gld manager

"Glad to see you're all satisfied."

The Government Legal Department has sabotaged its own attempt to mollify disgruntled staff, by offering to answer their questions and then ignoring the difficult ones.

478 GLD colleagues dialled in to a meeting last week to hear their Executive Team answer questions they had provided in advance.

Staff had been told that the Executive Team would "endeavour to answer all pre-submitted questions", which the government lawyers were able to push up the agenda before the meeting by up-voting them.

The opportunity was welcomed by GLD lawyers, one of whom complained earlier this year that morale was at "rock bottom" following the announcement by HM Treasury of a two year pay freeze.

The most popular question demanded to know how the GLD would retain its staff given that there had been "no real pay rises" for ten years and that, with inflation due to hit 4%, staff were being "asked to do more for less".

The second most popular submission asked whether the GLD board would "apologise for the terrible way its staff have been treated" in relation to pay, and to "assure its staff there is some sliver of hope for the future?"

The Executive Team dealt with the awkward questions by pretending they didn't exist, said a source who attended the virtual meeting.

According to the GLD's wildly upbeat summary of the session, Susanna McGibbon, Treasury Solicitor and Permanent Secretary, "reflected on how important, fascinating and rewarding our work is in continuing to support the Government, and the good that we are doing for our country", while the Attorney General, Michael Ellis, expressed "every confidence that GLD will continue to be a brilliant place to work".

Their love-in was at odds with the sentiment of some staff who were left "utterly bemused" when management decided not to address queries touching on pay and workload, said a GLD insider. The Executive Team's approach was an "astonishing way to treat its workforce, which they clearly regard as nothing more than children to be patronised", said the lawyer.

A GLD spokesperson told RollOnFriday, "We are continuing to work hard on improving our overall reward package for staff within the tight constraints placed upon us. This is, and will remain, a key priority over the coming period. We also continue to monitor factors including the wider legal labour market and recruitment to make an informed decision on any future pay business cases".

"All questions submitted in the internal virtual event will be answered in a written document for GLD staff", she added.

Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 09 July 21 10:10

Now we're all flexi-time, what does working in-house for the government offer you that you can't get elsewhere for more cash? Nothing. Nothing!  AHAHAHAHAHA. Other than ministers diving in for a quick bonk in a CCTV blindspot of course.

Find me in the basement 09 July 21 10:15

I was on the all staff call and the treasury solicitor could not distance herself from the hard questions quick enough, especially on pay. 


If she's reading, here is a bit of advice. People can deal with being given bad news. They can plan to leave and work somewhere else, or just button their lip and get on with it. 


What people can't deal with, is being lied to, misled, patted on the head and being jerked around that there will be jam tomorrow. Its not a great place to work, and never will be. Its ok, and better than being unemployed. But don't give me a shit sandwich and tell me it's a 4 Michelin starred meal. 


Anonymous 09 July 21 10:53

I don't understand how the GLD still finds people willing to work there. I would rather shovel mountains of manure for 12 hours a day 7 days per week at the minimum wage. The government's chronic underfunding of its legal arm (as well as of the judiciary) is deplorable and has turned the GLD into a no-go zone.  

Idea for ROF 09 July 21 10:53

Would ROF please consider submitting an FOI request for a copy of all of the questions which were submitted?

It would be nice if someone stuck up for GLD lawyers, and as you can see from this sh#tshow, it won't be the self-satisfied, painfully dishonest GLD management.

A crust of bread 09 July 21 11:52

I work doing commercial work for a large local authority and interact with GLD. TBH there is too much "wendy whinging" from GLD. They are trousering more money (circa £10-15K) for broadly similar work, yet they bleat about everything. It aint a bad gig they have...just saying.

Soup for the bread 09 July 21 12:14

Bread if you are on 30 to 35k as an experienced lawyer then that is really bad. Go and drive a bus or something. 

