Revived especially to judge the entries! He was, it is fair to say, crestfallen.
The RollOnFriday Best Law Firms to Work At 2023 survey has opened, and what better way to get in the survey mood than to honour the most eye-catching comments amongst last year's submissions.
Picked from over 644 pages of wisdom, here are a few morsels that were sufficiently perspicacious to earn a prize.
Gaslighting Award - Cooley
"The firm sent an email about improving mental well-being and balance and it was sent by a partner who is famous for making associates cry."
The Regulator's Award for Disclosure - [redacted]
"We are encouraged to record breaks as billable time - specifically coffee and toilet breaks 'as long as they’re not for longer than 15 minutes'. I’d report it to the SRA if I didn’t think my manager would personally assassinate me"
Prodigal Prize - Clyde & Co
"The firm seems to make it clear if you are one of the chosen ones. They have made that clear to me, and so I am satisfied."
John Wick Baddie Award - Clifford Chance
"Maybe I'm heartless but needing to 'log off for the rest of the day' at 5.30pm to go home to look after your lockdown puppy is not OK."
Ambiguity Award - Trowers & Hamlins
"When I talk about the culture at the firm to people outside of it they always seem amazed."
The Sour Sprout Cup - Clifford Chance
"I'm working in the Luxembourg office, so pay is idiotic in comparison to the London office (as London colleagues are less competent but better paid)."
Most Saintly - Skadden Arps
"Money can't buy happiness, but it can pay for your parents' private health treatment when they can't get it on the NHS in time to save their lives. That alone is worth everything."
Best First World Partners Problem - Sidley Austin
"The pace at which the water tap dispenses cold water, it is excruciatingly slow."
Best Reason to Consider Quitting - BDB Pitmans
"Partners clipping their toe nails in an open plan office."
Best Reason Not to Quit - Gunner Cooke
"The constant worry that I am socially unacceptable and unable to function in any appropriate manner at any normal firm. Being allergic to the utter Niagara of pig's testicles spouted by any number of law firm leaders also doesn't help."
Help the Aged: Third Prize - TLT
"Some dinosaurs just need to retire already. Typing like a grandfather one finger at a time, needing every email printed off so they can read it."
Help the Aged: Second Prize - Howard Kennedy
"The older partner in our team is a lunatic. He's always shouting and calling people idiots."
Help the Aged: First Prize - Shakespeare Martineau
"I genuinely worry about one of the older fee earners who can be found in the toilets, staring at himself in the mirror for lengthy periods."
Most Pleasing Analogy - TLT
"John Wood is to law firm management what Thierry Henry was to football (minus the Renault Clio). Suave, superb vision, erudite and yet still a man of the people. A joy to watch him play, and a future hall of famer."
Least Pleasing Analogy - DWF
"DWF is the Dappy of N-Dubz of law firms. We used to have swagger, be excited and loathed but now we’ve become anonymous."
The Caught Short Cup - Slater and Gordon
"You know someone was wiping shit on the walls on a regular basis, right? The phantom poo smearer. Apparently was a woman and they were fired. Nobody dared use the Molton Brown soap after. The ROF articles don't even scratch the surface."
Most US Firm: Third Prize - Skadden Arps
"I went to the bathroom for 5 minutes and returned to 4 missed calls, a voicemail, an email and a direct message asking where I was. This was on a Sunday."
Most US Firm: Second Prize - Latham & Watkins
"This year, I could have privately employed two MC 4PQEs to handle all my work, and still have had enough left over to pay myself more than I earned in my final 12 months at an MC firm before jumping ships."
Most US Firm: First Prize - Skadden Arps
"I earn a metric fuck ton of cash, which is great. If you sign up to work at Skadden expecting to work 9 to 5 then you're an idiot. Plus, I'm earning more than most CEOs in London and haven't turned 30 yet."
Foxconn Award - Plexus
"We recruit as many 'apprentices' as we can every year. You only pay a fraction of their wages and you can have them do anything from legal work to the mail room. The downside is learning every tiktok and influencer trend through osmosis."
