Red carpet

Career development and progression: sometimes good ole fashioned brown-nosing to your seniors will do it. 


The RollOnFriday Best Law Firms to Work At 2023 reveals the firms that offer golden career development opportunities, as well as those with the greasiest corporate poles to climb. 

Which employers nurture their staff to blossom, grow and shine? And which ones leave them in the dark like a discarded potato left in a cupboard? Here are the results:

chart

1st Sidley Austin    

The US firm which scored the highest for salary satisfaction in the survey, also comes top for career progression.

"It’s the mentorship that’s second to none," said a senior lawyer. Others praised the "new development programs in top US schools" where UK lawyers are flown out "to learn and get new skills at places within the Ivy League".  A mid-level associate said: "It seemed really cringey when it was first announced but it’s actually really cool - we get to do MBA courses in the US."

The "only downside is that no-one leaves as it's such a nice firm to work for which ultimately impacts on progression but the firm does what it can to support development," said a Business Services member of staff. 

2nd Burges Salmon

The Best Law Firm to Work at 2023 offers "a lot of support to assist individuals to navigate their career and progress up the management structure," said a junior lawyer. "The route to the more senior positions of director and partner is transparent and there is a general feel that supervisors want you to succeed." 

The Bristol-headquartered firm has a "good track record of organic growth by promoting from within" said a partner. 

"There is a good deal of encouragement and mentoring," said a senior lawyer. The firm is "really helpful in "setting a plan and pushing you to go for certain jobs they think you will be good at within the firm," said a Business Services member of staff.

Joint 3rd Clarke Willmott and Trowers & Hamlins

"I joined the firm as a trainee and have been allowed to develop in the direction that I wanted," said a partner. "The firm has been and remains flexible to the needs and aspirations of its employees. It rewards initiative and innovation, so if you have any idea, no matter how junior you may be, you're given the space to run with it."

Staff also praised the firm for offering a "number of courses" which helped with "career development and progression." 

At Trowers, there are "clear and measurable routes to partnership," said a lawyer in the Exeter office, who believed "there does not appear to be favouritism or any significant bias towards the partners pals".

"I have regular check-ins and feedback in relation to the firm's career framework with clear targets," said a junior lawyer. 

"They keep promoting me, so I can't complain!" beamed one pleased partner. 

Joint 5th Mills & Reeve, Osborne Clarke and Ropes & Gray

"Brilliant training offered," said a M&R Business Services member of staff, "and encouragement to take on new tasks/projects".

"Annual reviews are taken seriously, very thorough, lots of training and materials on how to progress," commented a M&R senior lawyer. 

At OC, "I feel really well supported," said a junior partner, "I'm allowed to grow a practice that is meaningful to me and contributes to the firm as a whole in an environment that is collaborative."

"A very fair employer," said an OC Business Services member of staff, "and supportive of an individual's career goals".

"Regular open conversations about my career development," said a senior lawyer. "I know where I am headed and I am constantly asked what support I need to reach the next level. The partners genuinely care about me as a person and my development."

At Ropes & Gray, "I have a mentor who I meet with once a month who is actively teaching me how to progress to Counsel, Partner etc." said a senior lawyer.

"Personally I left the Magic Circle to a growing thriving business hungry to take market share, and keen to promote partners," said a partner at the US firm. 

8th Bird Bird

2Birds "appears a genuine meritocracy," said a junior lawyer. "Lots of entrepreneurial associates, who get to partner pretty quickly compared to the competition," said a partner.

"Very keen for you to carve your own path," said a colleague. 

9th  Addleshaw Goddard

Another top ten spot for AG, which "has a strong focus on associate development" including enrolling 2-3PQE solicitors "on a programme to ensure they are aware of the skills required" to progress, said a lawyer.

"Lots of promoting junior talent," said a trainee who secured their training contract "whilst a paralegal at the firm - have always felt very supported."

Joint 10th  Latham & Watkins, Plexus Law, RPC and Shearman & Sterling 

"I've made it from a very junior associate to partner, not sure what else there is to say," said a Latham partner. "Very specialised but you learn a lot," said a junior.

At Plexus there are "clear paths and sensible objectives for success." One solicitor felt that: "Career development is the only positive thing about Plexus."  Another solicitor said that development was "much better since the old management left. Too many favourites, many of whom have left this year."

