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Blog Name: Jamie Hamilton @ RoF

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 >
Come on guys
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14 July 2017

This summer RollOnFriday presented readers with a truly stunning chance to win big in court.

An annoyed person called Merry Fotso contacted us to help him find lawyers to bring a case against Amazon for something it did to him on IMDB, its online film database. Listed his age wrong or named him as the director of Ice Age: Collision Course, I don't know. Anyway he wants his money back from IMDB and to jail Jeff Bezos.

As Merry made abundantly clear, "I cannot lose this case".  'Sumoking' noted in the comments: "Seems legit." Others agreed: "This probably is legit, as anyone who has dealt with this particular brand of litigant in person will know. Everything is fraud, conspiracy and exemplary damages with a mixture of typefaces thrown in for good measure..."

Yet incredibly, somehow, Merry's still waiting for your call.

Come on, what are you waiting for?

He is Merry Fotso and he is against Amazon.

UPDATE 14/7/17: Merry has asked RollOnFriday to state that he is no longer looking for solicitors. .... read more >
Leigh Day paralegals resign after Grenfell Tower poster stunt
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12 July 2017

The two paralegals suspended by Leigh Day after they were accused of touting for business from victims of the Grenfell Tower fire have resigned.

Harnita Rai and Sejal Sachania were accused of producing a poster which appeared around Grenfell Tower in the aftermath of the blaze on 14 June, in which at least 80 people died. The flyer depicted British passports and personal email addresses for Rai and Sachania. It reportedly read, "Our aim is to help you kick-start any potential insurance claims and review any complex documents". A disclaimer stated, "We do not charge for the assistance we provide. However a third party may charge for their services".

Leigh Day, which has just emerged victorious (albeit with some dissent) from a record-length hearing at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for alleged wrongdoing in relation to claims against British troops, suspended the paralegals after learning of the poster when it was first reported in The Times.

It also launched an internal investigation. Today a spokesman for the firm confirmed to RollOnFriday that the suspended paralegals have tendered their resignations before the probe completed. Surprising nobody, their notices have been accepted.

New LinkedIn protocol for lawyers in a media shitstorm

A Leigh Day spokesman said, "As soon as the posters displayed around the Grenfell Tower were brought to our attention, a formal internal investigation was commenced. Both paralegals have chosen to tender their resignations before this investigation completed, these resignations have been accepted".
In response to questions from RollOnFriday, he said, "We are clear that neither of the individuals have supplied any names to the firm as potential clients and Leigh Day was not the 'third party' referred to in the posters".

Read more on Friday.
.... read more >
Slaughter and May retains 91% of September trainees
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12 July 2017

Slaughter and May is retaining 91% of its qualifying trainees this September.

The elite Magic Circle firm has announced that it is retaining 29 out of its 32 fourth-seat trainees. Two of the 32 trainees did not put themselves forward for NQ jobs at the firm. Slaughter and May has a good record with retention rates. It hung on to all 25 of its March 2017 qualifiers, and achieved 89% for autumn 2016, 95% for spring 2016, 89% for autumn 2015 and 88% for spring 2015.

"Yes! We're in!"

Trainees and NQs divulged some of the reasons they stay in RollOnFriday's Firm of the Year 2017 survey. "No other firm commands the respect and social prestige of Slaughter and May", said one. A trainee said it exuded a "quiet sense of peerless superiority". Last year Slaughters was perceived to be lagging behind the rest of the Magic Circle firms when it came to pay (they all still do with regard to US firms). But December's perks package (which included pay rises, plus an increase to 30 days of annual leave), "exceeded all expectations". It "was generous", said an NQ, "bringing our salaries up to the top end of the Magic Circle and other benefits unmatched elsewhere". The firm, said a trainee, "listened, and responded to, employees' concerns over pay". 

The new NQs will be familiar with the "intimidating" atmosphere of working amongst "quietly brilliant" lawyers. Now they just have to deal with the possibility of being "dropped in the deep end" and "given full responsibility for managing a project". Which, said an NQ, "leaves you with a permanent knot in your stomach for the first few months (although arguably this is quite good for learning quickly)".

Announcing the latest solid stat, a Slaughter and May spokesman said, "We remain encouraged by our consistently high retention rates and are confident that all these talented lawyers will make a strong contribution to the firm”. .... read more >
Poetic job ad of the week
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05 July 2017

Thanks to 'Massingbird' for alerting RollOnFriday to the only occasion the words "the stars can look close enough to touch" have been used in connection with an in-house legal vacancy:

Sadly and somewhat ironically, one aspiration which is not within reach is convincing astronomers that Ashford's stars look close enough to touch. In 2015, despite spending £25,000 on lobbying efforts, Ashford Council failed to convince the International Dark Sky Association that it should designate the borough as an official dark sky area. At least HR is still carrying a torch, albeit as part of a sympathetic lighting scheme.

If you spot heartbreak shoehorned into a legal vacancy, let RoF know. .... read more >
How not to win clients, as demonstrated by a builder
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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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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 >

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