picket

Up the workers!


Legal 500 has been ranked in Band 1 for ‘Anti-worker’ after the directory fired two pro-union employees.

In early November the Unite trade union informed the legal directory that its editorial team had amassed the necessary number of members to apply for union recognition.

Six days later, two employees who had driven the union sign-up effort were called into a meeting and “sacked on the spot” for “underperformance”, Unite told RollOnFriday.

Legal 500 workers who are found to be underperforming are usually given a warning and put on probation, said Unite, but this time "the company did not follow any kind of process”.

Unite has claimed that the ‘500 Two’ were axed because of their trade union activities and has demanded their immediate reinstatement.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said "bogus charges" had been brought to prevent a workforce from unionising.

“This is the sort of behaviour you expect from rogue employers, not from a company that is supposed to be an expert in the law. Our members will receive the full backing of Unite”, she said.

A picket of the Legal 500 offices on Monday failed to attract a miner’s strike-sized turnout, or even a five-a-side football team, but Unite said it was just the beginning.

Its legal department will now take the workers’ cases forward while an “escalating industrial campaign” will “run in parallel”, targeting Legal 500 and the Legalease Group of which it is part.

Unite regional officer Steve O’Donnell said it was “a stain on The Legal 500’s reputation that the company is prepared to stoop so low to prevent its workforce from having a collective voice” and that it would be in its “best interests" to accede to the union's demands.

Legal 500, which was accused of sharp practice when it came to furloughing staff during the pandemic, did not respond to a request for comment.

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Comments

Anonymous 01 December 23 10:25

"This is the sort of behaviour you expect from rogue employers, not from a company that is supposed to be an expert in the law"Who on earth thinks that about the Legal 500?!

Anonymous 01 December 23 10:26

Legal 500 is useless though, let’s be honest. Whereas they once looked into the relevant sectors, now they just believe the marketing guff submitted. My preference would be that they got rid of the lot and started again. 

Anonymous 01 December 23 10:30

"Unite has claimed that the ‘500 Two’ were axed because of their trade union activities and has demanded their immediate reinstatement."Terrifying stuff.Employer with no unionised workers, all of whom are entirely disposable anyway and can be replaced tomorrow with equally clueless uni-grads, faces claim from a union. Who will come out on top? It's really all to play for.Four shower-dodgers on the pavement really shows you how serious this is. Waves across the whole industry, no doubt.  Said with no disrespect to unions generally, but with a keen eye on the 'battery farm full of otherwise unemployable humanities grads, and a small room of salespeople who we actually pay because they flog  the ads' business model of the legal directories.

Dave Graham 01 December 23 10:35

Just another example of why unions should be banned as illegal combinations against the public interest British Leyland had 800 stoppages a year Toyota has had one half hour stoppage since 1945Where are they now?

Anonymous 01 December 23 10:48

Utterly unsurprising, from a company whose relationship with the NUJ has, at times, been tetchy when senior journalists have been moved on by management. 

Anonymous 01 December 23 10:51

The level of 'research' is a joke! Employees are treated awful, I had the misfortune of working there. Stop giving this dreadful company money. 

Archibald Harpett 01 December 23 11:07

They look like a group of individuals with a great career ahead of them. Power on; troops! Do not be beaten by these thugs!

Anonymous 01 December 23 11:11

Legal 500 rankings are based on how much you want one. 

Anonymous 01 December 23 11:54

"a company whose relationship with the NUJ has, at times, been tetchy when senior journalists have been moved on"   Surely that's because the Legal 500 has absolutely no need of anyone with any actual journalistic skills? So what would be the point of having them there at all? They probably sack all of their senior deep-sea divers too.  Sounds fair enough to me.

Anonymous 01 December 23 12:51

Is there...is there a way both the union and legal 500 can lose?

Anonymous 01 December 23 13:14

Not entirely sure why people are taking the piss out of the researchers? You try doing a decent job when you're paid a pittance, with below-basic benefits, and utterly shite working conditions. L500 is a toxic place to work (said from someone who used to work there), and ire and piss-taking should be directed at John Pritchard who is the one responsible for it all.

Joon 01 December 23 13:43

The Legal 500 only exists so that partners who are massively overcompensating can get their yearly rimjob, literally nobody else cares about the ranking.

Anonymous 01 December 23 14:58

Up the management - stick it to then Union.  Unionisation is the fastest way to even poorer performance and productivity leading to the closure of the business.  Unions have wrecked companies but don't seem to be bothered that their actions have caused real harm to their members when the company goes under.  That's why they thrive in the snivel service as we the home office cant go bust more's the pity.

