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Blog Name: Jamie's blog

Orrick makes sad, self-defeating advert
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26 February 2015

A hip job ad from Orrick appeared in February's edition of Juve, a German legal magazine.

There are couple of minor problems wth it.

Firstly, it shows an old man who has realised, too late, that he wants to do something else. His attire and the context of his appearance suggest that he has spent his entire working life as a lawyer, and has now, finally, ten seconds before dying, realised he actually always wanted to be a DJ. Which is the wrong way round, of course. What it should show is an ancient Tony Blackburn or a dessicated Annie Nightingale hobbling towards a data room with undisguised glee, and also sadness because they have finally realised that their dream was always due diligence, and now it's too late, death has their necks in its steely grip.

The second problem is that the needle is not on the record, which means the music he is hearing is only in his head, and he has lost his marbles.

But aside from being the wrong way round and tragic, it's a good ad. .... read more >
The perils of stock photos
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25 February 2015

Thanks to the reader who spotted a strange similarity between the employees of Penningtons Manches and the employees of Holman Fenwick Willan.

HFW People?


The same perspective

Presumably the firms have secretly merged. Either that, or their diverse workforces were too busy to stand together and look up, and they had to think outside the box. In which case it's a pity they picked exactly the same place outside the box.
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Law student fails on Tinder with Nazi meltdown
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16 February 2015

Looking for dates online has long ceased to be an embarrassing revelation at a dinner party. Today dinner parties end with half the guests drunkenly swiping through the men and women available within a two mile radius and the other half shouting over their shoulder to stick or twist. So, this is a timely warning: if you're playing the field and have set your Tinder perimeter to 3,600 miles, watch out for Marwa the Canadian 2nd year law student.

One day Marwa messaged a guy, "Heyy good morning". Instead of reading her caps-ridden profile and swiping left so hard the nails flew off his fingers, he replied, "Hey, what's ou". Flammable Zeppelin-sized mistake. Marwa may be looking for a culturally-blind non-racist, but she's also testing the theory that opposites attract.

Reader, he married her.

.... read more >
Tom Cruise astonishes chambers staff
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16 February 2015

To the surprise and delight of onlookers, Tom Cruise ambled into barristers' chambers One Crown Office Row on Friday.

The last thing evil computer experts see

He was snapped by clerk John Mclaren, who did not use facial recognition technology or sucker pads up the side of the building to capture the star on camera.


Cruise gets a lot of flak for testing Oprah's sofa springs and possibly using scientology slaves to wax his motorbike for free, but it's unwarranted. In the first instance, his wife auditions had just been satisfactorily completed, and in the second, most people would happily buff Tom's spokes for free. He's Tom. Cruise. Doing his chores and maybe being allowed to make eye contact with him when he brings out some refreshing lemonade and a flannel so you can towel off the sweat at his sun-dappled Telluride ranch while Playing With The Boys blasts out on repeat doesn't mean you're a Xenu-blinded drone, it means you're human. 

Also he's famously great with fans. Look at him with these guys.

Look at that dazzle! And he's a true movie star. No-one invests as much effort in putting energy on the screen as Cruise. He's run in 75% of his films. So, easy jokes aside, I'm very jealous to have missed his visit. It's unclear whether he was scouting for locations for Mission Impossible 5, currently filming in London, or looking for his own Alamuddin. If it's the former, Tom, please be aware that RoF Towers already looks like it's been blown up, so would be an ideal set for the movie. And if it's the latter, I love volcano gods and can get a divorce.

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BLP mediocre 70% trainee retention rate
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13 February 2015

Not the greatest retention rate in the world just in: BLP has offered jobs to 15 of its 20 final-seat trainees with 14 accepting.
That's a 70% retention rate for its Spring NQs, the lowest since Spring 2013 when it only kept on 64% (14 out of 22).

    The BLP retention rate as a creature on a skateboard

Since then BLP had been hitting consistently in the 80s, with 86% retained in Autumn 2013 (18 out of 21), 89% in Spring 2014 (16 out of 18) and 82% in Autumn 2014. So the latest result isn't great by comparison, nor is it helped by the Magic Circle having just announced rentention rates which are all 88% or higher.