At RPC, a Business Services member of staff reported: "I have only been here a year and have had a lot of conversations and prep for a promotion." A senior lawyer said that partnership "is probably achievable for those that want it now that RPC has salaried partners. There are lots of younger female partners as well so that glass ceiling feels shattered. But if you don't want it, it's not an issue."

A Shearman & Sterling  trainee said they "get a trainee buddy, an associate buddy and a thorough training programme put together by our professional development team. I also appreciate how HR check in on us and have put together well-being programmes with a specialist psychologist as part of the 'Thrive at Shearman' package."

"I am supported where required and have an open door through which to discuss any concerns I may have," said a senior Shearman lawyer. 

Joint 14th Hogan Lovells and Travers Smith 

A HogLove senior lawyer said they were "happy" to be "taking on more responsibility and moving up the rungs of the firm's hierarchy", adding "at least in my team/department and at my level, things don't seem too political; if you're effective at your job then you will progress." A colleague said: "Career development is positive, with clear communication of the expectations for each level". 

At Travers Smith, a junior said: "I am being given a lot of responsibility across matters for my PQE, which is challenging but great for my L&D."

Joint 16th DAC Beachcroft, Kirkland & Ellis, Macfarlanes and Weil 

A partner at DAC Beachcroft said the firm is "a genuine meritocracy and rewards talented people with excellent career development opportunities." A senior lawyer said the firm is "good at bringing talent through and will support anybody who wants to progress, but only if your face fits, and you won't ask for a salary raise".

Meanwhile at Kirkland & Ellis, there's a "6 year partnership fast track". A colleague elaborated that if you give the firm "your twenties and early thirties hand over fist then, provided you are not a certified imbecile, you will be rewarded with (non equity) partner at 7PQE." A partner said: "People can sneer at our approach but the results are clear."

At  Macfarlanes there are "good opportunities at the firm to develop a career and develop expertise in subject area," said a lawyer. A Business Services member of staff said: "internal courses are provided to help us develop our skill-sets dependant on our role. There are plenty of learning opportunities and if another role presents itself within the firm, we are encouraged to move internally rather than leave."

Weil provides "fantastic training, development and learning opportunities," said a junior lawyer. "Partners and Counsel take the time to go through certain points with you and they are always available for a chat." The firm "also offers in house coaching to all staff" and "all employees have access to a number of different online training resources," said a Business Services member of staff. 

20th TLT and White & Case

A TLT lawyer said: "I feel as though I'm on a good track, supported by my line manager, with a pathway to where I want to go. It would be great if the course was faster, no doubt, but I don't think it's a slow one by any means."

However, there were quibbles in some areas: "Career development in business services has been slow," said one member of staff, who felt: "Fee earners have been the priority, but the promise of a clear progression route for business services seems to have died a death."

At White & Case one senior lawyer said: "Career development processes, including partnership track, are highly transparent and candidates are openly supported." although another believed that "the culture is very up and out".

Joint 22nd CMS and Shoosmiths

At CMS, one senior lawyer highlighted an issue in their team "is that nobody really wants to leave, so making partner can take time." Although they pointed out that "lawyers being contented isn't really a cause for complaint."

Another CMS lawyer praised the "comprehensive" L&D programme. However, a CMS partner felt that there is "no incentive for cross-selling or collaboration", resulting in "partners generally operating in silos".

A Shoosmiths junior lawyer said: "for those who want to progress (and quickly) the opportunities are there", and the "firm recognises those who work hard in promotions and pay review."

But a colleague said that "Career development is very much self propelled though not consistent - some departments place time barriers to promotion whilst others promote those who are not ready because they don't want to lose them to competitors."

24th Debevoise & Plimpton

A Debevoise & Plimpton lawyer believed that there is "not a great deal of control over work flow or type, given the size of the team" but overall they had a  "great exposure to complex, high-value deals."  While a senior lawyer said: "I definitely feel like I am developing, progressing and receiving support, but long-term career progression remains opaque."

Joint 25th Ashurst and Weightmans

A senior lawyer at Ashurst said: "I feel like there is room to become a partner if you want it and are encouraged to do so." Another lawyer said: "It's never totally transparent as to how you progress, but I feel as though the firm cares and invests in progression which is the main thing."

Weightmans has a "meritocratic" approach to career development, said one lawyer. "It’s not about your face fitting as to whether you get a promotion - it’s all based on figures/ stats and whether you’re helping to grow the business." But: "They need to focus on better supervision".

