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Blogs

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Blog Name: Jamie's blog

Exclusive: MOJ blames staffer for rogue tweets
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0
27 January 2015

The Ministry of Justice has discovered the perils of social media, blaming a hapless staffer for a string of off-message tweets. The messages, sent from the MOJ's official press office account, retweeted positive reviews of a film critical of Britain's foreign policy in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia.

Legal commentator @JackofKent spotted that in amongst the MOJ's tweets about the Freedom of Information Act being a triump for transparency and the frequency of visits by MOJ ministers to the West Country, it had retweeted a clutch of glowing reviews of the new Adam Curtis film, Bitter Lake.



Bitter Lake is an interesting choice for the MOJ to cheerlead, given that it's a polemic on how Britain and Saudi Arabia, as well as the US and Russia, mucked up the Middle East because they were blind to the complex reality of Afghanistan which, in Curtis' words, "led to a terrible disaster - support for a blatantly undemocratic government, wholesale financial corruption and thousands of needless deaths".

And it's a particularly surprising recomendation given that the commercial arm of the MOJ is currently bidding for a £5.9m contract to flog (not literally, that happens at the Saudi end) its expertise to the Saudi Arabian regime's cuddly prison 'service'.

The MOJ deleted the tweets after an hour. A spokesman told RollOnFriday they were posted by a staff member in error, who thought they were logged into their personal Twitter account rather than the offical MOJ feed. Whoops. He said the offending tweets "don't reflect the views of the MOJ". Which admires the regime so much it is now going to send one of its media people there for some personal hands-on hand-off experience.
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White & Case trainee retention joy
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27 January 2015

Trowers & Hamlins was the first firm at the trainee retention party, announcing a respectable 82% retention rate. But now White & Case has rolled in on a skateboard with a bag of insane indoor fireworks and a sweet mixtape, i.e. it's keeping on all 13 London trainees qualifying this February.

    White & Case, feeling fine

The firm kept on 100% last Spring, too, while summer 2014 saw a solid 86% of September qualifiers staying with the firm. Partner and training principal Justin Benson said the calibre of trainees was "outstanding", and they will be given all the money*.

Meanwhile Osborne Clarke posted a decent 89%. It's keeping on eight out of nine trainees. Three of will work in Bristol, reflecting the firm's sizable presence in the city, while three will work in London and two will be sealed in a large perspex box with a lion and suspended over the Thames Valley. They should have read the small print.

Last spring OB kept on 100% of Spring qualifiers from a smaller cohort of six. The latest result doesn't match that, but it's an improvement on September 2014 when three out of nine left the building. Channeling The X-Factor, partner-in-charge-of-trainees Catherine Wolfenden said OB looked forward to "continuing the journey" with its newest solicitors.

*not his words.
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Exclusive: All Slater & Gordon emailed by furious cuckold
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11
23 January 2015

This email was sent 'to all' at Slater & Gordon by a very disgruntled husband. The wife and the man with whom she is accused of having an affair both work at the firm. Awkward.



RollOnFriday has redacted names and numbers to protect the randy. We decided not to phone the woman's alleged lover, but we did phone the cuckold. He sounded bloody hard. And pissed off.

Slater & Gordon declined to comment.

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Man poos in lobby of Westminster Magistrates Court
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2
20 January 2015

A solicitor at Westminster Magistrates Court rocked the legal establishment yesterday with a single tweet.



Vice magazine chased down duty solicitor Marianna Christou for more details. Christou explained, "it was just sort of in lumps along the floor. Somebody had put cones up but it was quite spaced out so you had to sort of manoeuvre around the cones".

Apparently a man walking through the lobby dropped it out the bottom of his trouser leg. As you do.

