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Firm of the Year 2018 Culture: 60-70%
09 March 2018
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Despite DWF (69%) "being essentially a patchwork of around 3,000,000 different firms", said a junior solicitor, its culture "is clear and people seem to genuinely buy into it". "Most people are nice", said a senor solicitor, "and although there are a few weirdos they are harmless". DWF headed up those firms where culture was fine-ish.

Just below, Clyde & Co (68%) was "Pretty blokey but socially active", said a junior solicitor. It had a "difficult year given the pay issues", he said, and "probably don't let your GP know how many units you actually drink a week". Hill Dickinson (66%) had "improved a huge amount over the last 12 months", said staff, one of whom claimed it held "The best people on earth". A partner who specialised in dad jokes pointed out that the firm "is headquartered in Liverpool which was the European City of Culture", for which the firm was almost docked 17 percentage points.

  Just one of the masterpieces Liverpool has curated.

The culture "is what saves" Shoosmiths (66%), "driven by a large number of the partners not being bellends". However it would, said another lawyer, "be massively improved by management with some backbone". Integration was "still ongoing" after the mega merger at CMS (63%), said a lawyer there, with "some culture clashes between the three firms" resulting. And one poor soul summed up the culture as "anonymous nodding at people you may not see again for 6 months in the bowels of Cannon Place".

A trainee at Ashurst (61%) said there were "lots of notable losses this year" which was "changing the dynamic of the teams, and felt across the firm". Just avoiding the 50s, HFW (60%) was "Professionally very good" said a senior solicitor, but "socially not so much". A colleague said the practical nature of the firm's sectors (aviation, shipping, mining, construction) and its international nature meant "the wanker count is kept low" because "the weirdo parochials don't survive" and "the pragmatists float to the top". 


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