Sir Parpsalot contemplates his bounty.

Knights is the Golden Turd of 2024.

RollOnFriday’s Best Law Firms to Work At 2024 saw thousands of people working in private practice rate their satisfaction with their pay, work/life balance, career development, management, and the culture at their firm.

The ignominious title of Golden Turd is awarded to the firm which receives the lowest overall rating from its staff. Knights was the recipient in 2022 before the title went to BCLP, but now it’s back, turning Knights into the bun of a shit sandwich.

One source of discontent is the firm’s listed status. “PLC law firms all pay badly because they need to pay dividends”, said a lawyer.

Sure, pay “May be below the market rate for comparable firms, but no long hours are expected”, countered a partner: “The more you are paid, the more you have to produce”.

Some commented that management made “strange decisions and due to being listed we're left in the dark about some things”. But the leadership, including mega-rich Knights leader David Beech, also had its defenders. Beech “gets a lot of shit and can sound like a stuck record but he’s consistent and approachable and prepared to be challenged - which you can’t say for a lot of business leaders”, said a solicitor.

There were mixed messages around career progression, reflecting the fact that while the firm came bottom, a significant number of staff were positive about their firm. There just weren’t enough of them.

Fans said that Knights “has expanded so much it's opened up opportunities that wouldn't of existed when I joined”, and that “There are numerous examples of employees being promoted quickly where they demonstrate strong performance”.

Others said career development “is very much linked to whether or not you're in the office 5 days a week”, and that “if you're a fan of WFH you're stuffed - even if you're good at your job, putting in the billable hours and converting WIP”.

“Having told people for years your hours don't matter, they are now promoting distinctly average people just because they get work done (regardless of what they do to generate the work)”, said a passed-over senior solicitor.

Workers miserable with other elements of Knights may be taking it out on the office category: most who commented were agreed that “They spend a fortune and it shows”. The offices are “premium”, although “they are half full if everyone came in and most don’t”. Which perhaps explains the “Constant demand for unnecessary attendance in the office” described by one solicitor as “Mill owner mentality”.

As for the Knights culture, a solicitor says she agrees “with David’s idea and intention”, even if “Over the years it hasn’t always trickled down as I anticipate he expects”. Perhaps Beech is onto something with the drive for attendance: according to one lawyer, the culture “Was much better before covid when everyone was in the offices”.

But for some, it didn’t matter whether they were in the office or at home. There’s “No culture”, blasts a colleague: “Each office has their own culture which is a result of the many acquisitions”.

Knights did not provide a comment when it was presented with the Golden Turd again.

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Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 26 January 24 08:35

Sounds like a business that is absolutely tone deaf and keeps doing the same crazy things.

I remember the story about them suing a partner for WIP and losing.  Says it all really. 

Anonymous 26 January 24 08:40

If they win it next year do they get to keep it and put it in their own golden turd winner trophy cabinet? 

#survivor 26 January 24 08:54

So pleased I left, one of the best decisions I've made. Hope others see the light...

Anon 26 January 24 08:54

Interesting to note that two of the country’s two most profitable law firms, domestic UK practices Knights and Slaughter and May are in the bottom tier.

Anonymous 26 January 24 09:04

Well done to Wombles. 

Vladislav Surkov would be proud of this one. 

Still, a big marketing team can’t hide your role in the postmaster scandal. 

Knight rider 26 January 24 09:26

Everything completely true. God knows how much money has been spent on the unnecessary conferences that have taken place in January, money that could’ve been given to the underpaid majority. Every week another notice has gone in and the rest either happy coasting by or looking to escape. 

Tinpot Knight 26 January 24 09:38

Think what we could do for our people if we continue to receive accolades such as this…. 

Knight of the Mere 26 January 24 09:43

I am thrilled we have received this title. It shows that we are disrupters in the market.  They call us names and we don’t care. We’re clearing up in the regions. The partnership model has failed and we’re the proof. 

Anonymous 26 January 24 09:47
The spin to investors seems very different to the reality. 

