There's more to life than fee-earning, which is why Firm of the Year measures lawyers' satisfaction with the quality of their firms' meeting room biscuits, loos and social events.

Meeting Room Biscuits

After furious voting, Wragge & Co came top of the charts for its biscuits. As it does almost every year. Staff raved about the firm's "#amazeballs" Mars Bar cake (and RollOnFriday can testify to its excellence). One mid-level associate claimed "I have clients that want to come along for meetings in the afternoons, since they know they'll get a cream tea".

Olswang scored highly for its "cookies and jelly beans", and well done to Hogan Lovells for providing cookies so excellent that "the smell of them baking is enough to make you gain a dress size". Although its sandwiches are "terrible".

Near the bottom is Stephenson Harwood, where the biscuits are an "abomination of 80s retro - Toffee Crisps (watch the sell-by date), Breakaways, Taxis and Gold Bars". Field Fisher Waterhouse was consistently singled out for its lack of a canteen, and there was damning criticism of Norton Rose, for switching "from Toffee Crisp to dark Kit Kats - a poor decision". Trowers & Hamlins came last and was damned for "expecting [lawyers] to fork out for catering at an off-site team retreat".


Perhaps unsurprisingly, few lawyers felt the need to sing the praises of their firms' toilets. In fact most comments received were angrily scatological. Nabarro, at third from bottom, provoked the most vociferous reaction to its toilets, which were described as "f*cking vile". Mischon's were apparently worse and Trowers came last with an utterly miserable 31%: the lowest score of any firm in any category in the entire survey. Those must be truly bad bogs.

Toilet roll quality continues to be a major source of concern to the young lawyers of today. Pinsent Masons has moved to a new "abrasive" variant, Charles Russell's is "cheap" and Ince & Co's is "horrible". And someone doesn't like the "horrible individual squares" at otherwise high-scoring Latham & Watkins. Sort it out Latham.

There also seems to be a spate of dirty protests in City law firms. At Hogan Lovells, someone "mysteriously blocks one of the loos with paper towels every day". Macfarlanes has a "phantom sh*tter" and there's a warning to the women at Hill Dickinson: "clean up after yourselves in the 2nd floor toilets". Plus a deeply personal message from overall winner Ince & Co: "Cubicle 1, Floor 5 of the Southside Gents toilets. Always left like something Flash Gordon should be shoving his hand in".

Social Life

When the day ends, and the factory hooter sounds, which firm has the wildest social life (and, more pertinently, where do partners regularly dip into their pockets and buy a round?) It's Ince & Co again! The firm is described as "wonderfully friendly", rammed with "fun, social people", and is just "great for parties".

Bird & Bird offers a "good social life", aided by excellent "group cohesion". Third-placed Holman Fenwick has "Friday barbecues in the summer" and a "real team spirit" (aided no doubt by organised ski trips and golf days).

Meanwhile Eversheds came third from bottom, scoring an unimpressive 55%. Complaints suggest the firm's reputation for partying is slipping, with one member of staff moaning that "we used to socialise a lot more". The in-house bar is "only open on a Friday" and generally the firm "makes grey look exciting". The situation was not saved by firm retreats at which "senior partners act out their rock star fantasies by prancing around on stage to soft rock and complex lighting effects".

Dickinson Dees came rock bottom. While the people are "friendly and approachable", and the offices are on Newcastle's "beautiful Quayside", it seems the firm somehow still manages to balls things up.
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