Love you guys 

The people who work there are the best thing about law firms, according to respondents in RollOnFriday’s Best Law Firms to Work At 2024 survey.

7,000 people in private practice in the UK have rated their firm so far (if you haven’t, grab your chance before the survey shuts in a few days).

As well as specifying how satisfied they are with their pay, work/life balance, culture, career development and management, respondents have also divulged what most makes them stay at their firm, as well as what most makes them want to leave.

It’s their colleagues that make the place sticky, hundreds have said. Across dozens of firms, respondents cited the folks they work alongside as the glue keeping them in love with, or at least in situ at, their current workplace.

Money is the second-most frequently cited factor, although plenty of people have more esoteric reasons to stay put: “It's a good name on the CV - the joy of that is outside people don't realise how fucking awful it is here”, said a lawyer at one prestigious firm.

As the deadline nears for entries, here’s a quick trot round respondents’ key reasons for not moving jobs.

At Addleshaw Goddard, “Clients aren't tools and the partners aren't bastards”, while at Allen & Overy it’s “The exorbitant pay”. Although, wrote the lawyer in question, “The hours make my pay add up to minimum wage per hour”.

At Ashurst the “World class parental leave package” and “excellent work in the most part” do it for one senior solicitor, although “Rumours of a potential American merger” would make them consider departing.

“£150k a year” keeps a Baker McKenzie solicitor in place, while a BCLP senior lawyer explains of her firm, “She’s a gentle beast. Any nicer and I would take the piss. Any worse and a higher pay check would be more attractive.”

"I never get a call from a partner and dread picking up the phone or wake up feeling sick at the thought of going into the office”, says a senior solicitor at reigning champ Burges Salmon. “That is worth a lot in this business. In most London firms you wade each day through a bog of fear, loathing and fatigue. Here, it is more like wild swimming: bracing, but fun and refreshing”.

ROF is not sure one Capsticks employee’s reason for staying holds water - “Sometimes I steal cutlery from the kitchen just to watch my c**t colleagues try to eat hot soup with their bare hands”.

But at Clifford Chance water is the main thing on one junior lawyer’s mind. The main reason they stay is “Every last precious minute in the swimming pool”, and the move from Canary Wharf is the key reason they would leave. “It’s a few years away but partners in my team are really worried about it, even if it’s clear they’ve been told to put on a brave face.”

CMS is so peachy that one business services employee rejected a great wodge of cash to leave. “I recently turned down a £25k rise to move, but prefer to stay where I’m happy”, they said. It can work the other way around, too: “I'm due a £40k bonus in April”, says a Reed Smith senior associate explaining why they are happy where they are.

“It is optically ‘cool’”, said a lateral at Cooley, but “life lesson, I should have just gone to a proper US shop for more cash, more cache and to work for rainmakers”.

The “prospect of NQ $$$” has bought a Covington & Burling trainee’s loyalty, while it was “the people” for a trainee at DAC Beachcroft, “but it’s not enough so I am leaving”.

A senior solicitor at Freshfields said the biggest reason he was sticking with his firm was “The fear of upsetting the equilibrium of a young family”.

That wasn’t a factor for a Goodwin Procter lawyer for whom “Being in my early thirties and taking home a decent wedge of cash” was the thing, “but more and more a Kirkland/Latham/STB is looking attractive. If you’re going to have to deal with c***s, might as well do proper deals”.

Profile and expertise is key for lawyers at HFW, which is “Still the best shipping firm in the world, with some very good lawyers” according to a junior lawyer there: “A shame they are not running the firm”.

“HFW really is no 1 in shipping by a way since ince went”, agreed a partner. “Which is probably why the pay is pants.”

“An unreliable and slow recruitment agent” is the biggest reason one Howard Kennedy lawyer is still a Howard Kennedy lawyer. For a colleague, its “My PA, who is an absolute darling and who brightens my day”.

A Kirkland partner, as might be expected, cites “The mighty dollar”, and the only reason they’d quit is “The need for sleep”, while at Macfarlanes it’s also “Money (but don’t fall into that trap, kids!)”, and also the parental leave offering which apparently “is insanely good”.

On the flipside, for one Knights lawyer it’s “The togetherness that comes from huddling together in an oppressive regime”, while at Morgan Lewis it is “knowing that my boss has no clients and he will shortly be on the way out”.

Shearman is merging with Allen & Overy, and for one junior at the US firm it’s “A&O umbrellas” which are keeping him in place, as well as, he admits, the people and the money. “THE TURBULENCE” is the reason to consider leaving.

At Slaughter and May, “the Reduced Hours Policy with 10% or 20% off” is a great perk which makes one respondent happy to stay where they are, along with the chance to “work from home if I don't feel like going into the office” (not anymore, read the memo), and “more than enough money to afford the lifestyle I am after”.

For a loyal Womble feeling attacked by ROF’s stories on WBD’s post office work, the main reason she stays is apparently “To give two fingers to RollOnFriday”. Sorry in advance for a story coming soon…

Squire Patton Boggs has sprung the perfect trap to retain one senior lawyer, who says the main reason she stays at SPB is the “Low self-esteem fostered courtesy of Squire Patton Boggs”.

