"No laptop, but we'll send you one of these in the post."
Eight firms were as popular as Matt Hancock with their Covid response, scoring 48% and under.
At Womble Bond Dickinson (48%) a partner said: "We have taken over £2million in furlough money which has gone straight into the pockets of partners. However, we have also had significant redundancies. Wasn't this what the furlough money was meant to avoid? We have lost so many people and I don't feel very comfortable with the board's actions."
Another lawyer agreed that the firm had "used the money" from furlough "to boost falling profits rather than retain staff."
A senior lawyer said the firm had made a "generous waive of stealth redundancies and a two year pay freeze while the partners have enriched themselves at taxpayer expense." He added "simultaneously to all this, the non-furloughed fee earners have been flogged while continually reminded how lucky they are to still have jobs."
"Management has treated some good people very badly," said a senior lawyer and "totally missed the Covid message of people matter!" A junior lawyer noted that "the board seem to have gone into hiding...and taken isolation to a new level."
A junior lawyer complained: "the firm was so slow to offer adequate equipment to work from home, I bought my own."
At Slater & Gordon (45%) a partner said, "the problem is that the workload has increased unmanageably because of resignations and sackings so everyone is very unhappy."
Another member of staff said the firm had "used Covid as another excuse to make more people redundant" with "lots of compromise agreements being agreed."
"The firm was already making preparations for working from home and closing offices regardless of the pandemic," said a lawyer. "So, rather than looking like a villain for closing offices they are pretending this is some great response to a pandemic. Or it could be some big coincidence that all the offices leases were ending..."
A senior lawyer at Slaughter and May (44%) said: "there was no working from home budget, no support given. Just the occasional email saying we're all in it together."
"The 'Isn't Covid awful?' emails only go so far," agreed a junior lawyer. "Unlike other firms, there has been no reasonable adjustment or provision for WFH."
"Quite unbelievably, the firm hasn't provided people with any home working kit unless there's a Health and Safety need," said a junior lawyer. "Another secretary in my group hasn't even been provided with a work computer and hers is on its last legs."
Another junior lawyer criticised the firm for "refusing to give IT equipment or desks for a very long time."
At Squire Patton Boggs (41%) a lawyer said "the firm rushed to reduce salaries by 20% within five weeks of lockdown, despite having had two record years previously." He added the salary reduction "went on for five months despite revenues being the same as last year."
A junior lawyer agreed that the firm's pay cut was "in a particularly cheap manner". Another lawyer agreed, "the pay cut was brutal. I know a number of colleagues who left the firm precisely for this reason. It wasn't fair and full pay was re-instated too late in my opinion."
Knights scored 40%.
A junior solicitor at Watson Farley Williams (38%) said that the firm did not offer financial support "to improve home working situations." He said "a small financial gesture or a policy whereby we might be able to buy a desk or chair or monitor would have been welcome and would have improved morale." And it "would have been especially helpful for trainees and associates who generally aren't living in accommodation which affords them the luxury of their own home office."
The firm was also criticised by another junior lawyer for "not providing staff with additional tech to WFH." And also "encouraging staff to come in to the office in September - when anyone with foresight could see a second wave and lockdown coming."
Another member of staff agreed that the firm had "talked about supporting agile working", but then "started forcing people back into the office."
A Business Services member of staff said Watson Farley Williams was "one of the first firms to furlough staff, claim government money" but then one of "the first to make redundancies without repaying the money which was meant to protect jobs."
At Dentons (36%) a senior lawyer said that staff "were sold a part-time working proposal (80% of hours and 20% pay cut for 6 months) on assertions that this was necessary to account for lower work levels and would prevent redundancies." But "most of us ended up working 100% or more of our hours, translating into a pure salary cut. Management still hit their budgets. Distributions for Partners were reinstated. We didn't get our salary cuts back."
"I'm still using my own (not great) laptop!" said a trainee. "The rollout of laptops is expected to take another 7 months...from now. I've had no financial support to set myself up at home."
Debevoise & Plimpton came last with 34%. "The pandemic has been another stick to beat us with over chargeable hours and the need to go above and beyond for the gangsters we generally represent," said a disgruntled lawyer.
"They couldn't run an orgy in a brothel," another said, in summary of management's approach.