Office amenities at law firms - from the Golden Tickets to the Golden Turds.

This week, it's the office results from RollOnFriday's Best Law Firms to Work At.

Post-Covid, a challenge for many firms has been trying to lure staff back into the office. Lawyers are therefore more critical than ever about the quality of coffee, how much free cake is provided, and whether the toilets flush properly. The amenities are also important for any thirsty firms looking to show off the perks on social media. 

Some firms seem to be to holding back on splashing out on state-of-the art buildings, if a large proportion of staff work remotely. And a number of respondents commented that they're happy for the office to be at a basic standard, as long as they have the flexibility to WFH. 

With a lot of firms offering some form of hybrid working, many are opting for hot-desking and open plan offices; although some lawyers used to working in solitary offices aren't that keen on being sat opposite their colleagues all day long. While other lawyers reported that hot-desking means that it isn't always easy to find a spare seat, when everybody comes in.

Before the comments, here is the table for office satisfaction, from best to worst:


1st Bird & Bird, Dechert

The "brilliant" office at Bird & Bird has a free barista bar "with amazing views", while the subsidised canteen has "excellent quality and variety," agreed lawyers at the firm. Plus, the lunch portion sizes are "mammoth".

Dechert moved into its "swanky" and "spacious" office last September. The new base has "enviable client-entertainment facilities, including a rooftop with the best view of the square mile," gushed one junior lawyer.

3rd Burges Salmon

At Burges Salmon, the Bristol and London offices have undertaken refurbishment. The Bristol's HQ is conveniently located "right by the main train station" with "modern facilities" and "state of the art equipment in offices and boardrooms", said one lawyer.  "Glassworks (the firm's canteen and coffee bar) is excellent and offers a variety of meal options & coffees at very reasonable prices," commented another. 

4th Blake Morgan

"Recent refurbs and new IT have given us a sparkle across the different offices," said a partner at Blake Morgan.

The new layout "is a great improvement" confirmed one staffer, "there's more opportunity to connect with colleagues".

5th Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie's new digs at Spitalfields was described in various glowing terms, from "stellar," to "top notch" to "spectacular". While one stunned partner said that it was "too good to be true."

The effect of the shiny office gave one lawyer a case of positive amnesia: "Don’t even remember the *hole in Blackfriars anymore." 

6th Birketts, Mills & Reeve

"Phenomenal new refurbished office space in Chelmsford and fantastic Barbican office in London," said a junior lawyer at Birketts. "Each office has its own character and charm."

While at Mills &  Reeve the "modern, bright, airy and open" offices were praised for being "conducive for collaborative working and providing convenient work break facilities." 

8th Ashurst, Freshfields, Hogan Lovells, Weil, White & Case

Staff seemed delighted with the "amazing" office at Ashurst, which hosts summer BBQs on the roof terrace. And the firm offers free Monday lunches as one of the perks.

"100 Bishopsgate is beautiful," said one staffer about Freshfields' office, "the client-facing areas are stunning", and also provide "free KitKats and protein balls". Although while the lawyers' offices have "stunning London skyline views", business services staff are "crowded onto the two lowest levels in noisy and packed hot-desk arrangements."

The Hogan Lovells gym has "classes available morning and lunch time." And, more unusually, the office also "held puppy therapy days, which was a lovely event to attend after lockdown".

At White & Case, staff said all the free grub was a "massive bonus." One lawyer commented: "Three free hot meals a day in the canteen, alongside free coffee/snacks/cakes etc. throughout the day is extremely generous and appreciated by all". 

Weil received a high score for having a "smart, modern" office.

13th Osborne Clarke, Mishcon de Reya

"Halo is amazing," said an Osborne Clarke staffer about the firm's new office. "I feel like I am in Kew Gardens, so coming into the office is such a pleasure".  A partner agreed: "The new Bristol office is lovely. London is not bad but looks on with a little envy". 

"The office is palatial," said a senior lawyer about Mishcon's office, "if the British Museum don't want to give Greece the Elgin marbles back, I am sure that they would not look out of place in the client lounge." Another lawyer commented: "Feels like a hotel at times. Best bar lobby in the city."

15th HFW

A HFW staffer was delighted that the new office at '8BG' was a huge improvement from their old digs at Friary court, given that "the loos actually flush!"

