"I've been promoted to GC and I'm ditching snobby firms. Big mistake. Big. Huge."
This is the final call for the RollOnFriday In-house Lawyer Survey (see below) which will be closing soon.
In-house lawyers have been disclosing their best and worst opinions of law firms so far. Perhaps unsurprisingly, arrogant lawyers are getting some stick. One in-house lawyer lambasted a firm for a "high-handed partner" who "makes us feel like we're minions and morons, when we're the client. Not great for relationship building."
Another respondent said that whenever a particular partner at a firm arrives for a meeting, colleagues announce that "the Ego has landed" due to his "overbearing attitude." The respondent said "the annoying thing is that he even looks down on our GC who has bags more experience and was practising law when Mr Ego was still in nappies".
One in-house counsel said a firm "wheels out an army of Jacob Rees-Mogg clones that give us withering looks and demeaning comments," but they quite often "miss the point, as their self importance prevents them from listening. I am always amazed when advice comes by email rather than a letter with an insignia red wax seal." The respondent said "we really need a panel refresh to give them the boot back to the 19th century."
When it came to social skills, some firms were also lambasted for being aloof. "We had drinks with one firm where a haughty partner talked about her horse. She seemed genuinely shocked to learn that I had never ridden a horse or been to the races."
Other firms were criticised for lacking conviction. One in-house lawyer complained of instructing a lawyer who is a "wallflower." The respondent said they would have "no complaints, except for the fact that he is our litigator. Wrong choice of department. Should be a tax lawyer."
Lawyers' presentation skills were also a bugbear for respondents. "We get invited to lunch seminars given by lawyers who read from their notes in a monotonous tone, never changing pitch, never changing facial expression. There's more personality in the cold ham sandwiches waiting for us at the end of the hour-long torture session."
It wasn't all bad. Some lawyers let their personalities shine through, without shocking results. One in-house counsel said that CMS lawyers were "totally on top of things and decent to deal with." Another respondent said that Jurit LLP had "real experts with excellent response times and incredible commercial nous. Also, they are all really nice people".
Norton Rose Fulbright was praised for being "generally very responsive and I feel that they take us (a large investment bank globally but with a smaller offering in London) seriously".
While Ashurst was commended for "pushing diversity in the teams they are offering us" with "multi-disciplinary/strength in teams."
If you're in-house, do spill the beans below.