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Firm of the Year 2017: the worst loos
03 March 2017
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Law firm staff who rated their loos poorly in the RollOnFriday Firm of the Year 2017 survey left nothing to the imagination, shining a light on everything from brutish partners' bowel movements to humiliating signs telling them how to make toilet.

Dipping below the waterline with 64%, a Trowers & Hamlins junior solicitor blasted poor "potty training", claiming that the firm was "plagued by gargantuan churters decommissioning more than just the Brum stairwell. How do people even poo at work?!"  One point below on 63%, Weightmans' loos merited a 'poor' rating from a lawyer "because quite frequently the drains emit this foul stench that is similar to l'eu de yack urine". Plus, "the water in the toilet bowls rises and falls like a tide", which feels, disconcertingly, "like it's winking at you". 

At Dentons, a non-fee-earner said that a "phantom poo'er is alive and kicking on the 7th floor in Dentons HQ. I think the Firm must of employed Bigfoot". Charles Russell Speechlys was awarded 62%, where a junior solicitor said most staff "are considerate about fellow bog users". However, "there appear to be a few loose cannons who consider it a duty to spray as much faeces as possible around the toilet bowl and then simply leave it there for the next visitor".

Litigation powerhouse Herbert Smith Freehills scored an underwhelming 59% for "under-ventilated", "under-lit" loos with flush pressure which was "basically non-existent". It resulted in "a lot of involuntary games of turd roulette" and "abysmal" loos which "often resemble the Somme".



Travers Smith's HQ underwent a well-received office refurb recently and the loos "are now acceptable" confirmed a solicitor. However, the ones round the corner at Smithfield Street were a different matter and "remain disastrous". The "unspeakable horror" of a visit was "not an ordeal for the faint-hearted". Exhibit number one: "toilet tourists - one of whom left a steaming turd on the floor of the ladies' loo on a Saturday afternoon". 

At Irwin Mitchell, down in the dumps on 49%, toilet tourism was also blamed for loos which "are often like something out of a Jackson Pollock painting". In one office "things got so bad with another tenant using the toilets that the landlord had to intervene and put on security locks". The trouble is, "now clients have to ask for 'poo passes'". A lone trainee painted a less spackled picture, claiming IM loos were "fine places to park oneself for the morning 'curling of the bronze'. Thick paper, sparkling clean, and good quantities of marble". Only "the most profound and piercing flatulent reverberations can be heard from adjacent stalls". 

Falling far below the rest of the Magic Circle with 44%, Freshfields was blasted for the "appalling state" of the loos in Northcliffe House. Apparently signs were put up in the ladies toilets warning that "if habits don't improve", the firm "will start monitoring and tracking usage to name and shame the worst offenders". Meanwhile, TLT's 8th floor loos in Bristol "smell like someone in there is making home brew out of sewage and burnt hair". If "they could get the toilets smelling like the last day of Glastonbury, that would be an improvement". It will all have been resolved, hopefully, as part of TLT's office refurbishment.
 
Fieldfisher was hit with 41% for its "gross" stalls, and in particular for the Birmingham office where a "biblical cascade" from the blocked ladies' toilets led to loomageddon "by 9am each Monday". A Brum-based junior lawyer grumbled, "God help us all come Friday". Shoosmiths received a plethora of local reviews, most of them bad. In Edinburgh, the "shocking" toilets "don't flush", and HR responded by "sticking signs on each toilet door that say 'if at first you don't succeed, keep flushing'". In Nottingham, even the client toilets have signs asking visitors "to press and hold the flush for a long period of time in order to remove their waste". The Birmingham toilets, however, "are glorious".

  If you think they're weird, you should see what laid them 

At Watson Farley Williams, equal last on 25%, the recent refurbishment of the London office was "great", but left staff asking, "what about the toilets!!" They "look like they haven't been touched since the early 90s". A trainee said they were "frequently out of order, they smell, overflow and we've had burst pipes". A junior solicitor agreed that they were "disgusting", and said, "I'd rather use a public loo" . Water, said a colleague, "splashes out every time you flush the toilet - yuk!

RollOnFriday suspects staff punished KWM's toilets with a 25% score for the failed firm's other sins, but the poetry of the Golden Turd placing bottom for bottoms cannot be denied. Then again, its loo roll supplier did stop restocking in November. As an associate said, "I'm outta here - gotta drop a deuce and there's no bog roll on my floor".

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