This year RollOnFriday has broken with precedent to award two coveted Golden Turds - to Shoosmiths and to Eversheds.
 
The two firms brought up the rear of Firm of the Year with woeful overall scores of 33.0% and 33.2%. To put that in perspective, the next worst-placed firm, DLA Piper, was a whole nine percentage points higher at 42.3%.

    The latest addition to Shoosmiths' and Eversheds' client receptions 

Eversheds, which also came bottom of the table last year, got an absolute spanking. Well over a hundred of its lawyers took the opportunity to share their views - which were overwhelmingly negative but surprisingly creative:

  • "I probably earn slightly more than I would on the dole. But there's more social stigma working for Eversheds and even my parents pity me"
  • "Asking for 'bad things' about working for Eversheds is like asking for 'bad things' about being inside a portaloo when it gets pushed over"
  • "It's a cross between a call centre and an abattoir"
  • "Management has no regard  for employment law"
  • "Morale at Eversheds is shocking... no one has a secretary and everything is now in a royal mess. Fee earners spend hours searching for things that have been misfiled"
  • "People 'disappear' almost overnight"
  • "It's crap on every level: the lidl of law firms. That's the nicest thing I think I can say about it"
  • "This firm is run with the management style of Ming the Merciless"
Eversheds management clearly has some work to do.

Incredibly, Shoosmiths did even worse. As well as having the lowest overall score of any firm, it came bottom of the table for how it had handled the downturn (20%) and also for how staff felt they are treated (25%). Respondents noted that the firm didn't just freeze salaries but actually cut them, imposing "2.5% pay cuts to all staff on over £25k". Its future trainees were famously beasted, and the ensuing grovelling open letter simply made matters worse. Many staff were booted out, leading to "increased workload and responsibility to cover for redundancies" for those remaining.

On the upside, one Shoosmiths lawyer noted "there are some very talented individuals who work very hard and long hours to maintain their own high standards despite rubbish pay and conditions". But as one senior associate commented, "the best I can say at the moment is that I still have a job. Unlike many others."
 
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