Anonymous 01 December 23 16:15

"You try doing a decent job when you're paid a pittance, with below-basic benefits, and utterly shite working conditions"  The Chinese economy seems to have managed alright over the last few decades . So clearly this is possible.  Could the problem possibly be with the attitude of the should-be workers rather than the conditions, perhaps? Might there be some possibility, however slight, that the relationship between their ability to perform and the pay that they receive for their performance might be linked the other way around than the one you are suggesting?

Anonymous 02 December 23 08:45

The Legal 500, increasingly irrelevant - why does anybody bother? 

Anonymous 02 December 23 12:13

Having worked here before, I'm behind the researchers 100%. It's a terrible place to work and the researchers are overworked to the point of burnout. I've seen so many excited law grads start here over the years, only to then realise that it's not all it's cracked up to be. Keep at it - and it's about time everyone idolizing the rankings learns how toxic the company actually is.

Anonymous 02 December 23 13:10

"Might there be some possibility, however slight, that the relationship between their ability to perform and the pay that they receive for their performance might be linked the other way around than the one you are suggesting?"You get what you pay for. Pay sub-par and you'll receive sub-par. It really doesn't matter from which angle you want to approach this because the causality runs both ways.But just to be perfectly clear on where I stand on this issue: If you pay employees a very low/below average salary (like the Legal 500 does) it will inhibit their capacity to perform, no matter how bright, educated and motivated they may be.

Anonymous 03 December 23 13:56

"Could the problem possibly be with the attitude of the should-be workers rather than the conditions, perhaps? Might there be some possibility, however slight, that the relationship between their ability to perform and the pay that they receive for their performance might be linked the other way around than the one you are suggesting?" Nope. Go and look at the Meet the Team section on the website, plenty of bright and hardworking people there with amazing qualifications. The board are just used to milking all they can, from both law firms and employees. Very entitled and awful people. 

buzzkill 03 December 23 15:07

If these allegations are true, this is absolutely disgraceful behaviour by the Legal 500.

The right of workers to organise is a basic human right, and not something that a good employer should fear. Perhaps the Legal 500 should focus on treating their staff properly rather than trying to stamp out unionisation.

Ex-employee 03 December 23 17:22

I worked at this firm back in its brighter days, but even then you could be flavour of the month one minute, and being managed out the next. I had an awful experience with them more recently when they approached me for a role and bullied me in the process. Needless to say I’d never work there again, which is a shame because there are still some very awesome people working there. 

Anonymous 04 December 23 09:07

Legal 500 has become a complete joke in the past decade. It's a waste of time and money for law firms to submit to this glorified advertising platform. The rankings are more and more linked to pay-to-play schemes, and most of the researchers are just clueless as they are simply too junior. Legal 500 has given up caring about the quality, accuracy, or relevance of the information they publish. They just want to sell more advertising and sponsorship deals. And that's on top of the basic fact that legal directories in general nothing else than a vanity tool.

Anonymous 04 December 23 12:39

We won’t be making any submissions or paying them any money this year.  

Anonymous 04 December 23 19:43

"Go and look at the Meet the Team section on the website, plenty of bright and hardworking people there with amazing qualifications."  So 'amazing' that the Legal 500 is the best they can do? Let's not kid ourselves here. I'm sure L500 sucks as an employer, but there's no need overegg the pity party by pretending that it's some kind of intellectual hothouse populated by Britain's young intellectual elite.  Nobody with a brain works at any of the legal directories without having an eye firmly on the exit-door, and towards their real career, from day one. You either own the place, or see it as a rubbish placeholder stint that will pay the rent for a limited period of time.  Unionise? You couldn't care less. You'll be gone before they've finished cosplaying bolshevik revolutionaries at the first meeting.

Anon 05 December 23 08:59

Why are 3/4 of the covering their faces?

Anonymous 06 December 23 18:21

'Let's not kid ourselves here. I'm sure L500 sucks as an employer, but there's no need overegg the pity party by pretending that it's some kind of intellectual hothouse populated by Britain's young intellectual elite.  Nobody with a brain works at any of the legal directories without having an eye firmly on the exit-door, and towards their real career, from day one. You either own the place, or see it as a rubbish placeholder stint that will pay the rent for a limited period of time.  Unionise? You couldn't care less. You'll be gone before they've finished cosplaying bolshevik revolutionaries at the first meeting.' They're graduates you insufferable creep. God, I bet you're fun to be around. It's their first job, cut them some slack, even people with Oxford/Cambridge degrees need to start somewhere you know. Just because they have one eye on the door it doesn't mean they can't get more out or being there. 

Anonymous 07 December 23 17:48

"even people with Oxford/Cambridge degrees need to start somewhere you know"  Yes. They certainly do. We call it Freshfields and/or Goldman Sachs.  Even with a ropey Desmond you wouldn't need to stoop to the 'Legal 500'. You'd just do some time at KPMG or somewhere else a bit mid until a better opportunity came up.

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