A colleague said that the new London office was "just a truly lovely environment in which to work," and that "the free daily breakfasts and weekly lunch don't hurt either." 

16th Browne Jacobson, Clifford Chance, Harbottle & Lewis, Howard Kennedy, Michelmores

"Great office," said a Clifford Chance trainee. "Free gym is a big plus." While others pointed out that the swimming pool was a nice perk.

"Love it at the Wharf," said a CC colleague. "Obviously we have excellent amenities and we are very lucky." Although they opined that "not everyone is over the moon" about moving back to the City.  

The "exceptional" free lunches at Harbottle & Lewis were commended. One lawyer described it as the "best perk at the firm" with "several options for well balanced meals every lunch time." Other staff liked the free exercise classes in the "wellbeing room". 

At Browne Jacobson, "the new offices are superb," said one staffer, but added that the Nottingham office "needs further investment to bring it up to the same standard." 

Howard Kennedy staff lauded the office "location" next to Borough market with "stunning views", as well as the "free breakfast each day and lunches twice a week." 

Michelmores staff were positive about the "exciting" office move in Bristol, as well as the office expansions in London and Cheltenham. But less happy about the Exeter office which could do with a "more fundamental refresh."

21st Clyde & Co

"The meeting rooms still have Club biscuits in London," enthused a Clyde & Co trainee. A colleague praised the "two-desks" system which gives staff the option between choosing an "open space desk" or a "quiet office", depending on workload.

22nd DAC Beachcroft, Forsters, Horwich Farrelly

The DAC Beachcroft office was described as "very modern", but the firm was also praised with giving staff "the choice to work fully remote." Another staffer commented that the "Flex forward" policy "means the office is not something we have to worry about too much any more."

At Forsters, one partner reported about the office move to Baker Street: "Some of the dinosaurs in Private Client may have been dismayed to be leaving our Mayfair postcode, but the vast majority could see that it was a sensible move and part of the overall need to modernise. Plus lunch spots in Marylebone are 100% better than Mayfair."  

A Horwich Farrelly junior lawyer said the new Leeds office is "top notch for tech" and "on site parking is a real bonus." A partner commented that the firm doesn't "spend a fortune" on the office but it is "fit for purpose, decent and welcoming". 

25th Clarke Willmott, Shoosmiths

A Clarke Willmott partner said the firm had invested "in new or upgraded offices across the country." He added: "It does beg the question as to what is the point though if the firm is happy for people to stay home most of the time."

Clarke Willmott's Bristol staff enjoyed "Cake Wednesday and a drinks trolley on Fridays". But an unsavoury report came from one staffer: "No one will use the Bristol female toilets after someone did a poo on the toilet seat of a cubicle and dropped a copy of the White Book on it. The mystery was never solved and the cleaners refused to clean it up. They had to get in outside cleaning staff for the job. Now everyone who goes in there is effectively watched closely by those who sit near the toilet door and it is off-putting".

"Offices vary by location but most are lovely," said a Shoosmiths trainee, "recent additions include free breakfast bars, fruit and pick-and-mix." A colleague commented: "The new fully mobile working kit has made it much easier to work from anywhere, too, which is really helpful when we're moving between offices or working from home."

27th Addleshaw Goddard, BCLP, Reed Smith, Squire Patton Boggs, Womble Bond Dickinson

"New London office looks plush," said an Addleshaw Goddard senior lawyer. "Old one still isn't dreadful. The canteen remains the best in the business - about 1 stone of me must be made of AG cookies."  

At BCLP the "fab" office is in a "decent location in the City".  It also has a piano in the lobby which staff are "encouraged to play" although, sadly "few have the nerve".

A Reed Smith lawyer said: "The current office is a little outdated but stunning in terms of views. The move to the new office in 2024 will be nice in terms of having a better space but the jury is out on the shift to open plan."

At Squire Patton Boggs, the new "swish" office, at 60 London Wall "has been fitted out to a high standard." A lawyer commented that it has a "very comfortable working space," and  the firm "provides cereals, fruit, crisps, snacks and sodas daily for free also." Another lawyer opined: "It is a shame it is open plan (but that is to be expected these days)."

