Lee B

"Not instructing you again. Or you. Or you"

The RollOnFriday In-House Lawyer Survey 2024 has launched, so if you're in-house, don't delay, have your say.

It gives in-house lawyers the opportunity to spill the beans on the best and worst firms they instructed in the last year, the perks from panel firms they enjoyed or endured, and what they value most in a firm.

In last year's poll, for the eighth year running, in-house lawyers said the most important factor was not a good rapport, or fat bribes, but simply the quality of what they were told. 

“We can find a way past almost any challenge on pricing, relationship, etc. but cannot tolerate poor quality advice,” said an in-house lawyer in financial services. “The basics can't be disguised with fluff.” 

Pricing, however, came bottom of the pile for the fifth year. “Paying less for p*ss poor advice always ends up costing you in the long run,” said a client in retail. 

Last year's survey also highlighted that clients have had enough of being handed burnt out lawyers. "If you're flogging your associates, we're not getting good value for money," said an in-house lawyer. “They're not bright and alert when worked to the bone...mistakes are inevitable."

Some in-house lawyers wanted firms to look at the way they use technology to benefit their clients. “Use AI to keep costs down,” said a GC in private equity. Another client believed that the rise in AI meant that lawyers needed to demonstrate their worth: “Realise AI is coming and some of you need to work on your charm, people skills and understand what value you're adding to me as a client.”

If you're in-house and agree, or disagree, chime in by taking the poll below. If you want to stop being taken to the rugby, or the opera, or Wetherspoons, don't forget to describe the perks you loved and loathed as well.

    LU icon Firms ping LawyerUp when they like you for a role. It's available on the App Store and Google Play.

Thank you for taking part in RollOnFriday's survey of in-house lawyers. We use the results to write stories and reports. We don't take your name and so the answers you provide will be kept anonymous.
Your role
Your sector
When you're picking a firm, what's the most important factor?
How do you think the size of your in-house team will change over the next two years?
Will this be at the expense of instructing private practice?
How happy are you with your external lawyers working from home?
Tip Off ROF


Can you handle the truth? 29 March 24 02:14

In-house lawyers are tenth rate losers. No one respects them. Slow and stupid. Downvotes will be from in-housers responding. If you can't make it in private practice, that's fine, it sucks - go offshore or just do something else, rather than being a back office lackey pretending you're important. You're just irritating and the worst type of unpleasant human being that can exist under the pretense you are somehow a nice person looking for a work/life balance. You're an incompetent idiot who shouldn't be trusted with a laptop. You should have your typing fingers recycled and donated to the nearest animal shelter for nibbles. And then you should drown yourself in a clogged toilet so the cleaning person can deal with all the **** in one go. Cheers.

Anon 31 March 24 17:08

Reading the above, someone obviously got rejected from an in house job. 

Yeah, the GC at  major law firm or investment bank or blue chip organisation as in "in house lawyer" is clearly a failure.  That must explain their £500k plus pay packet, position on the executive boards and massive input into the strategy of the organisations.   

NonnyMouse 01 April 24 06:38

@canyouhandlethetruth When I find out who you work for, I will instruct you. For that remark you'll get the treatment we "tenth rate losers" in-house reserve for solicitors such as yourself: It looks a little like this:

1. You get sent your instructions at 19:35 on a Friday night and are asked to provide your invaluable advice by 12:00 on Saturday. We usually add lines like this to such instructions "Apologies in advance, my CEO needs to be updated on this matter urgently and has limited availability, so I am speaking to him on Saturday afternoon about this before he travels to the meeting." This is nonsense of course.

2. I'll sit on your advice for 2 weeks. 

3. I'll repeat step 1 again 3 weeks after the initial instruction. "Apologies, my CEO's schedule changed at short notice and he couldn't get around to this, but the meeting is going ahead on Monday now so we need your updated input urgently."

4. We'll do whatever we intended to do regardless of what your "thoroughly commercial" advice said because it turned out to be completely academic tosh which had no commercial value to our business and contained no actual advice as to how you think we should proceed. 

5. I'll thank you for your tireless efforts and ask you to send your invoice across so we can settle it immediately. 

6. I'll sit on your invoice for about 6 months. 

7. After months of chasers from you and your collections team, I'll ask my accounts team to process it "immediately".

8. I'll then inform you that "immediately" for my accounts team means a long, convoluted. multi approval process which takes at least 40 days to complete at the best of times. "Apologies, it is what it is, but I'll do all I can to expedite this for you."

9. Your invoice will be settled about 1 year after receipt of the initial instruction. 

10. I'll instruct you again about 3 days after paying your invoice.

11. Repeat steps 1-9 above.

GC 01 April 24 09:15

@Can you handle the truth? 29 March 24 02:14 - Working in-house is extremly difficult and challenging, and I could handle it in private practice. I worked for an incredibly esteemed law firm, Dentons, for a number of years, and choose to make the move in-house of my own accords. You are jealous because you work so many billable hours and we don't - I work to live, not live to work; I ensure efficiencey, not maximum billable hours. I shant instruct you, nor shalt any of the readers here, thank you very much. And you couldn't hack the level of attention to details you need in an in-house enviroment anyway - there's no trainee to check your work before you send it out, and project management we have can't just be taught.