"I'm not sure if he was a defendant or if he was there maybe for the warmth or whatever", said Christou, adding, "I can't believe I could be infamous for seeing a shit on the floor".
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Personal injury firm crucified on Facebook: Saatchi responds
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6
14 January 2015

This sponsored post by a business called 'Injury Specialists Direct' recently interrupted the never-ending feed of baby photos on thousands of people's Facebook pages:



Charles Saatchi, moonlighting as Injury Specialists Direct's digitial marketing guru, has been called to report on the campaign to the sixty lawyers who paid to be on its august panel. He arrives in the boardroom (a table in the Pret at Liverpool Street Station) fourteen hours late wearing a colander on his head. The atmosphere is cramped but positive.

Glen Spatchcock (a lawyer): Saatchi, how did the advert go down with our target audience, the grasping and the desperate? I hear that the post has been 'liked' hundreds of times.

Saatchi: Yes, that's right. Manuela was up all night clicking.

Spatchcock: That's good, Saatchi, because I paid the proceeds of six settlements for sporks dropped in chestal cavities by negligent surgeons to be part of Injury Specialists Direct.

Alima Rahman (another lawyer): And I paid the proceeds of four settlements for eyes popped out by squash balls on municipal courts.

Mark Mollesteros (a third lawyer): And I paid you the proceeds of my one massive settlement last year, for multiple eviscerations at a particularly poorly-organised children's birthday party.

Saatchi: Ladies and gentlemen, if I can stop you there. It's been worth it.  As well as hundreds of 'likes', which almost always convert into hard profits, the advert received hundreds of comments from Facebookers. And that sort of interaction - what we online marketeers call 'engagement' - is, quite frankly, priceless.

Mollesteros: Interesting. Have we become 'viral'?

Saatchi: I am pleased to say that you are viral.

Spatchcock: What did they say in the comments?

Saatchi: The input fell into several camps. 0.1% of the comments were very positive, and the other 99.9% came from, broadly speaking, a place of hatred.

Rahman: Did you say 'hatred'?

Saatchi: Deep hatred. But as I say, that's broadly speaking. Let's go granular. We have several people who blame you personally for destroying the country.

Saatchi uses a projector to beam the first of a series of slides onto the wall of Pret.




Mollesteros
: Seems negative.

Rahman: This looks terrible.

Saatchi: To the uninitiated, perhaps. But admen like me are delighted when the 'ban this sick filth' brigade show up. They only appear when the subject is already popular. You see the same complaints about Game of Thrones and Strictly Come Strangling. I mean Dancing.

Saatchi's hands start clenching involuntarily until, with visible effort, he grips the taple top. Rahman bites down suspiciously on a Double Berry Muffin.

Saatchi: A healthy number of people identified your core business, signifying a deep understanding of the Injury Specialists Direct brand.



Mollesteros
: And that's called...(Mollesteros checks his notes) 'engagement'?

Saatchi: Correct.

Mollesteros: Excellent.

Rahman: But 'ambulance chaser' is a negative term.

Saatchi: Not as negative as 'parasite'.



Saatchi: At first glance that may look bad.

Rahman: It looks very bad.

Saatchi: But what you have to understand is that very few people called you leeches and vultures, which is far worse.



Spatchcock: That's encouraging, then.

Rahman: Hang on-

Saatchi: Which brings us to the next slide.



Spatchock: Oh my.

Rahman: They despise us.

Saatchi: Yes, but it's incredible engagement.



Mollesteros: They're furious.



Spatchcock: Almost incoherent with rage.



A passing child sees the projection and bursts into tears.

Rahman: This is -

Saatchi
: All well and good, I know, but ultimately what you want from sponsored content is more business.

The lawyers, some of whom are emaciated and dressed in rags, cheer and wave their napkins.

Saatchi: And on that score, you've come up trumps. Big time. We've got 14 very promising leads.



Saatchi doles out the cases to 14 hopeful solicitors.

Saatchi: But I'm afraid some unscrupulous lawyers did piggyback the advert in an attempt to drum up business for themselves.



Spatchcock: Parasites.

Saatchi: And there was a defamatory allegation about the campaign.



Mollesteros:
Looks like someone doesn't understand how 'engagement' works.

Rahman:
Are you su-

Saatchi:
There was also positive feedback.