At Womble Bond Dickinson, one staffer said the office was "very smart" but had "way too much space when most people now work from home." Several respondents commented that it felt like the building had been "paid for by the Post Office", with a trainee saying that "now takes a tinge off it."

32nd Fieldfisher, Kirkland & Ellis

Opinions varied at Fieldfisher depending on the location. "The Manchester office is great!" said one staffer. But the Birmingham office was deemed to be an "embarrassment...on a business park" with "shades of the Travel Tavern in Alan Partridge". 

A Kirkland & Ellis lawyer said they "can't fault" the Gherkin's status as an "iconic building". While a colleague was happy with the "free breakfast and lunch, and snacks". 

34th  Allen & Overy, RPC, Weightmans

At Allen & Overy, the "superb" office has a "great gym at the basement with a schedule of fitness classes." A lawyer said that it was "convenient to also have healthcare and flu jabs in the firm," and that "two canteens help to ease the peak hours".

A senior lawyer at RPC opined that "open plan is shit, but it's the quid pro quo for being able to work from home flexibly - at least we're not stuck there all the time." 

"The London office is smart and has great views of the Tower of London and St Katharine Docks," said another RPC lawyer. "The only downside is the lack of lunch options", and "worse still" the canteen is "shared by other tenants in the building".  

"Pretty nice office actually," said a lawyer at Weightmans, "although the plumbing has broken twice in the 5 months since we moved."

37th DLA Piper, Norton Rose Fulbright, Russell-Cooke

DLA Piper's "fantastic" London office has a "gym, brilliant café, quiet spaces, decent coffee" and "fresh fruit."  In contrast, the Leeds office was described as "dire." 

At Norton Rose Fulbright, a junior lawyer said: "Despite everyone working hybrid (with no rigid structure - which is also a plus) there is a great buzz in the office."  A colleague commented: "The proximity to London Bridge train station is a huge selling point for the firm for anyone based in Southern home counties".  Although there were some grumbles about the office being "out of date", with several people saying that the addition of a gym had been mooted, "but nothing has been done to progress this." 

A remote working Russell-Cooke lawyer said: "I'm not particularly interested in being in the office anyway, so the fact the offices are just fine is ok with me." They added: "The Bedford Row office could do with a top-to-bottom renovation though. Unsurprisingly for a Georgian Townhouse, cold in winter and boiling in the summer." 

40th Penningtons Manches, Shakespeare Martineau, Stephenson Harwood 

The Penningtons Manches London office "could do with a revamp," some one lawyer. Although others remarked that the office was in "a great location" by St Paul's. 

At Shakespeare Martineau, there's a "decent refurbishment underway" creating a "cool collaboration area". Although one lawyer likened the Birmingham office to a "call centre" with "not enough desks", but believed "it should get better in the next 6 months". 

Stephenson Harwood's office is in a "lovely building" and "the canteen is really good" said staff. Although one trainee opined that the "IT is dreadful."

43rd CMS, Hill Dickinson, Macfarlanes, Ropes & Gray, Taylor Wessing

CMS' London office at Cannon Place is "fine", said one lawyer. "There's not much natural light, but not many teams have a strict policy regarding WFH, so it's not a major issue. The firm isn't a white shoe firm and the offices reflect that."

However, CMS' "beautiful" new Manchester office was so admired by one lawyer, that it convinced them to come to the office rather than WFH. 

In contrast, the Hill Dickinson Manchester office was described as "embarrassing" when "clients walk into such a dingy depressing place". A partner said a planned move next year "to the new Manchester office cannot come soon enough." But Hill Dickinson's "nice" Liverpool office got the thumbs up.

The multiple offices at Macfarlanes divided opinion. A junior lawyer said that it was "outdated with an awkward campus style across 3 buildings." However a colleague said: "I enjoy the quirk of our office being spread across multiple buildings - there's always an excuse for fresh air and sunshine, which is not the case in other big firms where it can be a struggle to find an excuse to get outside during the day." However, staff seemed to agree that the "free" coffee shop was "fantastic".  

A Ropes & Gray trainee complained that "lunch being taken away was a huge blow. Feels like lots of the little office perks have been cut back recently." 

There were some disgruntled voices about the temporary office at Taylor Wessing: "We are moving in to what can only be described as a 'shit hole' for 18 months while our office is refurbed," said one lawyer.  Although a colleague disagreed: "The temporary space is decent in the circumstances. Some crusty partners will hate the open plan but most of us seem to be getting on fine."

