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Lawyers reveal what's dreadful at work in Firm of the Year 2017 survey
09 December 2016
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Hundreds of lawyers have been revealing what's bad about their firms in the RollOnFriday Firm of the Year 2017 survey (take ten seconds to complete it here).

Last week RollOnFriday posted dozens of good things staff had to say about their work. But for every silver lining there is a cloud, and plenty of you have taken the opportunity for a therapeutic vent.

At CMS Cameron McKenna, the swish new office's layout has upset one lawyer, who says, "Some clown in management thought it was a good money-saving idea to go open plan, but the truth is it's just a shit way for lawyers to work - everyone hates it, but no-one speaks up for fear of being seen to be anti-social". Office life has got another lawyer down at Norton Rose Fulbright, who says the health and safety supremo "stalks the floors" like an "overly-PC ghoul, peddling utter nonsense. Plus I hear they're a Kipper and voted Brexit”.

As for working late, while there are lots of votes for the money at US firms, they do get singled out for owning their lawyers' arses. At Latham & Watkins, “I am in danger of being absorbed into the fabric of the building like Bootstrap Bill from Pirates of the Caribbean ("Bootstraps Bootstraps")". Keeping a stiff upper lip, a Paul Hastings lawyer consoles herself with the knowledge that, “It is possible to have toast to ease the ongoing pain of a thrashing from a soulless body stateside“. And a Kirkland & Ellis lawyer asks, “Have you ever had to cancel a holiday while you were on the holiday?

  "That's right madam! We're here to fly you back to w-"

But the UK big boys aren't getting away scot-free, either. At Slaughter and May, “There is serious upset among associates that the highest earning partners in the country won't even match Silver Circle salaries. The firm has a lot to do if it doesn't want to see significant exits in January”. Taking it into the gutter, a Freshfields staffer reveals that certain parts of the office are not that fresh, raising the "appalling state of the loos in Northcliffe House". Where, apparently, "the female toilets have signs up warning that if habits don't improve, the firm will start monitoring and tracking usage to name and shame the worst offenders". It's the only way to be sure.

Disgusting loos are not even the fault of Thomas Cooper LLP's staff, where “toilet tourists from other firms in the building" leave "mountains of shit and lakes of piss all over the gents".

There have been a few criticisms of law firm bosses. BLM Senior Partner Mike Brown's "ridiculous goal of being 'leading global risk and insurance business by 2020'" has been "undermined by 'Where's Brown Been?'", a "monthly map showing him travelling, by jet, from Manchester to Liverpool. Might help if he had an office outside of the UK and Ireland". Browne Jacobson's communication of the year's highlights "via internal propaganda media 'BJTV', in a parody of Peter Kay's Car Share acted out by the managing partner and COO, was as courageous as it was unnecessary". While charity of the year goes to Shoosmiths, whose recruitment policy "is all-encompassing to the extent they hired a former lawyer who was struck off the roll to head up their London Real Estate department”.

Of course every firm has flaws, and many of those quoted above had some good things to say as well. Get it out of your system by taking the survey here.


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Please keep it nice. Thanks.

anonymous user
09/12/2016 09:01
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Yes, open plan is totally inappropriate to the legal profession. I also object to these 'personal computers'. Pass me the quill pen Tarquin.
anonymous user
09/12/2016 09:34
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What is a quill - I just shout orders.
anonymous user
09/12/2016 10:16
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Open plan is utterly silly for solicitors. It is much nicer and easier to work if people have their own office. Door shut, total silence; so you can concentrate.
anonymous user
09/12/2016 11:11
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Will Slaughters actually listen to their lawyers anytime soon? They still recruit some of the best trainees, but it's clear that the firm is on a downwards slide and mass exits isn't going to help that.
anonymous user
09/12/2016 12:07
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You don't take your exams in McDonalds so why should I be able to concentrate with ambient noise from people who rank Brexit and HoneyG as equally important conversation topics
anonymous user
09/12/2016 13:35
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@10:16 - open plan is stupid for everyone. Except perhaps chinnies.

@11:11 obvious Slaughters trainee is obvious
anonymous user
09/12/2016 14:11
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No one from Denton's has complained about being made redundant?
anonymous user
09/12/2016 15:45
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Open offices are great if you're all slinging top bantz around.
anonymous user
09/12/2016 17:56
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With not a little irony, the man who designed the CMS open plan office did so from his own office.
anonymous user
09/12/2016 20:11
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It's quite obvious that every Facilities Manager/Health and Safety Nazi is a kipper, I thought everyone knew that
anonymous user
11/12/2016 11:59
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BJTV sounds good.
anonymous user
11/12/2016 13:39
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It's about time Freshfields asked why the dirty protests are happening.
anonymous user
12/12/2016 18:38
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Why the f does no-one protest about open-plan? It's not about a "modern way of working" - it's about saving costs by giving people a rubbish working environment.
anonymous user
12/12/2016 20:49
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The Lawyer now reported that KWM won't have enough cash to pay their employees in January.

Shurely they must bag the Turd this year. Spectacular idiocy on their part, what a shop.
anonymous user
13/12/2016 14:26
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Sure, everyone likes their own office. But have any of you moaning lawyers worked out how much that costs? Accountants don't even have their own desk; all other white collar mid level professionals have adopted to open plan.
anonymous user
22/12/2016 12:48
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I like Open Plan. Its better than being trapped in a cell with a complete loon who thinks your stealing her tissues. (I wasn't).
anonymous user
23/12/2016 19:04
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Sharing a room with a farter is no fun. It dissipates moe quickly in open plan