Former GLD lawyer 09 July 21 12:57

This is really unfortunate.  Many incredible lawyers work in GLD, and people who genuinely believe in the rule of law and the 'public service' element of the role, and fulfil it admirably on a daily basis. 

I agree with past comments that this is a result of successive tory policies of gutting public services.  It makes no sense to do this to such a fundamental cornerstone of the public sector (laws are the only things that give the state meaning in the lives of its citizens, duh).  It's also part of a long history of poor managerialism in the British state, about which many books have written.

Sadly many of those at G7 level are now treated disgracefully in terms of promotion and pay prospects.  The promotional structure is at best patronizing and at worst exploitative.  Those who are highly specialized and perform essential roles are fobbed off from promotion with lateral so-called 'development moves', where they are placed in a far-flung area they have no prior experience of and made to start again, thereby justifying them being maintained on a dismal salary.  It adds insult to injury, essentially saying "we believe an NQ could do your job, that's why you're paid the same as them.  We're such geniuses that we could do anything, any day.".  

In summary, it's only possible as a job now if you 'got in' before the freezes and changes to grade progression (and are therefore more senior) and/or have a spouse or partner who is well-paid. 

It's become a bit like working in the arts in London, in the sense that you have to just do it for the love (and GLD has something of the arts' sector's arrogant strut: "you'd be lucky to work for us").  But it's harder to love working for the current government (as exemplified by Jonathan Jones' departure).  No amount of gauche hand-wringing by the current management can turn the tide on the spending policies of the last decade.


Anonymous 09 July 21 13:05

You don't get to the top in the civil service by being frank with Ministers about when there are genuine problems. So its hardly a surprise that there wasn't a frank and honest discussion with staff in front of the Attorney General. And, let's face it, pushing Ministers on this issue is not going to happen. 

The Executive Team are great at having meetings, consulting everyone about everything, and generally engaging in a load of displacement activities. But facing and dealing with difficult problems seems not to be in their skill set.

It says it all that GLD have "always on" recruitment - because retention is so bad.

Disappointed of London 09 July 21 14:16

GLD also need to seriously rethink their pathetic post Covid offering on remote working. The WFH arrangements, recently unveiled, are no better than lots of City firms. Does the executive team really not realise how precarious everything is, and how little there is to keep people here? I'd have thought being competitive about WFH would be a no brainer. 

Tiredandfedup 09 July 21 14:21

I work at GLD and completely agree with the comments above - for an organisation that prides itself (via grotesque internal propaganda) as being an excellent organisation it is anything but. Most of my colleagues are depressed and desperately applying for jobs elsewhere and the turnover/churn is beyond belief.

Anonymous 09 July 21 14:35

It's kinda funny really. GLD make out they are all for transparency, and they don't mind being challenged on things and how things are done. 


Yet yesterday they included a very prominent section in TWIB saying we all need to keep internal matters internal otherwise it'll damage the culture of frankness and transparency the GLD try to foster. They also included a bizarre threat that the Gld lawyers have a professional obligation not to discuss or share internal gld matters externally (presumably because of this article, although something else may have prompted it as well I guess).

That's the same culture of transparency and frankness that allows senior management to totally ignore the top rated questions on pay during the all staff call, and then brazenly claim the next day that all questions and concerns were addressed on the call, including the questions on pay?


It's absolutely disgraceful. The treasury solicitor should be utterly ashamed that this is now the state of things. It's almost like we are in an era of alternative facts and fake news.


I certainly don't want to work here anymore with these truth twisters. 

Anonymous 09 July 21 15:05

I see Jonathan jones gave an interview the other day saying how underpaid government lawyers are and how much of a problem that is. 


Shame he didn't feel so strongly about it when he was actually in a position to try and do something meaningful about it. 

KingMup (ret'd) 09 July 21 16:35

The most popular question demanded to know how [INSERT NAME OF ANY EUROPEAN BANK] would retain its staff given that there had been "no real pay rises" for ten years and that, with inflation due to hit 4%, staff were being "asked to do more for less".

