Because there's more to law than billable hours, the RollOnFriday Firm of the Year 2014 survey also asked lawyers to rate their satisfaction with their firm's social life and, crucially, its biscuits.


Firm of the Year 2015 Shearman and Sterling took first place in the most important category in the survey for its "properly amazing" five flavours of freshly baked cookie, which are (now officially) the "best meeting room biscuits in the city". Osborne Clarke took second with 92% for its "seriously good" biscuits, in particular the "fantastic chocolate chip & Smartie combo".

But while innovation was highly rated, lawyers also appreciated a good nostalgia kick. Burges Salmon's decision to cater for internal meetings like a ninth birthday party with Wagon Wheels, Taxis, Penguins and Club Oranges yielded a strong 85% score.

The biscuit category seems to have grown to encompass food in general, and ratings of the grub at White & Case wobbled after RollOnFriday revealed that its canteen had been rated 1/5 for hygiene. Some staff say it is "absolutely disgusting" and that they won't be eating there "for a while". But the firm nonetheless achieved a strong 80% for its comestibles, with another lawyer saying that the complainers are a "noisy minority who have come straight from boarding school to here via Oxbridge" and who "expect to be treated like partners from the first day of their Training Contract. The food is fine".

    White & Case chefs hard at work yesterday

Olswang was crucified in most categories, but staff gave it 72% and seem to be very happy with the "cheapest breakfast in London", a £1.30 bacon and egg sandwich. King & Wood Mallesons "amazing" free lunches were also popular, as were Nabarro's free evening meals for anyone working past 7pm. Although Nabarro has replaced Twinings tea with PG Tips "which is unacceptable".

Golden Turd Trowers can be found at the rat droppings-on-toast end of the table on 41%, despite providing Haribo in the meeting rooms. Maybe it was the "tiny" portion sizes in the canteen, which mean "you finish lunch as hungry as when you started". And Parabis came last with a stale 29%, for providing "nothing" except "milk and teabags".

Social life

How satisfied are staff with the social life at their firms? Given that the firm came top for Work/life balance, it's perhaps not surprising that Bird & Bird, aided by "great parties", also took the top spot for its attention to extra-curricular matters.

Burges Slamon took second, with staff praising the Strictly Legal charity competition which saw employees "learning routines and performing in front of 500 people". Travers, which came joint third with Mayer Brown and Jones Day, always does well in the category and its social life "is as good as ever, if you enjoy boozing".

Firm of the Year Shearman & Sterling placed fourth with 84% for "great social nights organised and paid for by Uncle Shearman". Though sadly "a love of Karaoke does seem to be a crucial factor".

A key indicator of a firm's social health is its parties. Mishcon reached a decent 79% thanks to the "most amazing" summer party which featured no less than "an indoor rainforest, food market, sphynx and sarcophegai and a moroccan souk". Whereas an "unbelievably appalling social budget" meant fieldfisher flailed to an "all time firm low" Christmas party, and 57%. Its mighty bash was held "in a seminar room" with "no Christmas decorations, no music" and "everyone was told to leave by 9pm". Fun times, though Golden Turd Trowers still took the killjoy spot with a truly dismal 30%.

The full results will go up on the Inside Info section shortly.
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Anonymous 13 February 15 03:18

Interesting spelling of "sarcophagi". I would have thought every lawyer at Mishcon (which I believe is what the firm is actually called) had spent their formative years snuggled up with the Cambridge Latin course after a game of Soggy Biscuit but apparently not.

Anonymous 13 February 15 11:34

As a rule Fieldfisher hates socialising. The partners see little value in morale boosting events.