Joint 27th Charles Russell Speechlys, Mishcon de Reya and Watson Farley & Williams 

At Charles Russell Speechlys "the process is a bit opaque," said one lawyer, "but the firm is planning to revamp it a bit as part of its current strategy plans."

"Promotion criteria still isn’t applied fairly or consistently between teams which is abysmal for a firm of its size," said a senior CRS lawyer. "Some teams (property) hold associates back until they are closer to 10 years PQE before progressing to Senior Associate" while "the corporate team promote significantly earlier (4/5 years)." 

At Mishcon de Reya, a junior lawyer said: "The firm is completely invested in development, focused on ensuring good and regular feedback and getting everyone to where they want/need to be."

However, a Mishcon senior lawyer felt that development is "at the whim of the heads of department" as "many with better numbers are ignored for promotion against others who are friendlier with the big cheeses." A colleague said they were "disappointed" the firm "got rid of the legal director role" adding: "I don't want to be a partner, but I joined the firm on the basis that I wouldn't have to choose between staying as an MA, or having to leave at some point once I was just too senior."

A Watson Farley & Williams partner said: "Career development is there for those that chase after it. Generally those that complain are not rising up the ranks for a reason - they sit back and expect it to come to them by right. Those that get promoted are the ones that approach partners and management, are interested in the firm and are entrepreneurial rather than reactive."

However, a WFW senior lawyer believed: "I have no chance of progression as the main partner I work with is the 'gatekeeper' type that is positively encouraged into that sort of behaviour here." A Business Services member of staff said: "it’s definitely lacking. I feel they don’t want you to progress in your career because then they have to increase your salary which is an absolute no go."

Joint 30th DWF, Horwich Farrelly and Allen & Overy

"DWF gives you the chance to and space to develop if you are willing to work hard," said a partner. A senior lawyer at the firm said that "Career development is pretty fair but the promotion process is so bureaucratic that people find it easier to move up the ranks elsewhere."

At Horwich Farrelly a senior lawyer said that progression is "office / manager specific." And the firm has "introduced at least two new layers of seniority, thereby stifling those with ambitions of partnership. The introduction was a result of a few senior associates that threatened to leave but were placated with the new post of associate partner, whatever that is."

"Can’t knock it" commented an Allen & Overy junior lawyer about career development. Although a Business Services member of staff said: "Progress up the ladder is achievable if you have sharp elbows, total disregard for your colleagues and threaten to leave."

Joint 33rd Irwin Mitchell, Pinsent Masons and Norton Rose Fulbright

"A lot of hoop jumping to get promotion," said a senior lawyer at Irwin Mitchell. "I feel colleagues can be deliberately held back for no particularly good reason, other than their boss had to go through the hoops and wait in line, so they should too." Another lawyer commented that there has "always been a pretty fair appraisal system - there are sometimes favourites who seem to get everything - but then they do tend to put the hours in and do more business development etc. so its fair enough."

A  Pinsent Masons junior lawyer said there are "great opportunities to get sector/client exposure and a massive range of work opportunities, as well as an international secondment programme." However there were some grumbles that "all options other than partnership are undervalued, and partnership is guarded like the holy grail," argued a senior lawyer. "There is no recognition of non-traditional routes to partnership."

At Norton Rose Fulbright  "aside from adding more responsibilities, with no extra pay or support, nothing is done to really develop people's careers, contributing to high turnover," said a Business Services member of staff. A senior NRF lawyer said that although "making partner takes longer than in years gone by, the firm tries hard to support its own, and offer development opportunities through secondments etc along the way."

36th Linklaters

At Linklaters "the flurry of senior exits has resulted in some better work trickling down the levels," said one lawyer. "Not everyone has been happy, but this has positively impacted my development."

However, "partnership is opaque as it ever was," said one senior lawyer at the Magic Circle firm as "partners still cling to prestige and badmouth anyone who takes partnership at a US shop."

Joint 37th DLA Piper, Freshfields and Womble Bond Dickinson 

"Hard to carve out a niche for yourself at a junior level," said a lawyer at DLA Piper, "where you’re very much at the whim of your partners."

A DLA Business Services member of staff said: "It is easy to progress as they can't recruit externally."