Knight at the Museum 26 January 24 10:00

Big win for Knights, whose staff found out a particular office was going to be moved due to people coming and viewing it during the working day (with no prior notice or warning given). Communication is non existent at the place

The Knight Hunter 26 January 24 10:14

To be fair, Knights might be bad, but there ain’t no way no how that Wombles are not the real floater. 

In fact, ‘floater’ would be to give them more recognition than is deserved. They are the stubborn skid mark on the bowl of the UK legal market’s toilet that Just. Will. Not. Flush.

Sir Billalot 26 January 24 10:44

The recent roadshows (labelled as “CSD Conferences”) were nothing more than showing off the private wealth team

Ploptastic 26 January 24 11:34

Two time Golden Turd winner - congratulations and well deserved after another year of crass management behaviour, culminating in sacking all the HR managers and conducting a vindictive and ultimately doomed pursuit of a former partner for unbilled WIP. 

From DB's LinkedIn:

"I lead the Knights’ vision to create the greatest team in professional services and to build our one team culture throughout the UK".  He must surely now add 'award winning' to that. And maybe squeeze a 'turd' in somewhere? (sorry)

Move over Mr Bates 26 January 24 11:43

To out-turd Wombles, purveyors of Post Office justice, in the wake of that scandal, is some feat.

There is an idiom "you can't polish a turd". Wrong. David Beech now has two to polish.

Anonymous 26 January 24 14:13

Proving once and for that it’s not just the CEO who fakes it at the conferences.


Anonymous 26 January 24 16:22

As someone who has worked in the business for a few years now I always struggle to understand all of this negative attention. I am lucky enough to travel around various offices and always find them positive environments to work in - I always leave with a good introduction or a new contact and my clients have never been happier. I honestly don't know who completes these surveys but it certainly doesn't reflect my experience of that of other colleagues. 

Anonymous 26 January 24 17:20

Manchester office going, going, nearly gone.

Buying Turner Parkinson for millions and destroying the business within 3 years.   Amazing. 
It was a well regarded firm with excellent lawyers until Knights got a hold of it.  
Such a shame. 

The Dark Knight 26 January 24 18:35

Anonymous re Manchester - can’t be because of you know who, with her turkey teeth who got exiled to the borders?

Asking for a friend/recruiter 

Anonymous 26 January 24 21:36

 I have been employed here for 3 years now and can honestly say Knights does not deserve the articles Jamie Hamilton publishes. Knights will always have some disgruntled employees from acquisitions, but these are largely people who are set in there ways and refuse to modernise. You are encouraged to move around the offices, and not once have I visited an office where I have got sense of a bad culture. The Partners sit with the trainees and paralegals at lunch. There is a genuine flat hierarchy here and I feel comfortable speaking to fee earners at any level. The CEO and CSDs openly seek your feedback and views and are willing to listen. Upon listening to feedback they have improved our benefits package over the last 2 years so I highly question the validity of this article. 

Anonymous 27 January 24 09:23

I’m hearing the keys for the flagship Manchester office have been passed on.

Not altogether surprising after the mess they’ve made of it.  

Anonymous 27 January 24 09:52

I spent some time at Knights following one of its many acquisitions and it was the most soul destroying period of my career.  Weird doesn’t come close to describing it.

All of the good people with the client relationships moved on.  I just can’t get my head around why Knights pays a fortune for a business and then wrecks it.

As for senior people being approachable and receptive, I nearly spat my cornflakes out.  My experience was very different.  I saw a lot of senior people challenge the way things were being done and not one of them lasted more than 6 months.

I’m not in the least surprised that Knights has again faired badly in this poll.  It was a horrific place to work. 

Knight no more 27 January 24 10:02

I left Knights after it acquired the firm I had loved working at for the previous few years.  I can honestly say that everything I read on here about Knights absolutely reflects my experience of working there. To me it felt bizarre, toxic and cult like. The CSDs were like disciples and enforcers hailed DB as some sort of genius visionary while putting pressure on anyone who questioned or expressed any sort of doubt about the mandated approach.