Old School Award - Macfarlanes
"Partners have been known to complain about trainees wearing brightly coloured jumpers/headbands."
Most Frustrated Romance Novelist - Squire Patton Boggs
"The firm continues being tighter than a nun’s butthole, just in this year some 20+ associates have jumped ship, mostly to US shops where they will actually get paid properly…and savagely penetrated with enormous vulcanised rubber dildos in return."
Most Frustrated Horror Novelist - [redacted]
"No form of bullying or nastiness is forbidden to senior staff once a target has been marked out. Like sharks sensing blood in the water, they swarm in a frenzy to push the target over the edge whilst HR turns a blind eye."
Lawyer Most Likely to Become PM - Latham & Watkins
"I'm a 26 year old with no discernible experience of anything and can barely iron a shirt yet earn nigh on £150k... It's a complete joke (in a wonderful way)."
Canniest Argument for WFH - Kennedys
"The younger generation are good to work from home. They are used to it. This is the true understanding of diversity."
Vitamin D Award - Kirkland & Ellis
"I walked in with my eyes open to it, but nothing can prepare you for the reality of working 3000+ hours."
Bletchley Park Award - Kennedys
"Open plan means you can't talk freely. There is an entire language of eye rolls and discreet head shakes."
Malcolm Tucker Memorial Prize - [redacted]
"Not worth the psychopath partner I have to put up with. He's an utter c*** of a Walter Mitty who would throw his own grandmother under a bus if he thought it would make him some money. The fat toad of a managing partner spouts shit about looking after staff - which is fine until you get ill, then he doesn't give a f***. The shitbags."
Nicest Superspreader - Burges Salmon
"The partners are down to earth and seem to genuinely care about the people who work for them. The head of my team drove round all of our houses during lockdown to drop off Easter eggs."
No Regrets Prize - Government Legal Service
"I for one will not be returning to the evils of private practice and who needs to shop at Waitrose anyway. Tell me all about your porsche and £140k NQ salary, I'll be tending to my allotment and starting oil painting as a hobby."
In the Psychiatrist's Chair Award - Gibson Dunn
"The London office is evenly split between a team of emotionally-stunted disputes lawyers who are too weird to be allowed out in social situations and a team of over-paid and illiterate transactional lawyers."
Best Life Choices - Clyde & Co
"Sure, it stings sometimes to hear about friends and contemporaries earning (sometimes tens of) thousands of pounds more than I do, but then again I actively chose the life of an insurance goblin."
Best Candy Crush Alternative - Gateley
"The firm believes that taking care of its employees’ mental health involves purchasing access to a cheap wellness app that it’s lawyers only have time to use while taking a sh1t."
Rough with the Smooth Prize - Kirkland & Ellis
"I would be a lot more satisfied with the pay if fifty pound notes had lubricant qualities."
Submission Most Likely to be Fake - Freshfields
"I wish that I had the pay, and dick size, of a US firm associate."
Best Facilities - Slater and Gordon
"I wasn't even trusted at the grand old age of 33 to order some carpet. The regional manager spunked money on trains and hotels for his wonderboy and oompa loompa sidekick from Cardiff to come and do the same job. Could have spent that on a better carpet! Not one that peeled up. I'd have probably ordered a suitable one but hey, what do I know?"
Best Hostage Video - Kennedys
"There is no office politics, as everyone genuinely wants each other to succeed and celebrates everyone's achievements. The team communicates with each other well, and everyone is respectful of each other's time. People don't put you down if you make a mistake, they support you through it and help you to rectify the mistake. Nothing makes me want to leave the firm, I am very happy. Everyone is so lovely."
Best Entertainer - [redacted]
"The new chairman, one Mr [redacted], conducts himself with all the grace and charm of a masturbating clown."
Best Compliment for Management - DWF
"They’re a good bunch, rather like a farmer who strokes the head of a battery chicken."
Personal Grooming Prize (sponsored by Lynx Africa) - Travers Smith
"There is a tax associate who joined a couple of years ago who always smells divine - I think it’s well known who he is - but every time you’re in the lift with him it makes me grateful that I work here (I know this is a widely held opinion amongst the female population at the firm)."