3-ducks 04 April 24 14:57

Generally I'm extremely happy with the firms I instruct. If I weren't, then I'd look elsewhere. There's certainly enough competition. 






Private practice lawyer 05 April 24 11:41

I have a hard time understanding why private practice lawyers come here to insult in-house lawyers. I'm puzzled that anyone in private practice would think that demonstrating an attitude of contempt for the people who ultimately are their clients is good for business. Clearly, if this is your attitude you must still be inexperienced/relatively junior in your career/not have commercial or business development responsibilities. There are good and bad in-house lawyers, some of them moved in-house voluntarily, others because they couldn't make partner in a law firm or whatever, but in each of these categories there are good and bad professionals. I would advise you people to be a bit more respectful.

The Paginator 05 April 24 12:32

@Can you handle the truth? 29 March 24 02:14


Go back to padding your timesheets and defrauding your clients. Look forward to reading about you in the SDT.



AVP 05 April 24 14:28

@NonnyMouse, never has a more true statement been written, this has most pleasantly wibbled my thrusset pouch

McDentons 05 April 24 22:12

@GC 01 April 24 09:15 - Congrats bro you worked at the McD's of law firms - does the job, is fucking everywhere, but is ultimately just full of shit. No wonder you work in house

Anon 12 April 24 10:17

Working in private practice is like working in-house except that you basically don't have a commercial bone in your body. You make up for that by padding time and pretending to work hard while telling everyone how terribly important you are. Join the real world and come in-house. 

Anonymous 12 April 24 22:13

In-house here.


I instruct our panel firms. They are nearly all tendered and went via procurement. Only one firm is there because my boss drinks with their partner.

Arachnae 13 April 24 13:25

To the first poster, commenting, bizarrely at 2am, presumably after too many gins, I think that IS harsh. I have encountered a few in-house  counsel who find only too obvious pleasure in lording it over people they’d never have got to lord it over had they been in the same firm.  But I’ve also found courtesy and genuine gratitude for input from my specialism. The arcane slow boat to China billing procedures are bloody annoying though. Ok, you should have told me about your ‘portal’ when you first instructed me, when you said you needed advice in 24 hours. So it’s a mixed picture. 

Amused! 19 April 24 12:17

@Can you handle the truth?   I don't agree with any of what you've said, but it is very funny, great work! 

I'm still in private practice and have found that many of the best lawyers have gone in-house for various reasons over the years.  (To a certain extent, it is fair to say that law firm partners are simply those that are left after the rest of their cohort have moved on...)  They become the network that provides you with a business, so I hope your tongue is firm "in cheek".  

@NonnyMouse  I'm sure I know you! 

lol! Somebody hates their job @can you handle the truth? 19 April 24 23:03

@can you handle the truth? This is what happens when you’re a junior lawyer stuck at the office at 11pm on a Friday. You’re an unimportant office lackey. Nothing but a glorified PA for a partner earning seven figures who despises you, because let’s face it, you’re a sub-standard solicitor and a pompous twat. You hate your life and you often wonder what will come first - death or partnership.  

I was in private practice for 10 years, made partner, THEN went in-house, and life is bliss….. How’d you like them apples shitbrick… 

Ohio Players 20 April 24 13:46

Much the same as you @19 April, made partner, realised it was not what I wanted it to be, left, now in-house.

Thought I was reasonably decent when I was in private practice, but now realise I wasn’t all that and that the kind of advice I was providing was, whilst (hopefully) correct, not easily digestible and, as a consequence, was not always of practical value.

Hated my previous role; love this one and am undoubtedly a much better lawyer for it.

The firms we use, whilst generally very good, suffer from the same issue as I did: advice not concise enough, often too academic and not really based in the real world. Lawyers who think they are commercial are, for the most part, the exact opposite.

As for you can’t handle the truth’s comments above: idiot. 

Anon 20 April 24 13:52

Can you handle the truth:

We instruct external firms for their PI insurance. And don’t underestimate how much we have to amend your advice to make it make sense for our executive team and board. 

I have been in house in financial services for over 10 years now. The quality of most firms’ advice, even some City firms, is woeful. Not so much in terms of the advice itself but the practicality and format of it. External firms fail to grasp the very simple truth that no one in senior management (outside of law firms) wants to read an email longer than five sentences.

Private Practice Balrog 02 May 24 19:43

To the in-housers saying that they don’t want to read more than 5 sentences, this is what I want to advise you:

Dear Client,

In relation to XvY there have been significant updates. I have a strategy that is risky but in your best interests. The reserve must be increased by £200k. Please confirm that you agree to that and my strategy. Any other questions please ask and I will reply 5 sentences at a time until you are satisfied, as per our standing instructions.

Kind regards,


Is this good? Yes or no? And if no, is it still better than what we currently do, eg a 5 page email?

Entertained 18 May 24 18:46

I've done my time in private practice, and I've done my time in-house.  I know which gives me the most job satisfaction.

There are good lawyers and bad lawyers in both realms.  

I am sure  that the original poster is sure of which category they fall in to.  As am I.



Alex 09 June 24 17:12

Do we need to say much more than:

Jarnel ‘I’m flattered you call me a postbox’ Singh

Rodric ‘I’m a legal risk manager’ Williams 

Susan Crichton 

All top notch 


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