Is there anything worse in our profession

than having to refer small pieces of a project to internal specialists who then spend days fobbing you off about how much time they will need to spend on it and how difficult it is, and then they eventually come back with a sub-trainee standard piece of shit response with more qustions than answers that you can't possibly send to a client?

 

So glad I haven't hit send on memo on my desktop yet, as otherwise I would be paranoid you meant me 

I'd be surprised if you were actually capable of not expressing an opinion Linda.

no - see also property lawyers who you ask to check a couple of definitions and they come back with 4 pages of drafting.

Yes - those embarrassing compo chasing firms who pursue exaggerated claims for holiday illness, cavity wall insulation, and RTAs whose business depends on obtaining nuiance payments from insurers.

It's part of the reason insurers are often unreasonable when it comes to paying the full amount on legitimate claims

 

Heh, there are shitloads of things that are worse in our profession.

I wouldn't know as my internal specialists are all rather good and generally make me feel like the one who's a bit crap.

Why do you refer? Just wing it. It normally works. 'My Lord'.

Working in-house I was told to refer for advice on a contractual dispute to an MC firm. Received the worst advice I have every received. Granted relatively minor and the lawyer allocated was a middling. But zero legal context. That is all I will say. That is why I instruct the Bar. 

I should say, that I was shocked at how poor the advice (and the service) was.

For me it was always rude aggressive judges and opposing counsel/solicitor advocate. The opponent far easier than the judge because you can just bat them off but still made for a cruddy day.

And unnecessarily late instructions.

the worst thing is people expecting you to drop your life at a moment’s notice to do their pissy bidding 

why do we not have a culture in our trade (I refuse to call if a profession) of “I work between nine and five”.

Because you’re paid about six times the average uk salary.

You have just described how the rest of world view the legal profession?

Yep.  When thicko corporate/banking types complain when the law that they don't understand doesn't say what they want it to say.  Trumped only when said thickos don't involve the specialists early.

Corporate types can be utter twats (ahem) but I’ve always found banking (and weirdly, tax and pensions) lawyers to be seriously smart.

Heh. Not at my former shop.  Some of them were bright, but I had one actually ask me if anyone was really bothered about consideration these days.

lol at u in ur glass house orwell. It was less than a fortnight ago you admitted your husband went to the Parliament Square Brexit party. 

Heh @ you proving the stereotype by not even being able to read properly.  

banking lawyers are the smartest, generally 

Yep internal referrals are the worst.

Don’t ever make the mistake of assuming that your clients are reasonably competent and/or interested in maintaining good client relationships. 

Banking lawyers are very smart about things they care about, it’s true.

They’re not very good at understanding company law, equity and non-contractual issues, in my limited experience. And restructuring lawyers are creative but generally don’t give much of a fuck about any of it.

The worst things about our profession?

It’s terrible for women and men who have families but are not partners.

It has also in many cases lost sight of principles in favour of cold hard cash. Maybe it was ever thus.

 

 

Last time I looked, consideration was a contractual issue.  

Some banking lawyers are smart.  Many are document churn machines.

This has given me a flashback to some absolutely melt who wrote a 2 page summary of a contract that didn't summarise it and was full of filler guff, then sent it to me (was needed for that night) with a "happy to discuss", and then immediately fucked off home. Took me 5hrs to redo his work. Fucking shit sucking little goatspurt. 

Real problem in all of the above is trying to operate a set of rules that is now 20x more complex than it was and to do so at warp speed.  Makes everyone behave like silly, lazy , aggressive children.  

Commerce does not need to be so complicated.  

heh

and he still got paid

that is how to roll

Everyone here saying “it was needed for that night” or “it was vital for the deal” or whatever, you realise you’re the choppers here right?

And Zero G is the guy who fucks everything up but still thinks he's competent. 

The worst thing is total bastards doing perky How To Get A Great Career in Law seminar guest slots. All schmooze schmooze then back to the office to manage out a pregnant lady and a guy with reactive depression.

corporate lawyers who (a) involve you late (b) pretend not to know how to deal with issues that are not "corporate" but crop up in 9/10 corporate transactions where assets are involved (c) pretend not to be able to read or understand clauses in the SPA/disclosure letter that are not "corporate" but crop up in 9/10 corporate transactions where assets are involved.  

People who take any interaction you have with them as an opportunity to show they are more intelligent than you. On one occasion I asked someone for a template document only for him to pass it on to a colleague (happened to be American who I will admit is probably smarter than me) that not only didn't supply me with the requested template but gave me chapter and verse of his great experience of how the US deals with such contracts. Meanwhile I am thinking poke off you knobba this isn't even a US issue.

"banking lawyers are the smartest, generally".

Once again Laz and I are ad idem.

 

There are smart banking lawyers and then there are the ones where you point out that the way their documents are worded doesn't reflect the reality of the situation and they acknowledge you are right but will not change document because it's their client's standard.

Ditto plot sales lawyers for large developments where they won't even amend typos in the documents because it's the standard form for the development and all the leases they've granted so far have the same typos.

If you are a corporate partner running a big deal and have a tricky tax issue, just refer it out to Deloitte or someone similar. You're the client so you'll get a good service and if they mess up you'll have someone else to blame. 

Your own tax partners might not be too happy about that approach, but...

banking lawyers are the smartest, generally 

Lol. Banking lawyers are the most precedent driven of all lawyers. Their heads explode if you try to suggest a change from the LMA template/client precedent. 

But the worst thing about my job, by far, is having to rely on US colleagues to produce something remotely client-ready. 

Heh Chambo, were that only true, you’d think so wouldn’t you....

Ive sat down at a beer and curry night with plenty of partners of Big4 and had to keep Schtum about the fact that one of them just got sacked off a deal because their CF team just horribly fucked up.

 

???: because they want to run up the billable hours and PEP.

Perfectly normal HB: I agree, it is a 'trade' now. It's piecework, factory farming. Anti-intellectual. No time to reflect. Law takes a back seat. In private practice, anyway.

 

In a large law firm I used to work in I had the following joyful experiences:

(1) an elite CF group senior associate give me a 16 page summary of a 6 page standard industry contract for insertion into a prospectus and not seeing anything wrong with it

(2) an aspiring DR group junior partner give me a 95% rewrite of 6 pages of arbitration and expert provisions from an already negotiated deal ('to make it look like what we like best') in response to a simple request to check the sovereign immunity clause

(3) a senior competition law partner demand a full week to analyse a half page territorial restrictions clause, eventually coming back with generic analysis I could have culled from PLC in an hour and a recommendation we brief counsel

(4) repeatedly telling my American colleagues that: itsnotacompeitiontoslaminasmanywordsaspossibleinoneneverendingsentencewithzeropunctuationandlotsof'provided'and'providedfurther'sothatintheendnoonehasacluewhatthefuckingclauseisaboutinthefirstplace

My client at the time used to say that my principal purpose was to protect him from other members of my firm.  Too true.