GLSS 09 July 21 22:01

Grouville, I’ll bite.  The civil service pension hasn’t been gold plated for over a decade - that’s a Daily Mail trope’n’troll.  HMT gutted it after the 08 crash, it’s now a career average contributory scheme that doesn’t pay out until you reach 70, for the under 40s.  The redundancy arrangements are also now a baw hair more than the statutory minimum.  So it’s not much better than a stakeholder scheme except that because it’s unfunded there is no pot, pension entitlements can be changed at whim and you can’t transfer to a private scheme even if you are unhappy with the “gold plated” benefits you’ll never see.  Nobody who works in the civil service gets especially excited by the remuneration package, it’s been risible forever and those who don’t like it leave (or some smart ones come to Edinburgh where it’s the same but no commute).  What this article is about is that legal leadership in the public sector is as poor as anything the private sector has to offer.  

Bearer of Bad News 10 July 21 10:51

Let’s just be honest about it, there are some people who are genuinely committed to public law, but the greater number of lawyers in the GLD are people who couldn’t cut it in private practice, so is it really surprising they get less?

If you choose to be a civil servant under a government committed to underfunding public services, you’re wasting your time complaining about pay. Either leave if you can or if you have no options to leave for a higher salary, maybe that’s because you’re just not worth more.

Applicant 10 July 21 16:21

I'm always taken aback by the massively complicated recruitment process for GLD jobs.  There is a massively complicated form to fill in and loads of guff answers to write.  Compare this for a job with a law firm doing work of at least equal complexity - you bung in a CV and go through one or two interview rounds.  That's it.  The GLD appears to have outsourced their recruitment to a third-party who, seemingly only to keep themselves busy, has created this cumbersome process that probably excludes a large number of very good people.

Massive regrets 11 July 21 13:59

I know a guy I used to work with, who when he was a g7 lawyer with a mortgage and nursery fees to pay was struggling so much at one point that he was considering doing extra work in the evenings delivering takeaways.

He eventually got promoted and things got easier, but is this the sort of workforce mcgibbon wants ? Lawyers delivering pizzas? I'm sure she's doing OK in Islington but life for others isn't as easy. 

Anonymous 11 July 21 19:36

Sorry to say, I agree that although many GLD lawyers are excellent, quality is suffering. Good, experienced lawyers leave. The number of “can someone else do my job, because I can’t be bothered, or don’t know the basics” emails increase. All the board really do is preside over the decline. 

HR@LagosLaw 12 July 21 13:54

The real problem with GLD is that the senior staff are unaccountable. 

I was asked to write part of a book, which I duly did. A year later a Senior Civil Servant took umbridge that she hadn’t been able to edit the chapter to align with her outlook. 

I never met this individual but she complained to my line manager. Then a year later she did the same to my next line manager. 

It was completely unprofessional, but neither line manager pushed back on this individual. 

Anonymous 13 July 21 09:49

Management in GLD are exceptional. 

However they are in a no win situation. The Government has deliberately made the job unattractive because they fear any kind of scrutiny. 

I left because there is no career path in the regions. That’s a shame because Westminster isn’t the best place to make Government decisions. Too many staff there don’t understand the rest of the country. They’re property millionaires thinking artisan bakeries are needed. 

Anonymous 14 July 21 21:01

GLD lawyers are the watchmen of the constitution and more often than not they keep the pusillanimous - and frankly a lot of the time thick - politicians on the right side of the law.

I am sorry we lost our role in the European Commission - we were regarded highly among our European colleagues. British influence in the EEA which stretched from Gibraltar to Helsinki and from Reykjavik to Athens and beyond has been frittered away by the f*ckwits who understand nothing. 

Anon 15 July 21 11:15

I see the GLD are now clearly getting hacked off with their dirty laundry on pay being discussed on the Internet and are now trying to silence any further discussions on this by classifying all internal discussions on pay and meeting minutes as being official sensitive and not for external discussion. 


So much for transparency eh! 

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