Mollesteros refers to his print-out of the advert and moans quietly.

Saatchi: And then there was this.



Saatchi: That Ms Justice should use the comments section of your sponsored content as the forum in which to reveal that a secret cabal is behind everything - everything - is extraordinary. I have taken precautions (he taps the colander on his head), and I suggest you do, too.

Rahman: Listen, Saatchi. This is absolutely ridiculous.

Mollesteros: Quite. We're defenceless.

Spatchcock: How can we protect ourselves?

Saatchi opens a box to reveal a pile of colanders.

Saatchi: These Anti-Bilderburg Helmets, a mere £10,000 each, will prevent the powerful x-rays of the elite from penetrating your skull. I'm an ABH expert and they really do work.

The lawyers queue up but before Saatchi can make a packet, the Pret manager taps hims on the shoulder.

Pret Manager: Excuse me, sir, but those are from our kitchen.

Saatchi throws a Falafel Mezze Salad in her face and escapes through a skylight. Sixty claims for injuries ranging from Grape Pot slip to a Hearty Grains Muffin choking incident are immediately filed. Saatchi's sponsored content is hailed as a great success.

For further adventures of Saatchi, the saviour of law firm branding, enjoy Saatchi and FFW, Saatchi and Herbert Smith and Saatchi and Dentons.

.... read more >
Taken 4: Give Back My Plastic Tub
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3
07 January 2015

In the film Taken, Liam Neeson hunts down his daughter's abductors and makes them pay. In Taken 2 he hunts down his own abductors. They also pay. In Taken 3 he hunts down his ex-wife's killers and they doubtless pay. There was only one place to go with Taken 4, and a solicitor at St Albans and Mayfair firm SA Law has gone there.



The chilling message was found "in prime position next to the kettle in the kitchen".
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Lawyer shares ad with potty-mouthed doll
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07 January 2015

The first great law commercial of 2015 is an attorney being interrupted by a filthy, filthy little puppet.

In the advert dug up by AboveTheLaw, Michael A Fiumara's spiels about his expertise as a criminal lawyer while a doll sits in his lap with its arms aloft. That in itself is pretty strange, but then he introduces her as a difficult client named Candy Wolinski and presses her hand, which makes her say, "Oh boy, it's so big".



Instead of clarifying that the doll is not impaled on him like a felt warning, Fiumara delightedly squeezes Candy's hand again, prompting her to sing, "Roses are red, violets are blue, take off your clothes, so I can go down on you". Fiumara demurs, pointing out that it would be against the rules of conduct to, well, rub a puppet's head against his crotch on Youtube I guess. Then she says, "Honey I'm bored, let's shave my pussy", at which point Fiumara does end the advert.



His commercial should not be dismissed as the work of a madman. Picture the potential client who's just got high, knocked down a kid, driven into a tree trying to flee the scene, been arrested and is consulting internet videos in order to pick his counsel. Will he pick the fusty lawyer who promises a solid defence? No, he'll pick an attorney who has an obscene marionette, because he needs a lawyer who takes risks, and because he is high.

According to her manufacturer Candy's real name is Miss Naughty Doll and she will "keep you company on lonely nights -- or shock your friends with her x-rated chatter!" Also, her "stuffed cloth body sports a revealing red dress and realistic plastic-molded head", so if your dream partner is a tiny filthpot who takes 500 years to break up in landfill, it's time to dig out $12.95.


Don't click



Have you been so impressed by your Secret Santa gift that you co-starred with it in a shifty advert? Let RoF know! .... read more >
Firm website hacked and used to advertise Viagra
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1
06 January 2015

It's important to pay your IT contractors on time. From Pride Solicitors' website:



I called to find out whether the prominent advert for generic Viagra was the work of a disgruntled employee or if the lawyers were just supplementing their income.

