Slater and Gordon is 2020's Golden Turd. By some margin.
A large proportion of respondents from the firm said they were dissatisfied, resulting in a mark of just 28%. There was a significant gulf between Slater and Gordon and the next lowest-scoring firm, Blake Morgan, which scored 40%.
It was a turbulent 12 months for Slater and Gordon's staff, who were buffeted by redundancies, questionable PR and uncertainty around the firm's disastrous acquisition of Quindell's professional services decision. Slaters sued, then settled in October hours before trial.
Some staff complained that the firm was still "run out of Liverpool by the Quindell mafia". Plenty more were vicious about management, and not only because it threw over £600 million down the toilet. One solicitor said the top bods "just compete with each other to improve their PR profile for the next gig they get after this mess finally ends".
"Having worked in London for 20 years this is by far the worst managed company I've been employed by", said a business services employee with one foot out the door. "Come out with so much bullshit, raving about the new London office on the intranet. We arrived, IT system crashed, photocopiers didn't work, was extremely noisy with wooden floors, yet they claimed to everyone it was fab".
A distinguished addition to any firm's trophy cabinet, but only available to the very worst.
While offices were being smartened up to mixed reviews, many were more preoccupied with their job security. "As I'm over 5PQE I expect I will be made redundant soon as the firm makes more cuts", said one lawyer.
It wasn't all pans. The work life balance "is fairly adequate", conceded a trainee, and it was a view echoed by several staff. "S & G are very supportive of having a work life balance and expect nobody to be in the office longer than 7 hours a day", said a junior solicitor. But for many, that wasn't sufficient to offset other issues, such as training which was "fucking shit" according to one junior solicitor. Training "is almost zero", agreed a partner. As for the culture, "It is a car crash to be honest", he said.
Slater and Gordon's year.
"Is there a culture?" asked one lawyer. "In the same way that a North Korean gulag has a culture then, yes, we do have a culture. A culture born out of trauma bonding".
It's not much of a consolation, but Slaters did at least perform better than 2018's Golden Turd, Irwin Mitchell, which only received 23%. Although it has to be said that S&G also did a lot worse than 2019's glinty plop, Ince Gordon Dadds, which managed 38%.
Check out this year's champs to see how it should be done.