"Freshfields does not really care about PQE," revealed a junior lawyer, "the London office instead focuses on 'milestones'. This means associates that are doing well are rewarded with better pay / bonuses and more interesting work the faster they develop." However, a colleague said: "in principle it allows associates to progress at different rates - but in practice it is only used to hold people back." A Business Services member of staff said: "Development is reduced as the firm does not want to pay a higher salary."

At  Womble Bond Dickinson a partner said: "Every man and his dog can progress to salaried partner these days. Beyond that though, it’s a mystery wrapped in a riddle as to how one gains even junior equity."

A junior Womble lawyer said: "It’s well known that people that threaten to leave get promoted, which leaves a bitter taste for their colleagues who don’t throw their toys out the pram."

40th Clifford Chance

"The firm traditionally lacks transparency about career prospects, you get a carrot each year and then in one appraisal they suddenly remember you’re not promotion material and eventually manage you out," said a junior lawyer at Clifford Chance. "The transactional seats have a couple of 11-14 PQE associates that are still hoping… lmao".

Although a senior lawyer saw the bright side: "Clifford Chance will open doors elsewhere even if I’m a rubbish lawyer".

41st HFW

"Dissatisfied, because I see the workload adding up but don't see any salary or role promotion changing," said a Business Services member of staff at HFW.

A junior lawyer reported that "HFW is a great firm to train at as you are often the only associate / trainee on the matter with the partner. So you get really good experience and levels of responsibility from an early stage." Although a trainee felt: "I don’t feel they are investing in junior or mid level people enough for us to want to stay and develop at the firm."

42nd Clyde & Co

"Can't say I've had a career development conversation since pre-Covid," said a senior Clyde & Co lawyer. "And bearing in mind I've instigated some of these conversations, that's saying something."

Another Clydes lawyer believed: "I have a reasonable chance of making partner but that is a fairly unappetising prospect so I will almost certainly leave."

43rd Eversheds Sutherland

"Haemorrhaging Associates" said an Eversheds Sutherland lawyer who commented that the firm's "plan" is to "delay all promotions to Senior associate, then sit back and wonder why attrition rates are so high."

A senior Eversheds lawyer said: "there is little by way of active encouragement, it’s very much left to individuals to push for it".

Joint 44th Herbert Smith Freehills and Slaughter and May

Career development at HSF is "opaque," said a a senior lawyer. While another commented about progression: "Don’t have children."

A Slaughter and May junior lawyer said: "Chances of partnership - particularly in certain departments - are slim to zero, but frankly Slaughters increasingly resembles a training camp for the partnership of other top law firms and in-house departments, so I don't mind."

"You can get a change in title," said a Slaughters Business Services member of staff, "but it looks like the pay will not be reflective of what you should get in the market."

46th Gowling WLG

"No real room for growth" and "training provided on ad hoc and required basis," said a Business Services member of staff at Gowling WLG.

47th Capsticks

"Career development at Capsticks is like the hunger games - anyone who supports the Capitol is given an unfair advantage whilst the districts are left squabbling for scraps," said a junior lawyer. 

"Discussions about career development are always hush hush and management never open the conversation," said a senior lawyer. "Fee-earners are always left wondering whether to broach it or not." 

Another lawyer said: "Everything is cloak and dagger with the onus on fee earners to push for promotion. Most partners won’t encourage you to put yourself forward and candidates are often left wondering whether they are any good."

48th Dentons

"Career progression is very much dependant on how much you suck up to your manager and how much additional, unpaid time you are willing to give the firm," said a Dentons Business Services member of staff. 

A senior Dentons lawyer said the firm has an "inflexible approach to promotion" with "too much focus on billable hours vs quality of work."

49th Kennedys

"Doesn’t feel like there is a plan for associates. Too many partners are selfish and don’t think about junior lawyers," said a Kennedys associate. Another added: "partners are just not interested in supporting career development. Senior associates just leave."

50th Baker McKenzie

"At 12 years PQE my career doesn't seem to be going anywhere," said a senior lawyer at Baker McKenzie. 

A  Business Services member of staff said that career development is "unclear and mostly depends on someone's discretion". A colleague said: "To be fair, the messaging is supported by reality, but you need to be proactive and not wait for development to strike like lightning."
 

51st Ince Gordon Dadds

"The firm’s too busy trying to fight fires at the moment to care," said a junior lawyer at Ince.

