his balcony and then using it for your social media profile pictures, demonstrated your immaturity apparently. Perhaps I should thank you, after all, it was that profile picture that led to him being caught out. All I did was stick ‘Maria and your company in to Google and then my already broken heart was ripped apart some more when I saw your FB profile was a selfie taken on his balcony. I hope he hasn’t told you that he confessed? He didn’t. I worked it out. You knew you were the 'other woman' and he was never going to dump me for you, regardless of what lies he was spinning you.

He also finds you less attractive than me. Fact. You're also not the size 10 he desires, in fact, he said you are DEFINITELY bigger than a 12. You might say he was saying those things to be kind, but take a long hard look at yourself and this fucked up situation you have got yourself in to Maria. Try and be a grown up, try to take a step back and think about what you want from a relationship. Mark wants to have his cake and eat it. He’s been trying to keep me sweet since I worked out what a deceptive, devious and duplicitous idiot he actually is. I will not play second fiddle to anyone, least of all a bitch like you. All I can say is that I guess he regards you as such an inconsequential soul that he finds it easier to live with himself being a cunt with you standing by his side in the shadows rather than standing by mine in plain sight. He is a troubled soul. You already know he won't admit you are a couple publicly so despite his grand gesture of a Valentines trip to Dublin you are still nothing more than a dirty little secret. Let me remind you, in case it wasn't clear enough at the start, that trip you've just had to Dublin was originally booked for me and him, he took me last year.....does that make a cheap tart feel special and loved? Or just convenient? If you're lucky, maybe he'll get the name changed and take you to Cuba instead, wouldn't that be nice to go on yet another trip that Mark and I had planned together? Enjoy being my stand in 😂

Congratulations Maria, you "won".....enjoy your "prize".....a 42 year old balding, overweight, narcacisst, pathological liar with commitment issues and a borderline alcohol problem.....well done, you love the high life and you went for the gutter 😂

#HappyFuckingValentines ♥️😘"

Yey, Valentine's Day. ROF will try to find a happier way to mark the occasion next year. Let's hope it all works out for them, somehow. .... read more >
A (short) tale of two firms
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07 February 2018

Arriving just minutes apart in RollOnFriday's inbox come two screenshots illustrating the breadth of the legal world.

On the one hand, Hoole & Co. The firm's website advertises help with immigration and visa applications for "those whose first language is not English". It "isn't encouraging that they can't use apostrophes properly then", notes a tipster who is definitely a lawyer. "VISA's every time!".

Meanwhile, a metaphorcial world away another firm has built a helipad. Based outside Hull - sorry - in the Northern Riviera, Devne Law responded to high Loadsamoney demand by painting a big circle on the car park.

How noveau. How devine. .... read more >

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