In fairness, some of the ethos around billing and cash collection did make sense but it was then implemented in a totally OTT way with no room for dissent. There are so many moments that made me cringe. Like one month when we were told to ring round all our clients and ask them to promise to pay their bills within 30 days, even though those bills weren’t overdue, then report back to the CSD. 

All the while DB is saying things like “building the right culture means not just hiring the right people, but firing the right people” and “you don’t have to be in the office 5 days a week, but if you are not you need to ask yourself if it is the best thing for your career”. So glad I left. 

Anonymous 27 January 24 11:22

Jamie Hamilton is seemingly obsessed with Knights.

The reality at Knights is that we have just reported on a very good half year performance (all there in black and white for you to read) and the staff (well most) are very happy at the business.

Keep the hate coming Jamie/ bitter ex employees- it’s our oxygen 



Anon 08.54 27 January 24 12:48

I strongly suggest you look at Knights accounts because they are nowhere near as profitable as you seem to think. 

Anonymous 27 January 24 20:14

Dark Knight @18.35

Personal attacks about an ex female colleague- aren’t you brave? 

Why didn’t it work out for you at Knights? 
- Didn’t bring close to half the clients with you that you promised at interview ?

-  Fell foul of the dickhead rule?


Anonymous 27 January 24 23:15

Is somebody seriously trying to say two Golden Turd wins in two years is down to the dissatisfaction of those in acquired firms?  Seems a tad implausible. 

Anonymous 28 January 24 00:01

A funny moment on one of the podcasts is where the CEO, after giving the same tired spiel about dysfunctional law firms and people leaving them to come to Knights, was asked where those leaving Knights moved to.  Without hesitation he proclaimed that they moved ‘in house’.  
So based on its own churn figures, pretty much every ‘in-house’ role in the country must be filled with an ex-Knights lawyer.
This seems to me to be highly improbable.  

City 28 January 24 10:56

Offshore law firms (and offshore lawyers) are a professional irrelevance, but surely Harneys deserves a Golden Turd?

Alex 29 January 24 07:23

Anonymous 26 January 24 21:36

The difficulty I have  with accepting your views, is that a firm with the attitude you describe, doesn’t lead to such spectacularly poor decisions as : 


That rather suggests the disgruntlement isn’t constrained to dinosaurs from acquisitions 



Disgruntled Knight 29 January 24 23:06

The conference last year wasn’t as cringeworthy as previous years but was still toe curling when the CEO took to the stage.  There’s a distinct lack of humility and self-awareness and he really needs to hand over to somebody else now.  It’s the same stale message and the same stale ideas.  

Anonymous 30 January 24 19:36

So let me get this right. Jamie Hamilton and ex-employees are the cause of another Golden Turd?

All totalitarians create a siege mentality.  Providing there are enough cerebrally challenged sheep, it works a treat.  

The silent majority at Knights have spoken through RoF and claiming one its journos has a vendetta is hilarious.  

Think about it…….

Anonymous 31 January 24 08:23

My favourite story involving Knights is about everybody having to make sure the blinds are all kept in exactly the same place.  

Anonymous 31 January 24 17:18

My favourite is when they sued their own partner and lost.  How shit must the case have been for them to have lost it at a summary judgment hearing? 

Ex knights 31 January 24 20:03

@anonymous 31 January 08.23 

I got a dressing down from the delightful Mrs [...] for buying milk for the office from Aldi, aapparently Waitrose use better quality cows!

Anonymous 01 February 24 07:09

The vendetta claim is gold.  Knights being in the spotlight seems to me to be more about the steady flow of hilarious own-goals reported in RoF or which are out in the market generally.  I’ve interviewed a handful of Knights existing or ex-employees and they all say broadly the same things about the crazy stuff going on.  
RoF just periodically reminds us of how lucky we are that we don’t work there. 


Anonymous 01 February 24 17:23

David Beech lives by Mere golf club in Knutsford: @Knight of the Mere 26 January 24 09:43 - is that you David?

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