It's the only way they'll learn.
The Senior Partner of a Hong Kong firm has punished his lawyers with a good old-fashioned shaming for not recording their time.
Gordon Oldham, the Senior Partner of Oldham, Li & Nie, told his lawyers in an email that "some of you are not in love enough with OLN and its success to actually mark your time".
"You don't fear any punishment and you are obviously not greedy enough to want to get commissions from the fees that you put in", wrote Oldham.
"So I have decided that maybe I can embarrass a few of you by showing you the attached which of course is for your billable time from the 4th to the 8th of January as recorded - or in the case of [Associate 1], [Partner 1], and [Associate 2], not recorded".
Law firms have been known to circulate their lawyers' time recording stats in an effort to prompt better performance, but it's more unusual to pick out individuals for some dedicated humiliation. RollOnFriday has redacted the names of Oldham's naughty subordinates, all of whom were Asian.
"[Associate 1], the last time I asked you about this you promised me you would start using it and keep it open on your desk at all times", wrote Oldham in the email. "You haven't and you still fail to put in your time".
At least his ire was not restricted to the junior ranks. "[Partner 2], congratulations, in 5 days you managed to record 1 hour", he wrote.
However, junior lawyers suffered his most stinging rebukes, which including proposing a trainee research how to end their own employment.
"[Trainee 1], unless you have been in suspended animation where you have absolutely no work, could you please find out how I discontinue a Training Contract halfway through where the trainee refuses/fails to carry out reasonable instructions from his principal!", he said.
Oldham also implied that one of his associates had been lying to him. "[Associate 3], I used to criticise you for not putting in bills and you always told me you did but your principals at that time were discouraging you", wrote the Senior Partner. "Now, I see that you don't even put in any time so perhaps that was just a made up excuse?"
Oldham finished by promising to issue "formal notices" impacting on bonuses, pay rises and holidays if there wasn't a "marked improvement" in time recording.
According to Oldham's profile, he arrived in Hong Kong as an NQ 40 years ago, and is now involved in running several charitable organisations. His LinkedIn profile photo is a small boy smoking a cigarette next to a chicken, and he lists his education as "Earth 1952 - 2016".
Oldham told RollOnFriday, "My goodness you must be short on newsworthy items to write a piece about an internal communication. Don't you have anything more interesting to say or do? What is there for me to say – the press these days, more than ever, will basically write what it wants to suit its own agenda and titillate or shock its subscribers. It seems to me that your probable subconscious bias as an employee has already determined the manner in which you will interpret the communication".
Addressing the email, Oldham said, "My dog Tommy who is a very friendly Hong Kong Street stray only took one occasion when he backed into a hot radiator to learn his lesson. It seems that he can learn faster than some people these days who are being pulled kicking and screaming into the age of technology. Illustrating who is using technology and who is not hardly constitutes the shaming of lawyers. Not exactly Game of Thrones. Man up...or is that too gender specific these days".