A future Slaughters lawyer
In-house lawyers have been listing the firms that have impressed them the most this year, in the RollOnFriday In-house Lawyer Survey.
So far, Slaughter and May tops the table, with the highest number of respondents picking it as the most impressive firm. "They lived up to expectations and came across as being very diligent, thorough and responsive," said an in-house lawyer working for the government.
"They give excellent, well thought through advice consistently," said a client of the Magic Circle firm; but with the caveat: "I wouldn't want to have a pint with them, but that's not what we pay them for."
"Slaughter and May was fast and impressive," said another client, "in addition to being quite pleasant people". Which is possibly a slight improvement on the pint point.
Taylor Wessing is in second spot, as things stand. The firm offers "solid service" which is "unflashy" but "gets the job done", said one respondent. A GC in real estate gave an equally snappy summary: "No nonsense. Try hard to impress. Predictable fees. Nice people. Innovative."
Pinsent Masons has also impressed clients. An in-house lawyer said the firm offers "solid, pragmatic advice within the quoted timescales and on a fixed fee basis." Another said Pinsents had "good responsiveness, with lots of value add, tailored legal updates", and was "up front about fees."
A head of legal in the TMT sector rated Forsters as the best firm, and singled out a senior associate for "being on standby for urgent issues via WhatsApp, even when he is on annual leave. I didn't care he answered while he was in a bar, I just appreciated him taking my call. They have an excellent understanding of the issues that actually matter."
Elsewhere, CMS was applauded for its "technical excellence and lovely people to work with". While another client said the firm was "always very commercial and approachable."
One client was impressed with Ashurst's "dependable advice, which I can take to the board, without sweating that they'll pick it apart."
Clyde & Co was lauded by a GC, who was "constantly surprised by its depth of quality litigation expertise", while Baker McKenzie "always provide tailored, easy to follow, reasoned advice at a very good price," said a client in the energy sector. "They anticipate my needs and are ready to meet them as they arise and give advice / heads up on things to consider so I don't have to."
The survey is still open, so there's still time for another firm to knock Slaughter and May off the top. If you work in-house, have your say in the survey below.