"Never have I worked anywhere where the idea of equity partnership so terrifies the salaried partners that they'd rather leave or take a demotion than accept," said an Ince partner. 

 

52nd Slater and Gordon

"Absolutely no career development if you’re in business services," said a Slater and Gordon staffer. "You just get fobbed off all the time. They’ve recently started treating the lawyers better as they need them to stay" in order "to sell".

"One rule for one person, one rule for another. Just depends if you’re the solicitor’s favourite," said a Slater and Gordon paralegal. 

53rd Knights

"A one way path into a brick wall," said a senior lawyer at Knights. While a colleague commented: "I’m not putting vomiting inducing LinkedIn posts so I’m screwed."

54th Squire Patton Boggs

"Zero career development unless you're ready to brown nose like mad," said a junior lawyer at Squire Patton Boggs.

"I haven’t heard of this," said a senior lawyer, "only excuses as to why I’ve made my hours but I’m not getting a proper bonus i.e I need to hit certain KPIs better, which is a total fudge to get out of paying me."

"It’s been going nowhere fast for a while," said another. "I think associates that have stayed for a while often get thought of as a bit useless because we haven’t already left."

55th Goodwin Procter

"Hiring clowns into senior positions who cling onto huge pay and being jack sh*te isn’t great for one’s career development," said a lawyer at Goodwin Procter. 

"Nowhere to progress to," said onw lawyer, "saturated lower partnership level and saturated with useless fat. While another commented: "Would like to further progress and make partner, but don’t see that happening with the current set up".

Joint 56th BCLP and Keoghs

BCLP and Keoghs shared the bottom position.

"No scope for career progression as old partners won’t leave," said a senior BCLP lawyer. While a junior lawyer said there is a "very lukewarm commitment to this."

A Business Services member of staff said there is "no time to complete courses due to high volumes of work and tight deadlines for project work."

At Keoghs a senior lawyer said: "No clear structure, no discussion as to how to progress." While a colleague commented: "Staff are left to fester, there are very few opportunities to progress and junior but talented staff are not let anywhere near the clients. Unless you’re going to take a client with you if you leave, you’re just another worker ant grinding the hours out."

A paralegal at Keoghs said development is "like the X factor without the glamour. If your face fits you are ok. If not, no chance."

Tip Off ROF

Comments

Freshfields Manchester 10 March 23 08:54

Business Services development has not been reduced on salary grounds. It has been cancelled because it is an unnecessary expense as leadership is now in the US and (except for the lucky few with partner air cover) the firm could not give a toss about you or your career development. 
 

HR is being Modernised and my colleagues in L&D have all honesty. Associates looking for development to move up the milestones will find it harder. 

Plexus spot on for once 10 March 23 09:10

Plexus is far from perfect but I totally recognise and endorse the comments here. The paths are very clear and objectively measured. I see sensible choices being made and feel confident about where I’m going as a result. 

Unlisted firms 10 March 23 09:11

Hi Jamie

How about putting in at least some comments from those firms which didn't have enough ratings to list them in the tables? I have a certain US firm in mind, but don't let that influence you...

Anon 10 March 23 09:20

Anyone good is leaving BCLP.   That tells you something. 

Anonymous 10 March 23 09:47

You will already be a partner at Clydes Manchester if you are ex-Chapmans.  Being related to a partner also assists greatly.  

Flex the Plex 10 March 23 09:57

I agree with ‘Plexus spot on for once’. I went from junior office gimp to senior executive document management specialist in a matter of years thanks to Plexus’ fast track scheme. Plexus: it is an incredibly happy shop which definitely isn’t about to go bust. 

🤡 10 March 23 09:57

Wombles staff must be deluded (or the voting has been swamped by the marketing team again)

Anon 10 March 23 10:02

Reading through these comments its interesting as "development prospects" means very different things depending on your current role:

Notably for junior lawyers the focus is clearly on formal training and work opportunities whereas once you reach a certain point and are on version 3 or 4 of effectively the same training but allegedly "more advanced" it become less about training and more about prospects.  I suspect, given the typical law firm pyramid, this career development framework will over index on places where training for juniors is good but prospects of getting promoted to partner are shite (the comments from Sidley being a prime example).  Would be interesting if these rankings materially differed by PQE.

Freshfields Manchester typo 10 March 23 10:36

Should read “My L&D colleagues have all left.” 