48th Irwin Mitchell

"It entirely depends on the office," said an Irwin Mitchell lawyer. "Birmingham and Manchester are lovely, whereas other offices can be a bit hit and miss." 

"I predominately work from home, so being able to have an appropriate office and equipment at home is far more important," said a colleague, "I have everything I need and more in that respect."

49th Eversheds Sutherland, Slater and Gordon

There was a variety of opinion, depending on the location, at other national firms. One Eversheds Sutherlands staffer said: "The new ones are excellent, the older ones need to catch up." The London office was described as being "out of date" and due to have a refurbishment. But up north: "We have a new build in Manchester, which is very high tech, with very good amenities." 

Slater and Gordon also has a new office in Manchester, which was commended: "There are plenty of meeting rooms, areas to take breaks, lots of tea and coffee and there's a pool table", as well as "private 'pods' and standing-desks". Although a colleague disliked not having their own desk and having to ask "the miserable staff in Facilities" for any stationery.

51st TLT, Travers Smith 

A TLT  partner said there had been "new offices for some locations" and "great...updates to the ones we're keeping," adding that the firm "supports flexible working". A TLT staffer observed: "If we had a canteen, I think more people would go in more often." 

At Travers Smith one staffer thought the office itself "sucks", but acknowledged "the free breakfast, lunch and dinner is a terrific benefit." A colleague agreed: "Everyone is looking forward to the move in a year or two.  However, the free food and coffee at Braithwaite's is brilliant."

53rd DWF

"The views remain unparalleled," said a DWF lawyer about the 'Walkie Talkie' building in London, "but circling the office to find a free meeting room is getting rather tedious."

Although not everyone was impressed: "The office is like a show home. It looks fancy until you realise everything has been done on the cheap".

"The Scottish offices are perfectly nice but getting crowded. Fewer people working from home on any given day means there's occasionally a fight for desks," said another DWF lawyer. "Both are a little out of the way - it's a crime to have to walk 15 minutes to find a decent sandwich shop".

54th Goodwin Procter

Goodwin Procter's current office split across sites "is very poor", was a view shared by many staff. "Thankfully, we’re moving offices in 2024," said one lawyer. "It’s clear that the firm stopped investing in the current offices some time ago knowing that the move was on the horizon - understandable but in the meantime the offices are pretty crap. The air con is barely functional and seems to mirror the weather rather than compensating for it." 

55th Herbert Smith Freehills, Kennedys, Mayer Brown

"Not many frills but it does the job and is in a great location," said a lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills. Although a contender for sarcastic comment of the survey, goes to the lawyer who described Exchange House as: "Office of the year 1989". 

"We’re hoping they’ll ditch the drab Canary Wharf office," said one Herbies staffer, "A bizarre decision in 2018 and now inexplicable. Exchange House is a dear old friend and they do their best to keep it looking smart, but it’s desperately short of hot desks."

At Kennedys: "Birmingham is like stepping back into the 60s, but there should be a new office soon. The Manchester and London offices are stunning."  However, one London-based lawyer said while the "Walkie-talkie" building "is beautiful and a massive upgrade on Fenchurch Avenue," but there was "little else than aesthetics - no amenities for staff."

The Mayer Brown office is "quite run down and we are in the process of deciding whether to stay put or move to new offices," said one lawyer. "As such, the needed maintenance seems to have been put on pause for the moment."  A co-worker said the "client floor is fantastic but the rest of the office needs a touch up." 

58th Pinsent Masons

"Big variety in terms of quality of office," said one lawyer about Pinsent Masons' spread of offices in the UK. "The working floors in London and the Leeds office generally are feeling a bit tired." 

"The catering offering needs work," said another Pinsent Masons lawyer, "if you want people back in the office, feed us decently".

59th Trowers & Hamlins

The Trowers & Hamlins London office "is so much nicer than the regions," said one lawyer, adding that while the Manchester office is "comfortable", they would be "less satisfied" if they had to work in Birmingham.

"We have to pay £15 for our Christmas lunch," said one lawyer. "Why is a multinational firm conducting austerity-like measures? I can't remember the last time I had to pay for a Christmas event at any place I've worked before!"