Full round-up next Friday.
.... read more >
Linklaters keeping 91% of trainees
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12 February 2015

After Slaughter and May this morning, Linklaters has confirmed its own, excellent, trainee retention rate, and so has Clifford Chance.

Out of a cohort of 54 trainees, 51 applied for NQ jobs. Links made offers to 49, none of which turned it down. That gives it a retention rate of 91%.

    Playtime's over

Nick Rumsby, partner at Linklaters, focussed on the fact that unlike many firms Linklaters has not massacred the size of its intake in response to the recession, saying “We are delighted that we have been able to yet again retain so many of our extremely talented trainees, especially given that the number of trainees starting their training with us has remained consistent".

Clifford Chance has offered jobs to 41 out of 45 of its Spring qualifiers, and all accepted. Which also gives it a 91% rate, and means it's been a velly good year for the whole Magic Circle.
.... read more >
Judge bollocked for insulting 13-year-old girl
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11 February 2015

A panel of Court of Appeal judges has shamed a family judge for being "gratuitously rude" to a 13-year-old girl.

The Law Society Gazette reports that Judge John Dodds told the child, who had made an application for a DNA test because she didn't believe her dad was her biological father, that he was "bitterly resentful" at having to spend his Saturday reading up on her case, which he described as "codswallop". Though the Legal Aid Agency had already agreed to foot the bill for the DNA test, Dodds told the girl that he was considering making an order for her to pay.

Dodds, who was formerly head of chambers at 15 Winckley Square, also mocked the girl's lawyers, asking whether they would have answered "yes, sir, yes, sir, three bags full" if she had told them "that the moon was made of green cheese". Dodds went on to declare that "the lunatics" had "truly taken over the asylum", but said that just because the lunatics said they wanted something did "not mean that they should be spoon-fed".
Dodds prepped the girl for his dismissal of her application for a declaration of parentage by saying that she "might want to put her crash helmet on".

Who's your daddy

In their oral judgment a CoA panel comprising of Lords Justice Aikens, Black and King gave Dodds a humiliating dressing-down. They said his "unrestrained and immoderate" language "had to be deplored" and represented a "serious procedural irregularity" and that Dodds' appointment to judgeship did not give him "licence to be gratuitously rude to those appearing before him". And, a bit like rubbing a dog's nose in its own mess, hoped that he would read the transcript of the hearing and "be embarrassed".

Allowing the girl's appeal against his decision, they ruled that Dodds' threat to make a costs order against a child showed that he'd gone into the case with a "closed mind", and had also failed to allow proper submissions. Presumably because that would have meant even more boring weekend reading.

A day later and Dodds got a fresh panning when another of his decisions was overturned, this time for being "fundamentally unprincipled and unfair". The Appeal judge said that all parties in the case had "crumbled under the judge’s caustically expressed views", which sounds like perfect Judging. The Gazette reports that his conduct is not being investigated as no complaints have been made.
.... read more >
Left Shark bites back
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11 February 2015

If you rarely dive into the deadly currents of the web, you might be unaware that during the half-time show of the Super Bowl, pop singer Katy Perry was overshadowed by a backup dancer in an unwieldy shark costume on her left-hand side who danced like someone in an unwieldy shark costume, and that the internet fell in love with 'Left Shark'.

Having watched Left Shark steal the show and anticipating the public's hunger for more than just 11 billion gifs, artist Fernando Sosa published a free 3D-printable plan of the differently-coordinated fish so that everyone, or at least everyone with a 3D printer, could have a Left Shark of their own. And then things got nasty.

Rather than basking shark in the glow of her viral success, Perry told her other dead-eyed killers to dance for her. Lawyers at Greenberg Traurig duly sent a cease and desist letter to the website hosting the Left Shark instructions, claiming Perry was the sole owner of the "shark sculpture" IP and accusing Sosa of copyright infringement.

Left Shark cease and desist

The website appears to have complied, but those who believe Left Shark belongs to all of us are fighting back. A supportive New York University law professor has fired off a response to Greenberg Traurig on Sosa's behalf, arguing that the Left Shark costume is not copyrightable and that Perry is being a bit of a spanner.

