Never underestimate the importance of a firm's biscuits, bogs and Friday night drinks. When it comes to lawyer satisfaction, a home-baked cookie, a sparkling toilet and a crisp beer can mean the difference between a happy bunny and a constipated misanthrope. Let's see who fell where in the 2013 survey.


Firm of the Year Marque Lawyers comfortably topped the biscuit poll with a near-perfect 97% satisfaction score. And no wonder. 'Biscuit' apparently doesn't begin to cover the "delightful" snacks on offer at the firm. Second-placed Lavan Legal (85%) would need to buy a bakery to compete with the scones, cakes and "chocolate treats" waiting to greet Marque staffers. And Mills Oakley will have to add a lot more chocolate chips to the mix to trouble the top two, placing third with an unspectacular 78%.

It's still a league away from Corrs Chambers Westgarth, placing bottom with 21%. Which is actually pretty impressive, considering the firm scored more highly in 2012 when it had "no biscuits". Presumably it's now putting out something worse than nothing. Maybe something along the lines of the unappealing "diet biscuits" available at Norton Rose. Meanwhile good old penny-pinching seems to have landed Baker & Mckenzie in the sugar-free section of the table. Respondents complained that there was no place for nice biccies because "saving partner profits is paramount".


Marque also made off with the best bog award, posting 91%. Presumably it has those electric Japanese jobs which heat the cheeks and shoot hot water up your arse. Clayton Utz, blessed with a name like a toilet cleaning product, ranked second with 86%. And Mills Oakley took third place, no doubt boosted by wondrous scenes in the bathroom thanks to the partner who is "so fricking happy" he "poops rainbows".

Things are less magic at Henry Davis York. The firm's loos took last place with 31%. One lawyer suggested embarassing shitters were par for the course, and that "lack of respect and self-degradation are among the many things one can expect to look forward to every day at this wonderful place”. Grim-faced lawyers were also laying down a protective barrier of loo paper at Bakers, which came second from bottom. And, appropriately, Golden Turd winner HWL Ebsworth managed to seize a broken stall amongst the bottom three, with 42%.

Social Life

Familiar faces took the top positions for kicking back and getting down. Marque Lawyers and Mills Oakley came joint first with blazing 98% scores. Apparently Marque's office sometimes sees lawyers raving around the desks until Saturday morning. But while Mills Oakley's CEO also seems to encourage good times (he "even agreed to dance 'Gangnam Style' for the greater good"), he won plaudits for relaxing the party hard ethos: tuneless staff are delighted that the "compulsory karaoke" has now been cancelled. Hot on the winning duo's Cuban heels was Lavan Legal, which seems to keep its fee-earners fuelled on booze. Worryingly one lawyer reported happily that when the "drinks start to flow" you can "watch the partners get around you". Might give it a pass thanks.

Despite (or perhaps because of) monthly drinks where "each team has the opportunity to come up with a silly theme", Ashurst Australia did poorly with 56% and got itself second last place, just beneath Clayton Utz. But good old HWL Ebsworth took the killjoy trophy, coming bottom with 38% for its absolute dearth of social events. Still, in the firm where "politics is rife" and the managing partner has a sign which says "I am the Juan", it's difficult to imagine who'd want to turn up anyway.

For a full list of all the winners and losers, click here.
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