QuirkyLad 10 March 23 10:41

What's the point of being a partner at places like Keoghs and the like if you get paid less than nq's at bigger insurance firms in Manchester?

Kellogs 10 March 23 10:42

Can we have a play off final please between BCLP and Keoghs? 

Anon 10 March 23 10:55

Reply to Kellogs 10.42

at Keoghs Bolton you do have the pleasure of working in the shade of the Tough Sheet Stadium!

Flex your pecks 10 March 23 11:06

Thanks darling. Keep being bitter and twisted. 

Anonymous 10 March 23 11:15

Worrying to see Freshfields’ Modernised Manchester’s attention to detail has not improved. The firm should ask McKinsey for a refund.

@ Anon 10.55 10 March 23 11:17

I wonder if that's where they hold pay reviews for staff? No pay rise. Tough sheet sunshine. Now walk back to the happier sounding Park Lands across the road.

Anonymous 10 March 23 11:18

Promotion at Keoghs means nothing in the wider market. But they have another spreadsheet to encourage development. Brilliant. 

Bob Weeks 10 March 23 11:19

SPB is pretty damn tippity top. 

#Stockholmsyndrome 10 March 23 11:30

The irony of some Knights staff using #oneteam on their nauseating LinkedIn posts - they must be repressing the memory of The Great Share Shafting of ‘22 which they endured at the hands of management incompetence. 
 

(I will await the customary thumbs down from the True Believers of the Church of Dave.)

Happy Associate 10 March 23 11:39

Career development at BCLP is absolutely superb … if you leave and go elsewhere.

Almost all of my cohort have left and gone on to much, much better things: better firms with better career development, better pay, better management, better partners, better clients, better matters, and better futures.

I am so looking forward to joining them. CV is in the market along with dozens and dozens of others

Plus ca change at Freshfields 10 March 23 12:19

I was at Freshfields when Manchester opened. The partners’ mantra was that it was a powerhouse. What we all knew but management didn’t want to hear was that the Centre’s only superpower was to pump out more crap per hour than Battersea Dog’s Home. Sounds like a fortune continues to be sprayed up the wall for the emperor’s new clothes. 

Anons2 10 March 23 13:23

Another good result for WFWs directors, looks like HR & friends doing the survey

Travers X Trainee 10 March 23 13:37

Travers comment must have been written by a cult member. Pitty their cult is crumbling around them on a weekly basis. Another three partners said to have resigned this week.

Anon 10 March 23 13:45

I’m not surprised more people from Knights aren’t commenting… no one stays long enough to find out what the career development opportunities are 

Anon 10 March 23 13:57

Come someone explain the whole Sidley thing. Honestly, is it actually a dream place to work (yeah hours are rubbish no doubt, but that is the allure). 

wombles 10 March 23 14:17

yes agreed I think the Wombles marketing team earning their money this year by making sure another Golden Turd avoided

Anonymous 10 March 23 14:42

@12.19

I worked in the Manchester office at the time. It wasn’t the people, it was the firm that caused the quality issues. The firm’s interviewers hired us on the basis it was 9-5. There was no guidance on how the rest of the firm worked, or support when we were abused by the lawyers (90% of the time it was the lawyers, not business services).

We weren’t helped by our invisible leader. He lived in London, was next to never here, and seemed to do as little as possible before leaving. 

The Centre was at the whim of leadership battles in London. The London leader of my department was useless and prickly. As long as you kept on her right side you were fine. Doing a good job had nothing to do with it, you had to tow the line or else.

When it was allowed to sort things out for itself Manchester delivered. When it was a pawn in management games it couldn’t.

London’s lawyers and leaders should look at themselves before blaming Manchester. 

See through Knighty 10 March 23 15:46

The great share shafting came after the great salary shafting where 10% of nearly all employees pay was reduced without consultation.

Alas it was never repaid.  

It did wonders for the share price though and lots of people got rich from selling just before the great share shafting.

Just think about how many Granny Smith’s you’d have to eat to receive the equivalent of the money you’d lost through the repeated shaftings?   

