HWL Ebsworth has come bottom in the Australian Firm of the Year Survey 2013. RollOnFriday can reveal that the firm scored a dismal overall score of just 41%, making it the deserving winner of this year's Golden Turd.

HWL chalked up its worst individual score, just 25%, for its (lack of) openness with staff. Employees paint a picture of Machiavellian intrigue, where politics is "rife," the atmosphere is "bitchy" and partners behave as if juniors can "be forced to give whatever they want". The firm's pay also gets a kicking, with one respondent blaming bungled salary increases for HWL's "absolutely terrible staff retention".

     Team drinks at HWL Ebsworth

But at least the "us v them" mentality has engendered a "good feel and solid culture" among juniors. And the blitz spirit seems to extend to support staff too, who lawyers agree are "lovely". Although that's where the bonhomie stops. Staff report that the firm is "very poor for women" and "HR is minimal and weak". One lawyer, asked to note any good things about the firm, responded simply "Are you serious?".

HWL has so far not confirmed where it would like its Turd delivered.

There will be sighs of relief from partners at Ashurst Australia, which narrowly dodged the Turd by scraping into second last position. One contributor pointedly remarked that "people are nice to your face", although the firm's newly-integrated management might also like to consider the state of the loos, which respondents thought were particularly crap.

And there is also room for improvement at Holman Webb, which scored 25% for pay, which was the equal worst single score in the survey. Even the firm's staunchest supporter slipped in a couple of hints: "The pay could be higher. Best firm you could ever hope to work for (apart from the pay)".

Click here for the full results.

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Anonymous 05 March 13 08:04

Hopefully the golden turd will go to Wotton + Kearney next year - they deserve it.