Turd

Which firm's management will delight in winning the Golden Turd this year?


In advance of the RollOnFriday Best Law Firms to Work At 2023 survey closing on Monday, lawyers have been taking the opportunity to help their respective firms to glory and avoid the Golden Turd.

The survey serves as a poignant historical record of firms that have been on top and those which have gone through ugly periods.

Last year, Burges Salmon took the crown, with one lawyer saying that the culture is "surely as good as it gets working for a major firm." The firm also took the top spot in 2017 and was joint-winner with Shearman & Sterling in 2016

Knights was lumbered with the Golden Turd last year, with a blunt verdict expressed by one junior lawyer that the firm only cares "about share price". 

Mills & Reeve was on a roll from 2018 to 2020, being crowned the RollOnFriday Firm of the Year for a stunning three years running. An overarching feeling about the firm when it dominated the table those years, was its "collegiate, supportive" and "just plain friendly" staff.

At the other end of the table, Slater and Gordon couldn’t flush away the Golden Turd, as the firm had the ignominious honour of being landed with the poo award two years running: 2020 and 2021. A solicitor said of the troubled PI giant that it piles "more work on top of already unmanageable caseloads when people leave. They talk a lot about mental well-being but that's lip service."

Historically, the Golden Turd has attracted PI firms like flies, as Irwin Mitchell was the bottom of the table in 2018. "Scoreboards on the walls with stars next to names of solicitors indicating management approval (or not)", revealed a lawyer, that year. But, to be fair, the firm has improved since then, placing 27th out of 61 firms last year.

One of the biggest turnarounds is Trowers & Hamlins. The firm was the recipient of the Golden Turd in 2015, with one member of staff making the explosive claim at the time, that the firm had become "nothing more than a poorly-run cabal" where "capricious decisions are commonplace" and lawyers unable to find work elsewhere "cement their position by knifing the more capable in the back". However, it seems to have got its act together since then, climbing up the table to finish in the top 10 in 2022

Flipping in a less desirable way is Ince. The firm is currently enduring a torrid time, that has seen off its former CEO, had its share price tumbling, followed by its shares being suspended from trading. But a decade ago, it was Firm of the Year, well before it was a skin-suit for rapacious management for a listed company. Back then, the firm offered "fabulous support" and "hands on experience with big sexy cases (in so far as insurance can ever be sexy)". 

KWM went into administration in 2017, and shafted its staff, making it a perfect bedfellow for the Golden Turd that year. One staffer proposed renaming the Golden Turd the 'KWM Memorial Partner Turd Award', "forever immortalizing the utter, utter f*ckwittery that sent a decent firm down the pipes".

Now, the next chapter. Which firm will be crowned the winner this year? And where is the Golden Turd headed? It's all to play for. Have your say below. This really, really, (really) is your final chance. God's honest truth. Come back next week to find out the results.


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Comments

Anonymous 20 January 23 09:21

Can we have a 'special mention' or honorary GT for Metamorph for the disastrous way it shafted it staff?

Incy wincy spider 20 January 23 09:31

Ince shares still suspended - if you are owed money by Ince, get it paid now, before the audited accounts are published or the auditors resign (either of which is a plausible outcome) and the bank pulls the plug.

Listed law firms 20 January 23 10:03

If Knights truly only cares about the share price, it should stop over-paying for acquisitions, stop running up debt and stop delivering crap numbers.   Those things tend to deflate the share price.  
The same goes for all of the other listed basket cases whose greedy partners sold their firms and everybody else down the river.  

Impartial Observer 20 January 23 11:13

It certainly feels like Ince's performance in this year's survey will mirror KWM's in 2017, and for the same reasons. Thoughts and prayers for their staff.

Listed and twisted 20 January 23 12:19

How do you motivate people in a listed law firm?  How do you recruit?

I don’t get it.  

A Knights Tale 20 January 23 12:38

Business model seems to be spend spend spend on the apparently limitless company credit card according to the half year end results. Debt up £7m in a year despite revenue and alleged profit growth, makes you wonder when the bubble is going to burst. Share price down 17% following the announcement of another needless acquisition. Appears this is the focus and there is no plan or desire to stop the mass exodus of good staff from the offices. Golden turd awaits. 

It’ll be alright on the Knight 20 January 23 14:03

Except it looks like it won’t be.

Lots of CVs are doing the rounds. It doesn’t seem like a happy shop at all.  
 

@Listed and Twisted 20 January 23 16:23

Shareholder greed and the need to pay dividends means no bonuses and poor salaries.

Hopefully you get it enough to never contemplate joining a listed firm.  
 

 

Lost Knight 21 January 23 13:25

No wonder Knight’s debt is increasing.     Disparities between salaries and promotions - top tiers appear to reflect a lack of transparency. Confusion between employees why and what these salaries do to generate the growth we need. This company should be doing better. Maybe more reflection on those top tiers, not the workers and the recent shame and blame. There should be more accountability. Who allocated these salaries, who gets them and why. 

Anonymous 21 January 23 15:26

A Knights Tale 20 January 23 12:38

Business model seems to be spend spend spend on the apparently limitless company credit card according to the half year end results. Debt up £7m in a year despite revenue and alleged profit growth, makes you wonder when the bubble is going to burst. Share price down 17% following the announcement of another needless acquisition. Appears this is the focus and there is no plan or desire to stop the mass exodus of good staff from the offices. Golden turd awaits. 
 

No one seems to acknowledge the role of the CFO in the state Knights finds itself in at present. Where is accountability? 
 

Knightmare 21 January 23 15:37

 

A Knights Tale 20 January 23 12:38

Business model seems to be spend spend spend on the apparently limitless company credit card according to the half year end results. Debt up £7m in a year despite revenue and alleged profit growth, makes you wonder when the bubble is going to burst. Share price down 17% following the announcement of another needless acquisition. Appears this is the focus and there is no plan or desire to stop the mass exodus of good staff from the offices. Golden turd awaits. 

Beech, Lewis (no one seems to be mentioning the role of the CFO in the state Knights finds itself in at the moment. Where is the accountability?), Leadership team - somethings not working and needs to change. 

 

Debt Knight 22 January 23 19:00

Maybe there was too much focus on selling shares before the profits warning and not enough focus on the ever increasing debt pile.  Those leasehold liabilities mentioned in the accounts are also pretty scary.

Anonymous 23 January 23 08:01

Lucky Kate is more bothered about a write off of a tenner on a bill than the bigger problems

Anonymous 23 January 23 08:32

And so another article that’s not even specifically about Knights generates comments largely about Knights. What a shambles. I refuse to accept that there could be a more worthy contender for the turd! 

Anonymous 24 January 23 12:22

Lucky Kate is more bothered about a write off of a tenner on a bill than the bigger problems

Do you think? It appears Lucky Kate was more bothered about cashing in shares before our profit warning than addressing bigger problems imho. 

Golden Turd highlight was 2012 24 January 23 14:31

This, Dickinson Dees, is for you.
 

https://www.rollonfriday.com/news-content/uk-firm-year-2012-golden-turd

A dose of realism 25 January 23 23:01

@Listed and Twisted - because of course, all those traditional equity partners are well known for their benevolence and their capital contributions are an act of pure philanthropy to their workforces.

Realism 27 January 23 08:14

Do you mean those equity partners who went on to repay salaries in full after temporarily reducing them during Covid?

Knights employees are still waiting.

 

 

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