A Travers Smith solicitor has given the best reason not to leave a firm, so far: “There is an associate who gives free haircuts if you can prove to her that you've been at the firm for 3 years and you know the special password. Makes me grateful I've stayed here for three years as I'm saving a lot of money on haircuts. If you know who the associate is, then you only need to ask, but if you need to ask, you'll never know”.


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Snake wrestler 12 January 24 08:53

I think the fact you're at HK might explain the rrecruitment agent's difficulties finding a new destination.

Virgil 12 January 24 09:01

Computer glitch + Womble Bond Dickinson + ? = largest miscarriage of justice in decades 

What I don’t understand is that some lawyers are staying at WBD. What’s their flimsy reasoning? 

thecynic 12 January 24 09:09

Perhaps lawyers at Allen & Overy should request a 35% pay increase like the poor junior doctors (who presumably include the time they are asleep and dreaming of the riches to come, but on call, in calculating their hourly rate).

Anonymous 12 January 24 09:17

Wombles made over £37.4m from the Post Office litigation. 

I wonder if that shaped the opinion of the WBD lawyer as they sit in a plush office part paid for by the misery of the wronged postmasters. 

Well done to Roll on Friday for reporting on these issues. 

Anonymous 12 January 24 09:20

According to the BBC:

Lawyers for the Post Office sent letters threatening to sue Panorama and the company's public relations boss Mark Davies escalated complaints to ever more senior BBC managers

Which firm? Because this looks pretty bad. 

loadsa money 12 January 24 09:57

It's more than £60 million Wombles have taken from Post Office scandal. Scandal in itself being paid to bankrupt and ruin the innocent and then get paid by the taxpayer to defend your indefensible actions. Worse some of your partner remain proud of what they done !?! SRA need to be all over Wombles role in this . Wombles have overidding duty to court not themselves or client. How can people work there and clients instruct them?

Anonymous 12 January 24 10:44

"There is an associate who gives free haircuts if you can prove to her that you've been at the firm for 3 years and you know the special password."

I mean, I'm sure I've heard weirder kink stuff in the past. I just struggle to think of it off the top of my head.

papercuts 12 January 24 11:14

i doubt if most corporate lawyers would shoulder Dr responsibilities and work Dr hours for junior Dr pay - £33k per annum in England for 100 hour weeks 

Escapee 12 January 24 14:33

DAC Beachcroft sucks. I’d leave because of the people, not see them as an incentive to stay.

Anonymous 12 January 24 14:47

"i doubt if most corporate lawyers would shoulder Dr responsibilities and work Dr hours for junior Dr pay" 

Do you also think that those same corporate lawyers would shun doing trainee solicitor hours for trainee solicitor pay?  

Or are you pointing out something other than the blindingly obvious fact that experienced and fully-qualified professionals would probably decline the opportunity to work as if they were unqualified juniors again?

@Anon 14:47 12 January 24 15:58

Missing the point that a “junior” doctor is anyone up to 10ish years qualified, so not really equivalent to a trainee solicitor at all…

Anonymous 12 January 24 16:39

Given the vast number of stealth lay offs at travers smith I doubt there will be anyone who has the required three years to qualify for the haircut. Why is nobody talking about how badly Travers is treating it’s associates with stealth firings? 

Bomblewock 12 January 24 17:29

Cooley associate would be minded to know that the correct word is cachet and not cache.

wrongbles 12 January 24 19:22

Underground overground persecutors of innocents are we,

Making good use of cash cows decent firms left behind,

Uncle Simon very smug with his bonus while those he wronged are in jail

Rishi to the rescue the posties will prevail

And go rot in your underground burrow Simon and your wicked Wombles

BDB 12 January 24 19:52

We dodged a Wombles bullett. Can you imagine if we actually took them over and inherited this historic disgrace!

justice for posties 13 January 24 00:15

Agree with others yes ROF well done on holding Wombles accountable for their part in the worse miscarriage of justice in legal history

scramble 13 January 24 11:31

Can you hear that? It's the scramble for Womble partners transferring all assets out of their names to try avoid what is now inevitable. LLP status only gives you so much protection . Maybe now you will feel the pain of the posties. 

itv 13 January 24 14:27

One thing that stood out in the excellent itv Bates v Post Office is that the sub postmasters were awarded less from PO than the Wombles earned in fees from PO. Needs looking at.

Anonymous 13 January 24 14:47

Which came first Wombles disgracing themselves in a newsworthy way or Roll on Friday reporting it? 

Actually it’s pretty obvious, so maybe Wombles staff should stop blaming Roll on Friday for their unpopularity. 


@thecynic 16 January 24 09:14

@thecynic - one of the dumbest takes I’ve read on this site. ‘Junior’ doctors are equivalent to lawyers in qualifications and academic prowess and hours worked, yet receive a fraction of the pay (not to mention the utility to society compared to most of us on here).12+ hour night shifts in hellholes fighting for peoples’ lives is an ordinary day for them. Their choice yes, but you clearly have zero insight in the medical profession 

Ed Davey 16 January 24 19:58

Discomfort at HSF.  Ed Davey’s brother Henry was a partner. When Ed left government before he led the Lib Dem’s he got a consultancy gig at Herbies.  Who was the minister responsible for the post office in the coalition government ? .  Which firm later acted for the PO ? 

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