Ooo, you're well 'ard, you are.
Quinn Emmanuel has unveiled an advertising campaign which promises to fill its clients' opposition with "dread".
The US firm's full page advert in the Financial Times posed the question, "What would you like people to have in mind when they face you in litigation?"
"May we suggest dread?"
Quoting a survey of in-house lawyers which found it was the firm they least wanted to face, Quinn claimed it was "the law firm big businesses fear most". The assertion was, like the rest of the advert, mocked online.
Law Professor Darren Rosenbaum posted the ad on twitter, asking law profs, "are we trying to train lawyers who counterparties 'dread'?"
Law profs: are we trying to train lawyers who counterparties “dread”? pic.twitter.com/2HKrdA74dJ— Darren Rosenblum (@DarrenRosenblum) December 4, 2020
Lawyers on Twitter largely professed to believe that a good litigator did not inspire dread.
“'Dread' isn’t, or shouldn’t be, an aspiration", wrote Tom Herbert, a barrister at Ropewalk Chambers. "Generally speaking I dread being against certain opponents not because they’re good, but because they’re unnecessarily aggressive", or "take points indiscriminately".
"As former in house counsel I hate this ad", added a Massachusetts lawyer. "Why? Because I know they’ll engage in unnecessarily aggressive tactics to bring the dread, ratchet up the animosity between the parties prolonging the matter, and I’ll dread their monthly invoices".
“I am the Dread Litigator Roberts! There will be no stipulations!”, declared Fran Curran, a New York lawyer.
But the ad had its defenders, who argued that dread wasn't such a bad feeling to evoke in the other side. "Try reading it from a client's perspective. I think it's brilliant", said one.
"On the one hand, this is obviously dishonorable and unbecoming of the profession", wrote Professor of Ethics and Law Christian Moriarty. "On the other, it's stuff people have said, just in private, for as long as the profession has been around".
And in Quinn's defence, its marketing did not say it inspired dread because it was aggressive, leaving room for the possibility that everyone hates facing the firm because it is simply spectacular.
Or other reasons. In 2000 Quinn shipped out 600 fake hand grenades with its name hanging off the pins to hip Silicon Valley businesses, sparking multiple calls to the bomb squad. The misconceived marketing stunt did lead businesses to fear Quinn, just not in the way it intended.
The firm proved how fierce it really was by declining to comment.