Have you ever witnessed two colleagues

come to blows in the office, or come near to it?

 

Heh. Two of my former cutie shunter corporate partners.  

Near to rather than actual fisticuffs that is.  0.5m distance red faced shouty lard off.

No, but I have seen a junior associate thrown out of the office (walked out by security) for coming back from a long lunch off his tits and deciding to give his supervising partner a piece of his mind.   

Closest was when I worked at the Peterborough Court end of the Goldman Sachs trading floor early 2000s.

Commodities trader went mental at salesperson for some reason.  Red-faced shouting flecks of spit everywhere.  Threw a pen holder, narrowly missed.  Got called into office by partner.  On the way to the office, kicked a waste paper basket halfway across the floor.

Best aspect was that HR were showing around some interns!

I never saw them fighting but worked with two partners who were in the same department but ended up having to have offices in two separate buildings to avoid them coming to blows.

Yes. I’ve seen one magic circle partner threaten another with personal violence in front of a bunch of juniors. A senior guy I used to work with actually got in ROF NEWS for having a full scale pub brawl with one of his associates, though I didn’t witness it.

Exactly the situation that Buzz described right down to both being corporate partners, in a wine bar round the corner from the office.  

Apparently Hill Dicks in Liverpool was notorious for this.

Oh, only one was lardy - the other was in very good shape.

I didn't witness it, but a consultant at my old firm got fired for assaulting a partner with a file.

I used to work in a team with a married couple.  The man worked full-time and the woman worked part-time to look after their 2 kids.  She was lovely.  He was a wanker.

We hired a very attractive and very buxom NQ.  On the wife's days off, the husband started going for lunches alone with the NQ.  All became very obvious very quickly.  Very embarassing for everyone when the wife came in and everyone pretended not to know what was happening.

Anyway, she soon cottoned on despite his denials.  All came to a head when the whole practice group had an away weekend at a large hotel in the midlands.  The husband, the wife and the NQ and everyone from the national firm in that group, all together in a big golfing hotel.

Anyway, the husband and the NQ went AWOL after dinner and a few drinks.  It was obvious they'd been gone for a while together and the wife was looking for the husband.  At that point the husband and NQ returned to the dining hall at the same time, flushed and dishevelled and basically tucking themselves back in.  The usually mild-mannered wife walked straight over - in front of 100+ people - and punched the NQ square in the face.

It was *chef kisses fingers*

I saw one row get very, very close.  If either had made any sort of physical gesture it would've gone off.

I did see a partner once kick off in a pub because another group had strayed into our roped-off area at one of these wank little gatherings and started helping themselves to our chilled lager-pops.

I have seen a cutie partner throw a telephone in rage after ripping it out of the socket.  It hit the trainee (by accident I think( and broke a window.  I had ducked and covered

Sam - I kid you not, it is almost like I was there.  I experienced almost the exact same thing.  How long ago?

15 years.

If I mentioned a nightclub called the Bel-Air would that also ring a bell?

She really should have punched the husband tbf

Sam I’ve heard a similar story - did the husband have a seasonal name, if that makes sense?

I had a QI siren prepared for Wang's response, which has been what almost everyone has said when I've told them the story.  Surprised it took that long tbh.

ZG his first name does have a seasonal slant.  Like the son of God but without a T

I wasnt there but there was a famous slap up on aldersgate st (in the hogshead) between the post room boys (and they were all boys, that isnt sexist) of CC and addleshaws in about 2002

heh at the away weekend.

 

a wife of a partner at a former firm got wind about his affair. stormed into the office shouting and raging, dumped the kids in his room and walked out.

another former colleague left his wife for one of his colleagues. she got cold feet and didn't leave her husband.  so former colleague resigns, and emails the entire group INCLUDING HER HUSBAND AND HER, explaining that after the affair had come to an end he thought it best to leave.  HUSBAND HAD HAD NO IDEA. marvellous 

Did the NQs knockaz jiggle when she got lamped in the face?