60th Charles Russell Speechlys, Watson Farley & Williams

A Charles Russell Speechlys lawyer said the office was "pretty basic" and a "current refurb to open plan and hotdesking" had caused confusion "because no fee earners really like it."

"We are currently going through an office fit-out which means there is reduced desk space," said another lawyer. "The messaging is still that we are supposed to be in the office for three days a week but this is not possible as there are not enough desks." 

A Watson Farley & Williams lawyer reported: "The office is tired. Mice have been running riot all year. Management have been trying to fix the issue, including a (pre warned) raid on desk drawers for food by building management. Thank God we are leaving soon!" 

A colleague commented: "The mice give it some character".

62nd Debevoise & Plimpton

"Office is not very modern - a lot of windowless offices," said a staffer at Debevoise & Plimpton. They added that the lack of natural light makes it "feels like a dungeon at times."

"Pretty average," said a trainee of the building, "looking forward to moving to swankier premises in 2025." 

63rd Freeths, Keoghs

The Freeths offices "are a little dated," said a trainee. Although, staff commented that the firm also had plans to move into new offices.

Keoghs' office was described as "boring", "basic" and "pretty average." However, a partner remarked that "very few people are working in the office anyway." While a senior lawyer confirmed: "I'm not in the office enough to care too much."

65th Gowling WLG

A Gowling WLG staffer said: "The Birmingham office is looking very tired and the London office is very empty these days."    

A London lawyer explained that part of the building had been "fenced off for the past year to stop windows crushing us as we walk in to work."

"London is a bit shit," said one lawyer, "Always the fear that I will die on entry to the building, killed by loose glass or a dead pigeon. That’s why I WFH". 

66th Gateley, Paul Hastings

A Gateley senior lawyer said the "outdated" office had "nothing to entice people to attend more often."

"Generally pretty dire but nice roof terrace," said another lawyer. "There are too many people in the open plan office so it is very noisy."

At Paul Hastings there are just "two coffee machines, one of which breaks every fortnight," reported one lawyer. "You have to pay for snacks and soft drinks and they cost more than the Tesco nearby. The loos are so gross".

"Needs a lunch room," said another lawyer about the lack of amenities.  

68th Knights, Slaughter and May

At Knights, while some staff thought the firm had "lovely" offices, a main gripe was the "terrible...lack of flexibility". 

"Constant demand for unnecessary attendance in the office," was the opinion of one Knights lawyer. 

At Slaughter and May a senior lawyer said: "Hopes of finding a fresh modern office soon seem to be fading." While another lawyer said: "Mediocre office with all the charm of a Travelodge (and increasingly scruffy and overcrowded). Overdue a refurbishment at the very least."

"Offices are a bit tired and the firm doesn't really do freebies or exciting perks, but at least we're not open plan," said one lawyer.

70th Capsticks, Dentons

A Capsticks trainee said the office is "currently out dated - not dissimilar from the American Office TV series." 

A junior lawyer at Capsticks commented: "Staff in London office often relying on their own 4G hotspots (paid from staff’s own pocket) in the office as the firm’s IT infrastructure is so poor."

Meanwhile, at Dentons the London office "is tired", remarked a lawyer. "We are all looking forward to the move to One Liverpool Street in 2026. Other offices around the network (e.g. Edinburgh, Dublin) are brand new and exceptional."  

A new-joiner at the firm said the "open office" meant "trainees can get shouted at in front of the entire team", specifically in banking. 

Another Dentons staffer in London said: "It’s an old office, coffee machines are rubbish. Toilets always getting blocked up. Generally very dreary and drab."

72nd Linklaters

But at the bottom of the list, Linklaters has been voted as having the worst office, described as being "on its last legs".

"The office is as tired and dull as a wet weekend in a hangover. It does have a gym though," said one lawyer.  Another commented: "The sooner we get into the new office the better".

"Silk Street is rubbish now," said a colleague, "but the new office looks nice. But the worry is they will introduce not only hot desking but open plan." They added that "open plan would make me immediately start looking for other jobs."

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Tip Off ROF


The Vivienne 01 March 24 08:46

Clyde’s: Not a big fan of the windowless meeting  rooms at St Botolph but BLM did us a huge favour with 2 New Bailey and they footed the bill for our benefit.🤑

Anonymous 01 March 24 09:06

Wombles got £60m+ from going after postmasters. 

