Firms whose management scored above 60% in the RollOnFriday Firm of the Year 2018 survey were still more Richard Branson than Robert Maxwell, but those nearing 50% should not let their MPs go yachting for the time being.

"It's good"
said a DWF (69%) partner, "but there's only one person that makes the decisions and the senior management team regularly changes - one can only assume that when someone stands up to our CEO, they are toast". The MP was "a trailblazer" said another, and was leading "exciting expansion globally". After "working for a number of Mr Beans and David Brents", said a junior solicitor, "at least these people know what they are doing and can speak to you like a human being".

Reed Smith (69%)
management "are actually genuinely nice people and concerned about the well-being of employees", said a senior solicitor, "so long as they are making the firm money". Clyde & Co (68%) was "riding a surging wave of global expansion like no one else", said a junior solicitor. But was "more focused on notching up new offices than worrying about the ones they've already got", grumbled a senior lawyer. A junior offered a top "Tip: Don't trumpet the opening of a pair of new international offices within 10 days of announcing limited pay rises due to a difficult economic climate". 

"Putting to one side the abysmal IT", said a solicitor at DLA Piper (68%), the management "is pretty good". Although, said a senior solicitor, the cyber attack was "not handled in the best way" and management was "slow to get arms around the issue". And if you know more about this alleged incident in Scotland, please get in touch: "hahaha", said a staffer there, "If they manage to avoid another punch up in a burger bar then it's been a good week".

    Scottish lawyers engaging in a 'Glasgow tango'. 

Shoosmiths (66%) was "good on the whole", said a lawyer, however "my team head and immediate boss is a sadistic arsehole and enforces workhouse practices". There "are patches of testosterone fuelled managers splodged about the place", said a senior solicitor. The "Shoosmiths Way" said a peer "is meh, mostly undifferentiated from all of the other mid-tier national firms - we could as easily be DLA, Irwin Mitchell, Addleshaws or Wombles". The senior management "are all 'lifers', and the lack of new blood is sometimes painfully obvious - they are always being led by the nose along some outdated fad being promoted by a management consultant".

CMS (63%) had a "pretty inspiring Senior Partner, especially for female lawyers", said an NQ. And management, said a solicitor, "handled a potentially hazardous merger with sensitivity and have tried to keep staff informed as much as possible". Some incomers were less delighted. "Cannot believe the partners who took a bung to sell out the best name in real estate for us to work in an airport lounge and conflict out all our best clients", said a legacy Nabarro solicitor. Plus, "the Olswangers are a bunch of trendies who think they're 'commercial', i.e. wouldn't know a legal text if it fell three stories and landed on their head".

Ashurst's (61%) "recent partner exodus is an example of how poorly the firm has been run since the Blake Dawson merger", said a junior lawyer. But, said a colleague, new boss Simon Beddow "is great and has reversed the decline in the London office". "Signs are better than before", said a trainee. "They needed to be". There were some spicy comments from staff at HFW (60%). They "keep growing us in sensible directions (USA and Indonesia this year)", said a senior. But some were less charitable. "Shocking", proffered a colleague. "In just two years" management "have taken a pretty happy place to work at and turned it into a complete sh*t show. I don't think they could have destroyed morale more if they tried".
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Anonymous 02 March 18 09:27

Re DLA and the "Glasgow tango", DLA closed down their Glasgow office some years ago (where it was rumoured to be more profitable than the Edinburgh office but, hey, someone far away made the decision). The burger bar scuffle you refer to was presumably East Coast.