Receptionist: "Hello, Pride Solicitors."
Jamie: "Hi, I'm calling from the legal news website RollOnFriday. Is there anyone I can talk to about a press enquiry?"
The receptionist puts me on hold.
Receptionist: "He says he's calling from some company."
J: "It's me."
Receptionist: "Oh, it's you."
The receptionist puts me back on hold.
Receptionist: "You need to hang up and I'll call back, there's something wrong with the phone."
J: "You want me to hang up?"
Receptionist: "It's still you. No."
The receptionist puts me back on hold.
A man: "Hello."
J: "Hi, are you..who are you, please?"
Man: "Who are you?"
J: "I'm Jamie calling from RollOnFriday."
Man: "I am a solicitor."
J: "I wanted to speak to someone about the Viagra advert on your website."
Solicitor: "I'm not following you, sorry."
J: "Have you seen your website today?"
Solicitor: "Yes."
J: "There's an advert for Viagra just beneath his firm's logo."
Solicitor: "I haven't...let me go and check."
There is the sound of clicking.


Solicitor: "It wasn't there before. It wasn't there before. That's annoying."
J: "It's not intentional?"
Solicitor: "That's not the case."
There is a sudden transfer of the call.
Another man: "Hello?"
J: "Hello?"
Another man: "You're calling about the website?"
J: "Yes, who are you please?"
Another man: "Farouk."
J: "What's your position in the firm?"
Farouk: "I'm the director, yeah."
J: "I'm just wondering, have you paid your IT guys?"
Farouk: "Are you the IT contractor?"
J: "No, I'm calling from RollOnFriday."
Farouk: "You're not the contractor?"
J: "No. I'm not the contractor."
Farouk: "Yeah, he's been paid."
J: "Right."
Farouk: "It's because of page corrections, and mapping, the code."
J: "But do you know how the advert got on the site?"
Farouk: "I don't know. Our contractor, he's trying yeah, but I don't know whether he's able to do it."
J: "So you might be stuck with it?"
Farouk:  "It's really embarrassing. Yesterday I told him to mend it, and the day before. Now I am calling again and it's still there."
J: "It might be good for business."
Farouk (laughing): "No."
J: "Good luck."

The advert links to a defunct page on a Honduran photographer's website. It's not quite the Sony hack, but who knows where it could lead. Hopefully to some knock-off Viagra.

Thanks to the reader who let us know.
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Perfect gift: Jeep signed by the Rolling Stones
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19 December 2014

If you've saved some cash buying everyone very cheap socks this Christmas, there's really only one sensible way to spend the remainder: buy a Jeep signed by the Rolling Stones. The perfect stocking filler for dad.

    Paint it black, with mud

The cherry red 2014 Jeep Renegade (Official Car of the 2014 Rolling Stones On Fire tour) has been donated to a charity auction, with the money raised going to Community Links, which helps out in deprived areas of the UK. The current bid is $42,500, so you really will need to have skimped on those socks.

A four wheel drive sounds about right for the Stones, even if a Beetle would have been nice. It's not qute clear how long the signatures will last, though. From the video it looks like the band signed the bonnet with a marker pen, and Watts and Wood are very near the edges. If that isn't a serious permanent pen they're going to get rubbed out driving through the first puddle. Maybe it's intended more as a Chelsea tractor, or a piece for your Ferris Bueller-style show lounge, than for rolling over stones.

Small print: the car can't be legally driven outside Europe, the Middle East and Africa because the signatures have criminal records. Bid here.
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Exclusive: Two Linklaters partners resign after office party fight
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1
15 December 2014

Two Linklaters partners have resigned from the firm after brawling at an Oktoberfest party.

Litigation partner Laurenz Schmitt decided, presumably after a few too many steins, that tax partner Thomas Elser was 'standing too close' to a female student at the Munich office's "After Wiesn Party". In order to defend her honour Schmitt rushed over and repeatedly punched Elser in the face.

    Elser and Schmitt, now free to start a boutique firm together. But unlikely to do so.
After an internal investigation Schmitt and Elser have resigned, meaning both men have lost partnership at Linklaters and over a million a year because of a pissed scrap over a girl at the office party. Sterling work. The firm declined to comment.

Read more on Friday.
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