I hear about the younger generation caring about values and wonder how their staff square this issue.  After all, people died as criminals because of this. 

Sold down the river 01 March 24 09:12

There’s a lot of bitterness towards those that walked BLM into Clyde’s.  

Tinpot Knight 01 March 24 09:23

Pleased that the mantra of 5 days a week office attendance has been scrapped in my office. There’s still suggestions that we’ve returned to office working whilst others haven’t but that’s happily not the case at present. Office far too big even when everyone is in. 

Anonymous 01 March 24 09:33

LOL at the Linklaters lawyer who thinks that insisting on an office is going to give them much choice in a new job. Open plan is pretty much everywhere (although in few places is it as bad as Dentons).

Knight of the Echoing Office 01 March 24 09:35

When you can’t recruit due to a toxic culture but your CEO demands that his flying monkeys try and force everybody to come into the office every day, causing even more people to leave.  Now even the tumbleweed is echoing around the empty offices.  


Red Knight Green Knight 01 March 24 10:14

And the stealth redundancies/sackings going on before the financial new year

Matcha Latte on toast 01 March 24 10:35

“The meeting rooms still have Club biscuits in London," enthused a Clyde & Co trainee

-sigh- why did we merge with these children?

ConspiracyTheorist 01 March 24 10:49

Why does Simmons not feature in any of the surveys done by ROF?  Not mentioned in 'Law firm offices ranked from best to worst', 'Lawyers rate their firms for work/life balance', 'Rancour over NQ salaries dominates as staff rate their firms for pay' or 'RollOnFriday's Best Law Firms to Work At 2024'. Over 100 firms listed and not one mention of them. Hard to believe the lawyers there are too busy to participate. Does the firm block access to ROF? Has ROF been threatened? Have their chatbots taken over the firm? Does the firm actually exist? 



Anonymous 01 March 24 12:33

I hear that Knights is moving from its flagship Manchester office.  Anybody know where they are off to?  

Tunnocks Teacake 01 March 24 13:10

It amuses me that the firm placing last has a bloody on-site gym, given that I'm typing this from an office that seems to think revolting instant Nescafe is still an adequate coffee proposition in 2024. Some people don't know they're born!

Temporary TW 01 March 24 14:36

The temporary Taylor Wessing office is hilarious. Management haven’t told us whether or not the newly refurbed office will be open plan but we have the board telling us feedback on the open plan temporary space has been “great” because of “all the extra opportunity to collaborate with colleagues” which is something no human alive has ever said. Just tell us it will save money to be open plan in the new place and don’t treat us like idiots. 

Anon 01 March 24 14:57

Why would any BLM staff member be bitter about being “sold” to Clydes? City firm expectations for a miserable salary. Very fair. 

ABCDinsider 01 March 24 17:14

They are downgrading everything at DA;, the health insurance, the bonus, the pay, the dental insurance, the holidays, the offices - I'm waiting for the flex forward & remote working to be "future proofed" (downgraded). 

@Conspiracy Theorist 01 March 24 20:34

Maybe they are worried about being caught snooping around on ROF. Or maybe Simmons doesn’t exist haha. I’ve heard lots of grumbling about the pay.

Anon 01 March 24 21:40

That links lawyer need not worry, by the time the move is happening, most teams would have lost nearly all their people at the current rate

Simmons not a big city playa 02 March 24 13:37

Survey looks like it covers a variety of firms ranging from London to regional to niche. As Simmons is no longer a bit city hitter, it's probably not of enough interest to include in the survey. I didn't even clock that it wasn't in the survey until mentioned in comments above. 

Black Knight 05 March 24 09:37

A shame for those who believed themselves to be respected and valued at Knights who are know heading for the exit door following the latest cull.  Popular and decent people thrown on the scrap heap as the greedy few try and bolster the share price to enrich themselves.  #oneteam is a joke.  

Anonymous 05 March 24 15:15

@Black Knight - seeing good people shown the door is soul destroying.  It’s so undeserved.  It completely undermines all the stuff the management team try and get you to believe in.  They are gaslighters.  I’ve lost all trust in them.  

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