Sprigman implies that Perry is being foolish by "declaring war on an Internet meme", adding "but that's her business". And that's the point he misses. Left Shark is a potential goldmine for Perry, and if she could become the sole vendor of Left Shark merchandise it would be her business; huge business. Left Shark shark-hunting trips, Two Left Shark Feet dancing classes, Left Behind Shark novels to milk the Christian dollar - the possibilities are endless. Taylor Swift can take her copyrighted lyrics and stuff them in her Left Shark With Swinging Jaw Lid Pedal Bin. Perry probably feels she can almost touch it, that shining future where she doesn't have to wear corsets and shriek for an indifferent public, because she has become the Mother of Sharks.

But as sensible as her ambitions are, there's more at stake here. Left Shark isn't about Perry, or wealth, or power. Left Shark is about celebrating people and sharks who have the confidence to have a good time whatever their skill level. Left Shark says 'It Gets Better' to everyone who dances like a wedding dad. To stifle their uninhibited, flailing joy is a sin. That's why Perry must drop her threats, and why everyone must take a stand this Valentine's Day by making their own Left Shark costume, getting in it and thrashing around in front of their loved one. Or, if they haven't got a loved one, in front of other people's loved ones at the nearest Pizza Express.

.... read more >
Slaughter and May announces 88% trainee retention
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10 February 2015

Slaughter and May is keeping on 88% of trainees qualifying this Spring.

40 trainees out of 42 applied for jobs at the Magic Circle firm, with 37 being offered jobs.

  Hugh allowed himself one last celebration which he definitely wouldn't regret

In an indication of how many of its NQs Slaughter and May has been employing recently, the result is actually down on the firm's last few retention rates. In 2014 it kept on 95% of its Spring cohort and 97% (33 out of 34) of its Autumn qualifiers. The previous Autumn it kept on 90% (46 out of 51).

So far three Magic Circle firms have announced their stats, and they're all very good. Allen & Overy is keeping on 93% (43 of 46)  and Freshfields 85% (44 of 48).

If you know your firm's, please tell us.
.... read more >
Top 5 Smuggest Beach Huts
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04 February 2015

Southwold is a Suffolk seaside town so spick and span it's hard to believe the parish burghers don't take the same approach to crusty jugglers as the Neighbourwood Watch in Hot Fuzz. It's a haven for the well-heeled, and last year a beach hut went on sale there for £100,000.

    It's an OUTRAGE

That hut was called Happy Days, which is presumably an accurate description for anyone in it, given that they can afford £100k for a shed. Happy days, and hopefully a niggling doubt that something is terribly wrong with the world. As Happy Days suggests, the hut was named in order to beam maximum self-satisfaction at the plebian hordes sheltering from the North Sea winds behind a towel strung between two spades on the stony beach below. But is Happy Days the smuggest beach hut in Southwold? I visited to find out, where I was assisted by two delis and eighteen Adnams pubs. This has nothing to do with law.

5. "What, this old thing?"

The owners of this incredibly expensive weekend getaway have gone to great lengths to show that it's no big deal. For them. A tossed-off name, The Hut, and a derelicte finish that probably cost more than a street in Liverpool make this the perfect humblebragshed.

4. I am the one who boogie boards

Mixing Bromide (Br) and Tungsten (W) creates a drug with unique psychotropic effects, whereby users experience euphoric smugness and passersby find their gorges automatically rising, occasionally emitting bile. Warning: Name needs to be updated to on-air series, e.g. Game of Swing Tennis or Wolf Beach Hut.

3. Possible licensing issues

No complaints here. Good name.

2. Ghetto chiq

The owners of The Dog House take a 'real' approach to their hut. Proud of their life on the streets, it was important to them not to deny their hood roots while holidaying in Southwold. And there's no chance of that thanks to their daring graffiti, which takes that vital form of urban expression and chokes it to death with hummus, then beats its corpse with a copy of Country Living magazine, builds a finishing school on its nuts and tags it 'Bunty'.

1. Bombing coordinates

Demonstrates high-earning intelligence? Check. Shows Barbican-member wit? Check. Clear on amount of spare time on hands? Check check check. This name also elegantly leads the scum scurrying past to consider Their Position: full of hutred, pondering arson. Perfect.
.... read more >

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