I think mine was elsewhere, remarkably similar facts and in Midlands around the same time.

v sexist of wife to punch hot nq - women reinforcing widely held view that men can’t be expected to restrain themselves if hottie poon laid on a plate for them therefore hottie to blame not my husband who would have stayed faithful if brazen hussy hadn’t wiggled her left ass and tits in his direction.....

dinosaurs

I almost threw a stapler at a previous leader's head.  That was years ago and taught me a lot about how not to be a leader on a trial.  They had been an absolute horrowshow to work with for weeks on end and had slagged me off to opponents in the robing room.  Mistake on their part was that said opponents actually knew me well and decided to tell me what had been said.

Suffice to say i have never thrown/attempted to throw stationary since and no one has felt compelled to do the same to me.  Funnily enough i was asked about an example of bad leadership in my silk interview.  I didn't use that one but i guess it could have covered several competencies!

Slight tangent, but head of department and senior partner at a firm I worked at left his wife and kids for his former trainee, then his NQ.  He got the NQ pregnant (he was early 50s), she had the kid and the relationship didn't work out, so they split up.  

Because he was paying his first massive mortgage and support for his ex-wife and kids AND for a flat and support for the NQ and kid, he couldn't afford another place to live.  So he had to beg his ex-wife to move into his garage.

He had to be a fairly high-profile leader in his field and run a large team while everyone knew he was sleeping in a zed bed in his draughty garage.

I mean talk about karma.  He was a total fucking prick.

two married (but divorcing) partners of mine had a massive row over dinner one night at an away weekend about the children

it got so serious that he ended up tipping a trifle over her

naturally she ended up getting custardy

I had a partner throw a hole punch across the room at me and some fellow trainees for what we thought was a fairly minor cock-up.

buzz still baffled as to why HR turned down his Xmas party game idea of girl trainees in bikinis wrestling in jelly filled paddling pools

I believe so, Buzz.  And then she threw a trifle at the wife, and the wife threw some back, then they got into a wrestle, the NQs norks tumbled out, and the two of them, erm...made up with each other passionately in front of the whole firm.

Best away do eva 

I saw a full blown fist fight between the print room and post room at one firmwide Christmas dinner.

Turned out one lot were Chelsea hooligans in their spare time, the other lot were West Ham.

The Senior Partner bravely stepped in to break it up, threatening to fire all of them on the spot.

I also thought bit harsh to punch the NQ - the lady’s fair and proper beef was with her husband surely. But she was no doubt rather emotional 

Did they fucking lay him out cold, Chambo?

Mate of mine, when he was a trainee, got into a pub argument with a senior guy - may have been a partner - which culminated in him removing the glasses from his face, snapping them in two and tucking them back into the hapless guy’s jacket breast pocket.

Classic geekfighting 

I was threatened by a colleague when working in theatre 20 years ago. He was a total prick and asked me if I wanted to take the argument "outside" while we were driving a van at high speed down a German back road. I told him that he could take it outside if he wanted to but I wasn't going to stop the van.

That reminds me that when I was an NQ I knocked the specs off a partner at my (now) wife's firm at a social event.  He was a bit shorter than me and I was gesticulating (some hilarious anecdote no doubt) and I twatted him in the face...

I once kicked a filing cabinet so hard that it completely collapsed, shelves fell out, files spilled all over the place. I can only assume that the first thing on the head of dept's mind when he walked into the room was "Well Buzz does work for Partner X" as other than "Oh dear", no one said a fucking word.

Way back when I was a NQ equivalent we had a firm Christmas  party at a very posh restaurant by a lake.  Dinner and then dancing was held on a terrace over looking a lake. 
 

Towards the end of the evening when everyone was well liquified one of the senior partners wives decided that he must be having an affair with his secretary. I honestly don’t know if he was or not, if they were then they were being very discrete about it. It certainly wasn’t office gossip. 

Any wifey crash tackles the secretary on the dance floor and starts properly thumping her. 
 

wife gets pulled off secretary, and then stumbles to the edge of the terrace,  starts vomits over the side into the lake and then falls head first over the railing. 
 