 

#noteamleft 10 March 23 15:52

Correction Anon - nobody GOOD stays long enough to find out what the career opportunities are. Not many people truly know the answer to whether you get a second Easter Egg or not, and those who do know the answer to that question are #oneteam 🤮

Park(lands) life 10 March 23 16:19

At Keoghs the application for associate is not straightforward, you have to jump through some hoops, give ideas to improve the business and in return you get a title that means nothing and there’s no pay rise. What’s the point? Yes, you’re a step nearer to partnership but that’s no guarantee of a great salary or any influence. When lawyers no longer own a law firm, the pull to be a mercenary and move firms, even for a lateral move is hard to resist. I’m lining up my next move. 

Anon 10 March 23 18:19

Quite right #noteamleft - I think I might as well wait for the Easter egg but don’t think I will be getting a second advent calendar 

Freshfields Champagne 10 March 23 18:33

14:42

There certainly was a spiteful divisiveness about sending year end champagne to the entire London office and sweet FA to Manchester. 

Sidley thing 10 March 23 19:01

I have never worked at Sidley but know those who have/do well, and since no one apparently is owning up to working there in the comments, I will offer a view, although it may be flawed and happy to be corrected:

- their offices are very nice. The moved from nice offices to very nice offices a couple of years back. Having nice offices and lots of space, and modern IT and desks, makes a difference.

- the pay, obviously

- the hours are just simply not as bad as other US firms. Sidley is surrounded in close proximity by about 10 other US firms; those associates work much harder, are more stressed and those firms are often rotator belts. Anyone working at Sidley thinking they've got it rough, they do not - I've heard the occasion moan from Sidley folks and when you hear the context of it and their hours generally, you want to punch them.

- Associates at other US firms come and go within 12-24 months consistently - and that is not abnormal at US firms. Hours, stress, difficult people, managing out, hiring when busy and then the associate isn't as fully utilised as they would like and so they show them the door. Culture elsewhere is therefore bordering on toxic in other firms.

- Sidley's bottom line traditionally wasn't particularly profitable re hours but maybe that's changed.

- Their HR is actually nice and competent.

- They also seem to do a good job at leveraging their associates into good secondments and client exits.

 

Anonymous 10 March 23 19:19

@ 17.00 Keoghs used to be a law firm. Davies are loss adjusters. Not sure what they are now. 

The Dark Knight 10 March 23 20:18

@ See Through Knighty

Don’t encourage Del Monte and the associated Fruit Propaganda. 
 

I can confirm Granny Smiths have been recently sighted amongst the offices, however.  

Perplexed 10 March 23 20:36

What on earth is going on at Plexus? I can’t believe this firm generates so many comments. Every body seems to have an opinion. They certainly seem to have upset a lot of people. How can they score so highly on this and yet be so despised!? Makes no sense unless it’s rigged. ROF can you report on the shenanigans? I am intrigued. 

Anonymous 11 March 23 07:41

Wtf are Freshfields doing in Manchester?  

Keoghs green watch 11 March 23 08:09

Not surprised by the Keoghs comments. We are growing by buying in expensive laterals who have been binned by their firms for being overpaid. Big squeeze at the top as a result. No room for Keoghs lifers to join the party at the top so we lose out. Terrible. Mind you, I’ve heard junior Partners only earn £100k so probably not worth it anyway.
 

Petrol card is nice though. Probably why they all drive gas guzzlers like Audi sports cars or RRs that do 5 to the gallon. Not very green though. Not at all. Mind you, we only pay lip service to green credentials for RFPs and we all know it. 

So curious 11 March 23 11:05

Is there really no one at Sidley who can comment and tell us what on earth is going on there? How is it consistently scoring so high….when it’s a US firm!! Are they busy? Do they get high value deals etc?!

Park(lands) life 11 March 23 12:29

The fuel card at Keoghs was apparently to be handed back in exchange for a lump sum so as to discourage the gas guzzler brigade but then the pandemic hit and management realised that it would be cheaper to keep the fuel card due to the WFH arrangements. So sod the environment when there’s money to be saved! 

Stay Perplexed 11 March 23 13:13

Plexus are not despised by everyone. It’s just that a small group of ex employees are very vocal. They got found out and didn’t like it. 
 

Some of that group sold out and then got found out. Then paid back millions. They didn’t like that, I bet. 
 

The haters shout very loud. And they are very active on ROF. That’s all. Mind you, they were often very loud when at Plexus too 😂

Most people at Plexus like it as far as I can tell. And want the firm to succeed. 
 

So why do the haters wish so much harm on Plexus I hear you cry - well you might too if you had a cozy number and got found out and now have to work for a living, or if you want the firm to fail so your restrictive covenants became void. Everyone has a reason for saying what they do and ROF is just part of the platform for playing games. 

