No firm received wholly positive comments about its management. But staff at firms which scored over 69% were far more likely to pull the Managing Partner out of the path of a bus than push them into it.

At RPC (79%), the bosses were "mostly nice people", said staff, and so good/keen at managing that "at times London management seems embarrassed that they're running a law firm and not a management consultancy business in Mayfair". Chiefs at White & Case (78%) "are very transparent and visible in the office", taking a commendably presidential approach by holding "quarterly town hall meetings to update". By "the admittedly low standards of law firm management", said one lawyer, "ours generally give the impression that we're in fairly safe hands". 

Latham & Watkins (78%)
"is unusually transparent about its strategy and finances", according to a senior solicitor. "Like, no filter at times". The management of Bircham Dyson Bell (78%) "is modelled on a cross-hybrid between Attila the Hun and Wernham Hogg", said a junior solicitor. "The partners in the real estate department are particularly hapless, evidenced by the current head of department being promoted to his role despite being publicly rebuked by a judge". More were positive, and called the firm "well organised, paternalistic and great at selling their strengths to the client base".

Senior management at Charles Russell Speechlys (78%) "are clearly nice blokes in the main", said a junior solicitor. "The firm could do with some more women in senior roles", he said, "but over the last 12 months there has been an obvious drive to try and improve", so "clearly those at the top are taking those issues seriously". And comms had also improved. "If anything", said a colleague, "a bit too keen to tell me what they're up to. There's only so many infographics I can take". Yes, one senior partner "does have a habit of sending long, slightly evangelical Christmas newsletters".  But "we all have our foibles". 

    Management comms at a +70% firm. 

No wonder PWC (77%) scored so highly, said its lawyerly employees, it was "a firm where the legal partners are not remotely influential". There's been "a real step-change in management since recent changes at the top", said a senior solicitor at Linklaters (76%), and "there's now a real buzz about the place...which I never thought I'd say!" The new senior team "are often visible", said a junior solicitor, "and have a talent for remembering the names and faces of practically everyone they meet. Even in the changing rooms". Although they "like to communicate new buzzwords through cringeworthy videos on the intranet", said another junior, which "continue to delight, amuse and entertain...probably not intended though". 

At Kirkland & Ellis (76%), Stephen Lucas and Neel Sachdev "are rockstars in their field", said a starstruck NQ, and it was "hard not to admire their talent, even if the prospect of working for them is terrifying". Management "constantly evaluates pay brackets", said a trainee, and "have been very responsive to some of our requests". Management at Ince & Co (76%) "have recently made the right decision to spend some cash on upgrading systems", said one of several associates who gave it plaudits for the overhaul. In other news the Senior Partner "has buggered off to Hong Kong", said one. "On paper this is due to 'strategy'", but quite a few "think he's in search of the long-foretold merger". 

A senior solicitor at Gowling WLG (75%) said "they've gone very quiet since the 'combination'. I'm not sure if they know what happens next". "On the whole", said associates at Pinsent Masons (74%) "fair" partners "treat the staff like humans". Although several lawyers said the recent PA redundancies were "badly-handled". A junior solicitor feared the advent of agile working, "aka nobody having their own desk and making everyone sit in a fancy call centre environment", which he predicted "will be about as palatable as a smoothie made by vomiting into a nutribullet and throwing in a few bits of broken glass".

Meanwhile, not all heroic managers wear capes. A solicitor at DAC Beachcroft (74%) "once attended an excruciating training session on billing, during which a partner played air guitar to Kickstart My Heart by Motley Crue. I don't think I need to say anything more about that". And at Jones Day (73%), the managing partner "once did a presentation for associates branding those who leak to RollOnFriday as 'Whiners' and with a big stop sign across the word - he thinks that was inspirational". (Didn't work, John.)

  "And obviously don't tell them anything about me telling you not to tell them anything." 

"While it does feel a little bit at times like we're being led by phantom overlords from Washington", said a trainee at Dentons (70%), "management are pretty open and communicative about what they're planning". The strategy "also feels like it is starting to become clearer than just 'world domination', which is nice". Allen & Overy (70%) introduced "a few very innovative initiatives", said solicitors. However, said one, management "is clinging rigidly to unhelpful traditional law firm models, e.g. obsession with PEP", and "clamping down on busyness targets". He "would love to see some more advanced strategic thinking that might help the firm keep its best lawyers".
Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 02 March 18 10:06

You still eking this out? It’s March FFS ( and I say this as someone whose form was well rated in each category).