All Christmas parties from that time on were staff only. 

@ serious was he a high profile insurance litigator , if he was I definitely know who it was ?

Proper ropey firm u must have worked for, scylla

At the firm where I trained, a massive party shortly before I joined, to celebrate one of the legal industry’s more famous mergers of its time, ended with the police called after a secretary glass-bottled a receptionist - or vice versa, I don’t recall - in a fight over one of the guys in the post room.

It was the Australian firm that later got subsumed into the DLA Death Star.. 

so it was a good cultural fit really. 

Yes. Two orthopaedic surgery trainees on a night out many years ago started scrapping in a club. Not sure what it was about but it may have been some comment one made about the other's wife. 

One had a black eye and was off work until it went down. 

Both had to have meetings with the head of surgery but no idea what happened. 

I have seen a few punches thrown at firm parties over the years but never in the office itself.  Once upon a time it would have been forgotten in a few weeks but times change and the last guy I saw throw a punch was pushed out a few months later (though not actually fired for throwing the punch). 

Seen plenty of staplers or phones thrown across the room in anger and one female partner screaming in the face of the head of department in front of everyone about something or other. 

@perfectly normal human - at Fabric, right? I remember that one!

Shouting and screaming fairly often but not as common as it was compared to even when I started (just over 10 years ago). 

I mentally picture most lawyers throwing a punch as a cross between Colin Firth's fight in Bridget Jones and Mr Burns

There is something funny and trigic in equal measure about middle aged lawyers duking it out after dinner. 

Sam was the wife disciplined / sacked? Or was she ok? 

Didn't see these but 2 partners got in a fist fight. One was corporate. The other chap subsequently left the firm.

Also a young paralegal got in a row with a senior partner at a party and they started talking about taking it outside. Fight didn't happen but if it had partner would have got battered.

Witnessed a massive bust up between two MC firms teams playing in the London legal football league. one of the players got sent off, refused to leave the pitch, ref had to abandon the game and it all kicked off. Punches thrown etc. I’d say 70% of the players were mailroom or ringers who had probably never even heard of the firms. Nonetheless, both teams were kicked out of the league for the rest of the season. This was abar 10 year ago.

15 years ago at a firm Christmas Party in a bar - there had been a round of redundancies and a pissed associate berated the head of HR that 'how could she show her face in here after all that she's done'.

She lamped him in front of everyone (he fell to the floor so was a good connection) but she was very upset and crying outside the bar while comforted by colleagues. 

In the meantime, the associate got all self-righteous and said he was going to press charges but everyone told him to shut the eff up as he'd been a complete prat.

Nothing else happened and everyone kept their jobs :)

When I was a trainee at the firm's annual party (remember those?) I had a partner from my department sidle up to me and start telling me how he could totally take me in a fight, whatever I did he'd have me. I think he was drunk and a bit out out I'd been dancing (platonically mind you) with one of his hotter juniors. 

I didn't hang around to find out how serious he was, just noped out of there as fast I could, so no actual fight. 

I miss being a young lawyer in the 2000s.

It’s all just so fucking boring being a middle aged lawyer in places where there are no personalities and no evidence that millennials have any fun whatsoever. Or maybe they are - but I’m just sensibly at home with my family.

But I really do get the sense there’s just nothing much interesting happening anymore.

’large golfing hotel in the midlands’

that’ll be the Belfry, then. yep, that place has a few stories to tell.

not seen an actual fight in the office. Been close. Did, however, witness a mass brawl at Oxford Coroners Court. It was the inquest before mine, death of a minor, travelling community involved, shit load of witnesses. So, all in all, proper powder keg. 

also had a client who (accidentally) killed the son of a local crime lord while driving. Only time I’ve come out of an inquest and just said to a client ‘Run’. 
Properly scary. 

RG swap the sexes of the two protagonists there and imagine what would have happened.
 

She decked the guy and people were comforting her? Since when was physical violence an ok outlet for emotions? 