 

 

Green watch is dreaming 11 March 23 13:43

100k for a junior Partner at Keoghs? Dream on. More like £70k. 

Petrol card is a nice perk though. 5 litres no problem. Greta can do one. 

Anonymous 11 March 23 14:24

@08.09 - no pay rise with Partnership unless you’re in with the top clique. This involves being a sheep and following the herd. If you manage this you have a bright (Keoghs / Davies) career ahead.

wombles 11 March 23 14:45

very accurate quote from wombles partner that anyone can be a salaried partner nowadays. There are many now Wombles partners who previously left the firm as senior associates and had hit glass ceiling when they would never become a partner. they leave join a rival but are then asked to leave rival when becomes apparent they do not have what it takes there either and then bizarely come back to Wombles who are desperate for anyone to join as a partner.

say it like it is 13 March 23 15:19

@ Stay Perplexed 11 March 23 13:13 - I'm sorry, but that comment is hilarious!  Obviously from a keyboard warrior at the Firm who has been alerted to the many comments left on ROF regarding the Firm yet again being bled dry by bad investments.

Plexus are one of the WORST employers, and this is not from someone who was "found out" and had a "cozy number".  I worked extremely hard for Plexus, was very loyal, worked over and above my contracted hours, was hardly ever off sick, hit all my targets, however was given sweet FA from the company as recognition, in fact no one was, unless you were hob nobing with the partners.  In fact, I was shafted as many others were.

The amount of disgruntled employees whether they are still working for Plexus or not tells its own story.  For once, I would ask that those denying what a hell hole that place is, takes a step back and takes stock of the way they have dumped on their employees from a great height and still sleep soundly at night.

Plexus, once again will unfortunately sink due to its bad investments once again and those at the top will take all they can whilst those at the bottom making the money for the Firm will again be hung out to dry.  Sad but true.

If you are considering a career in law, find a proper law firm and not a faceless/vacant employer like Plexus.

Reply to perplexed 14 March 23 07:25

It is an interesting quandry that if all those that have exited plexus are useless / work shy / bad apples why have all the insurer clients also left? 
Plexus yet again late with filing the accounts which is likely to hide the fact that revenue has halved in the time origin took over and it is now a significantly loss making. 

Perhaps you can muse over the worth of others, and yourself, whilst queuing at the unemployment centre in the coming weeks….

Anon 14 March 23 09:29

Happy Associate 10 March 23 11:39

Couldn’t agree more with Happy Associate,  and no matter how many downvotes BCLP management manage to drum up, the factual matrix remains as-is; people are leaving BCLP in droves.

AnonnyNQ 14 March 23 11:48

I've always wondered why the mid firms always top these tables. Surely the likes of Kirkland would offer better development than certain firms which average 40 hour working weeks? I understand the appeal to those firms, but surely they lack the career development?

Anonymous 14 March 23 15:40

Know a partner who moved to Keoghs for 95k in 2019

Sidley doyen 15 March 23 12:41

@So curious: While the firm has way too many mediocre K&E rejects and third rate partners/associates with questionable background, the London office is managing fine through strong internal referrals from the US and the Far East. The culture is friendly and the hours are reasonable, but the associate group except for the odd newbies generally accept that we ain’t here to work on market leading deals and our exit options are limited due to the perception our competitors have in regards to the quality of our work. It doesn’t bother us though given the good work/life balance and Cravath pay + top staff benefits.

Anonymous 15 March 23 23:11

To @ Stay Perplexed

There’s a grain of truth in every joke. I suspect the best is yet to come. 

I am perplexed 16 March 23 16:15

Why do people not move on once they leave some firms? Sad individuals. 

Olivia 16 March 23 17:56

If I could turn back time,

If I could find a way,

I’d never have sacked those four donkeys, no way.

I don’t know why I did the things I did,

Buying a law firm makes you flip your lid, 

Clients leaving it’s like a knife cuts deep inside,

We are going down the pan and there’s nowhere to hide.  

I really didn’t want to sack you,

I didn’t wanna see you go,

I thought I’d keep your clients,

But oh no,

if I could turn back time…..

 

 

Anon 16 March 23 22:14

You need to leave and go to another position / more responsibilities. You can’t get promoted from within in legal sector. 

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