The RollOnFriday Firm of the Year survey ends on Monday, but there are several firms which won't qualify unless they attract a few more responses. The bosses at several of them will be praying they don't, because so far staff have not been gentle.

At Bevan Brittan, a senior solicitor called the pay "Shitty shit shit, oh and did I mention shit?" Staying on-topic, she said there was a sewage overspill in the London office, but staff weren't allowed to leave their internet-enabled cesspit until 6.30pm: "how decent of them".

Depressing news from a lawyer at Capsticks, who says the firm "wants to be DAC Beachcroft", but "will never get there". A colleague said the firm talks about being an investor in people, "but the main investment seems to be stocks of P45s".

A junior lawyer at Dechert would recommend the firm "if it is your only option". Turnover was "high" and there was "poisonous infighting". A colleague said there were "zero prospects of partnership, unless you come in as a lateral hire".  At fellow US firm Skadden Arps, a junior said, "let's be honest, the pay is the only reason anyone works here", but "I never quite appreciated how it's possible to work such long hours or be subject to such a dire working culture". He is "constantly on call", to the extent that staff "are one step off being branded with 'property of Skadden Arps'".

    At least they got to choose their own font.

Listed firm Gateley is "utterly dreadful", according to a senior solicitor. "Pre-float it was good", but now career development "means buying shares from the ex-equity partners".

A Shakespeare Martineau non-fee-earner complained that he has been "stuck on 16k" for years, but "whenever I bring it up I'm always fobbed off". Support staff "are treated like robots", he said, "rather than living, breathing, feeling human beings that have lives outside of the hell that is Shakespeares". A senior solicitor said Shaken Martini was "not exactly setting the world alight", thanks to the "almost total failure" to integrate staff from legacy firms, including pay which was "all over the place". He said that "nobody" buys into the attempt to rally staff around the "vomit-inducing" slogan, "Spirit, Talent, Enterprise".

At Weightmans,"the people are all mostly good eggs", said a junior lawyer, but "due to some design fault with the building in Liverpool, whenever the tide is in the bogs smell like a dead rhino". The water also "laps against the side of the bowl, giving you the impression something is about to run up the drain". And it is "like an industrial freezer", so "you need to be quick to prevent the turd the size of a Pringles can you just pushed out from freezing half in and out of the water like a flag pole!!"  Indeed!

As well as those firms featured in this story, here's a list of others which could do with a few more entries:

Addleshaw Goddard
Clifford Chance
DAC Beachcroft
Gowling WLG
Herbert Smith Freehills
Howard Kennedy
Jones Day
K & L Gates
Latham & Watkins
Mishcon de Reya
Pennington Manches
Pinsent Masons
Sidley Austin
Slater & Gordon
Stewarts Law
Sullivan & Cromwell
Talyor Wessing
Walker Morris

If you have not forced your colleagues to rate the firm, do it now, inbetween using meetings to bring the survey to the attention of lawyers on the other side. Take part here.
Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 19 January 18 08:20

Oh c'mon! If you've been on £16k for years you really are not very bright... there's other places to work you know!

Anonymous 19 January 18 09:00

... "Wants to be DACB"
Really? That's like wanting to be Peter Criss in Kiss (instead of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley or Ace Frehley), or wanting to be one of the two in East 17 who isn't Brian Harvey or Tony Mortimer, or wanting to be DeForrest Kelley instead of William Shatner or Leonard Nimoy.
Hmmm.... my references are dating me, clearly.
Let's try a more up to date one.
It's like, given the choice between wanting to be Taylor Swift or Katy Perry, picking Katy Perry.

For gods sake, where's your self-respect?

Anonymous 19 January 18 09:22

The fact that the staff at Capsticks think the firm wants to be like DAC Beachcroft says everything about that place - fetch the life jackets, women and children first!

Anonymous 19 January 18 11:32

"And it is "like an industrial freezer", so "you need to be quick to prevent the turd the size of a Pringles can you just pushed out from freezing half in and out of the water like a flag pole!!"

Jesus wept. No lunch required today after reading that...

Anonymous 19 January 18 14:10

Capsticks "want to be DACB"? Doubt it. They took the best of DACB a few years back - don't think they're interested in the remains.

Anonymous 19 January 18 19:12

As an ex SGH Martineau employee Shakespeare's rocked up and drove over SGHM like a tank! When redundancies were announced later many a celebration deep joy to get out!

Anonymous 19 January 18 21:56

Not that there are obviously plenty of contributions from staff working at Irwin Mitchell, Parabis and DWF and the like.

This will be an interesting survey!!!

Anonymous 20 January 18 13:46

@14:10 you been taking tips from Kellyanne Conway? Some proper alternative facts there. Sad!

Anonymous 21 January 18 03:15

nd it is "like an industrial freezer", so "you need to be quick to prevent the turd the size of a Pringles can you just pushed out from freezing half in and out of the water like a flag pole!!" Get this poster a book deal - creative and very funny writing at its best - I am still giggling. Bill Bryson watch out

Anonymous 22 January 18 15:14

There should be one for in-house teams, there are certainly some stories that I could tell.

Anonymous 24 January 18 15:39

Another former SGH Martineau/Shakespeares employee here. Many of us knew the firm was about to merge and desperately tried to hang on in order to get a redundancy pay out. I however couldn’t manage as the atmosphere was so toxic. Associates didn’t speak to each other, clients were lost every other day, new instructions were rare and squirrelled away to the point that I literally had nothing to do. Partners were either oblivious or so jaded that they didn’t care what was going on. And were surprised when I handed in my notice! Nice biscuits though.

Has to be anonymous sadly 14 November 18 15:19

because Shakespeares are so vendicitve I would be scared of the response. As employee from legacy firm I am waiting for the day they offer me redundancy. If not I'll go anyway. Cannot Imagine how they could treat staff at all levels any worse.