Sam, gravitas and I appear to be contemporaries. Interesting. 

Wot CW said. Vodka luges ending in icey fanoirs at parties thrown by even the clapped brokers and sponsors. The GFC throwing a spanner in the works was after that was a bit of a bummer tbf

This all comes across as very regional. I have never encountered any of this drama. If people have work issues, they happen all the time - personality clashes, being set up to fail, being managed out unfairly, getting sacked off for becoming too expensive, allegations of every sort of discrimination, negative rumours etc.

People need to leave, move and take it on the chin. Confrontation is not the answer, you'll ruin your reputation. You need to be docile on work issues. If you feel if someone has done you wrong at work - discriminated against you, called you a moron, tried to chat you up, spread a rumour about you being gay or frigid or whatever, you need to STFU and move on! Don't resort to violence or litigation. It's just a waste of time and energy.

My ex wife's work Christmas party, 1988. She was working for a Japanese firm and they decided to hold the party at their office rather than a bar or whatever.

They were a pretty swank yuppie bunch, lots of booze and coke on the sly. 

Anyway, before I even got into the place it kicked off big time. Claret everywhere. Some European radicals seized the building and took everyone hostage. So I had a shot of eggnog, stripped down to my slacks and vest and got in there, sorted it all out.

Talking of coming to 'blows', I once worked with a girl who was fired for bringing her boyfriend into the office and being caught 'stimulating' him in a meeting room.

After a firm Christmas Party in the late 90s I ended up in a pub with the Managing Partner and was talking to him trying to not fvck up as I was hammered and a NQ. Suddenly the MP leaned past me and punched the guy next to me. I have no idea who or why. The person did not seem to be doing anything wrong and was not from the firm. Anyway the other dude shrugged it off and we carried on drinking.

 

The 90s were ace. No-one mentioned the incident again. Now it would be a massive issue and he would be fired.

I agree Crowley, but would add that this associate had a reputation for being quite unpleasant and I suspect this was just the latest in his long line of insults and the HR head just snapped. 

[email protected].  

I remember fondly having to talk a friend's sister down from head butting laz.  Shoeless joes on the embankment, 2002ish.  Post dragon boat racing.

Probably the wussiest post ever by Biggie up there 

Yeah I thought he had a massive schlong/watch until that one

Another time (at the same firm), I nearly got filled in on a train platform with a bullying older solicitor who was trying to tell me how long a number of client interviews that day had gone when they hadn't and I wasn't prepared to make stuff up.

He got aggressive and red-faced but to his credit, rather than lose it completely he walked to the other end of the train platform to cool off before coming back to where I was standing when the train arrived (our seats were booked next to each other).

He did get his revenge though when our supervising solicitor phoned us on the train to see how things had gone. We were both asleep as we had concluded further conversation was not a good idea and while I slept through the ringing, he heard his go off and helpfully told the boss that I was asleep whereas he was obviously working hard. 

Somewhere I used to work, but before I joined - I was told about it by colleagues who were there when I asked why two senior lawyers did not get on.  Apparently one had been badmouthing the other to the business and constantly making snippy remarks implying that the other was thick and didn't know what he was talking about. After one comment too many the other chap snapped and pinned him to the wall by the neck.

You would just never have picked it to look at them both. 

I think the badmouthing guy had a bit of a point (although exaggerated) but shouldn't have been such a monumental knobber about it.

No comment other than all of my work cringe memories are between 2000-2004. I don't miss it. 

I think all the schlong/watch chat makes sense now - compensating for being a massive wuss

Guy I was at law school with told me at his firm an associate tried to punch a partner and exclaimed you're not my real father or something. Like reverse Darth Vader and Luke..  

oof. YOu see you'd have to fire the part time wife for assaulting a trainee. So she loses her job and her husband, while he keeps his job and the trainee. I suppose he gets landed with higher maintenance / child support as she no longer has an income.

NHS administration is shower. They should be ashamed of themselves given the subject matter.