With over 2,500 people taking the RollOnFriday Firm of the Year 2016 survey so far, the light and the dark sides of your firms are becoming clear.

One emerging theme is the impact of Allen & Overy's fat pay rises, which, an A&O associate purrs, "went down well". It has not gone unnoticed among staff at the other Magic Circle firms. At Linklaters, which came top of the Magic Circle in last year's survey, staff comment that management "need to get real" and "pay competitive salaries that are actually top of the market, cf. A&O, all US firms". At Slaughter and May, a lawyer comments "Despite significant increases, we are still paid less than Freshfields and A&O". And a Freshfields lawyer suggests that the firm's patented 'career milestone' system really just "keeps all associates on the minimum pay possible (i.e. nearly 2 years PQE and still on £72k)".

So A&O seems the MC firm to beat on remuneration. Except that Clifford Chance staff seem pretty happy: "Pay is good and bonuses seem fair", says one lawyer. The hours "could be better", with "terrible" work-life balance in some departments, but "they are no worse than those at any other Magic Circle firm".

    Mark your firm on the good, and the bad

Elsewhere in the field, an RPC lawyer says that the firm has an "openly-stated 'no wankers' policy" which is "remarkably successful", although the firm "has taken our trainees away and replaced them with paralegals".

Olswang has been derided for "poor" communications and a "management strategy in flux", with one lawyer commenting that "we hear from the legal press before management when overseas offices have walked out!"

And an extraordinary update from Plexus, where an unfortunate incident involving one employee  has resulted in the erection of signs advising staff "how to sit properly on a toilet and not squat so we don't miss the bowl". Apparently the signs can be seen by clients too. Although they do seem to be effective: one lawyer says, "there has been a lot less shit on the floor".

Set the record straight and take the survey.
Tip Off ROF

This Week’s News