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Blog Name: Jamie's blog

Shearman & Sterling raises NQ pay to huge £88,000
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27 May 2015

Shearman & Sterling has raised newly-qualified pay to £88,000.

It's a 6% rise for NQs, whose salaries had already been bumped up from £78k to £83k last year.

Meanwhile trainees get a major hike of £6k. An increase of over 15% means that first years fresh out of law school are now on £45,000. Second years will get £50,000. All the pay hikes took effect on 1 May.

The US firm's raises put those announced by Magic Circle firms in the shade. Slaughters leapt to the top of the UK elite for NQ pay a fortnight ago after increasing their pay to £70,000, but that is now £18,000 lower than peers at S&S. Meanwhile Linklaters just increased NQ pay to £68,500, an even larger gulf in pay packet heft.

  The Magic Circle looks on as Shearman achieves 88k per NQ

Shearman and Sterling won the RollOnFriday Firm of the Year 2015 after staff voted themselves more satisfied at work than any other firm's staff in the UK. A large part of that was the pay, with which Shearman staff voted themselves 90% happy. It doesn't look like the firm's salary halo is going to slip anytime soon, with UK firms unwilling to match them.

Shearman London managing partner Nick Buckworth said, "this move, combined with our career development programme, is part of our strategy to ensure we attract and retain the top talent in the market.” Money isn't everything, but it might just work: read why US firms should spank the Magic Circle at grad rec.

And - check out what firms pay. (Let RoF know if your firm's raised salaries here or by email)
.... read more >
Exclusive: Herbert Smith has a caravan and a wife called Doreen
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27 May 2015

Herbert Smith has a caravan and a wife called Doreen.

RollOnFriday made the astonishing discovery after a reader tipped it off to the BBC's coverage of the Kent earthquake.


Pics or it didn't happen.


Herbert Smith is the only one in the street to have suffered as a result of the tremors.

Clifford and Liz down the way didn't feel a thing, apparently.

Herbert Smith's Twitter profile suggests that the account may, in fact does, belong to an elderly man called Herbert who discovered social media last week.


But it's much better to believe that this is all coming from the international law firm.

The revelations aren't a complete surprise: Herbert Smith and Doreen appeared in the news for unexpected reasons two years ago when they caught the Beast of Trowbridge.


Rumours that they captured the monster and named it Freehills are entirely accurate. And maybe explains the cat bum logo.

Tip off RoF here or by email. .... read more >
The London Legal Walk in photos
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19 May 2015

On Monday, RollOnFriday joined thousands of people taking to the streets for the London Legal Walk, a gruelling 10km amble. The aim was to raise money for the London Legal Support Trust, an independent charity which scares up funds for free legal services in London and the South East. This is the story of that momentous 5pm - 7.45pm.

The walk began around the back of the RCJ, behind the bikesheds. RoF James and I decided against stamina-boosting waffles, so I did some groin stretches while he went off to find the cat called Tom Paine who lives in the nearby Seven Stars pub. He failed. Here's Tom anyway though, and yes that is its ruff.


Despite fears it would be a London Legal Swim, the rain stopped, the clouds melted away and it was actually a bit unpleasant walking into the blinding sunlight. Also, RoF James set me a quiz about London which was infernally difficult, boring and almost drove me to seek free legal services myself. Try it now! These negligent officers refused to arrest him.


The massive traffic jams caused by 9,000 walkers using the same pedestrian crossing provided some distraction, as did this dog sporting a natty T-shirt-and-nappy combo.


Maybe it wasn't a nappy. Anyway, before that could be investigated, two legal aid warriors dressed as hedges shuffled into view.


Having not got the memo, they are still posed as a bush in Green park, waiting to assault a Chris Grayling who will never come.

Before we knew it, we were striding through Middle Temple, where a canny clerk had realised that the passing trade that evening might willingly take his rubbish away for him.


Armfuls of EC law and Arbitration books would have weighed us down too much, though, and the McDonalds bag was empty so we carried on.

Just round the corner it became clear that someone else had gotten wind that thousands of legal types would be in the vicinity, and parked their van accordingly.


But it wasn't just canny tradesman indulging in sharp practices. About 3k along the route, we stumbled across this cheat:


For some reason everyone was too polite, or stunned, to raise an objection. It took us another 20 minutes to overtake Lance Armstrong, but when we did we were gratified to see that she had abandoned her scooter and was being carried by a member of her support team, whether due to exhaustion or a comedown from massive doses of injected red blood cells it wasn't clear. Nonetheless we immediately notified the stewards.

Then this guy was hilarious.


Look at him! He doesn't care that he can't chew off his stitches which he got after doing something awesome. He's just happy to be out!


Pure, stupid joy.

A moment of reflection followed as we passed the mass graves of walkers who fell during the 2014 campaign.


This year's corpses had been more hurriedly covered.


Their mounds will be landscaped more attractively in time for 2016's event. It was a moving reminder of the reason we were presumably walking.

Well aren't you the cutest legal walker!


High spirits were restored by this proud little fella, and with the sun on our backs and a song in our hearts, we raced home, though this team's t-shirts gave us pause.


The dripping font didn't make much sense until we saw the acronym printed on the front, which looked even weirder.

From there we were cheered home by the stewards, embarrassing because we were only walking. And before we knew it we had completed the walk. With free drink tokens raining down like confetti, more incompetent hacks would have forgotten to take any photos of the scenes of celebration, but not RoF:


If you want to find out more about the London Legal Support Trust's fine work, click here. On another more serious note, the street party featured a Delete Blood Cancer UK stall set up with the help of criminal barrister David Herbert. David was recently diagnosed with a blood cancer, Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, and you should really find out if you can help David or someone like him by checking if your blood is eligible for donation.
.... read more >
Exclusive: The Texas Law Hawk is Back and Better Than Ever
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19 May 2015

In a sequel more freighted with expectations that Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Texas Law Hawk has released a follow-up to his blockbuster Youtube advert in which he did all kinds of great stuff like fail to snap a branch.

What's the verdict? It's not hyperbolic to say it's the best thing you'll see today featuring a hawk.


The ad opens with a melancholy, almost mythic air as The Star-Spangled Banner is picked out on an electric piano in a mournful minor key. Attorney Bryan Wilson, aka the Texas Law Hawk, runs in slow motion towards the camera. He is holding the American flag. We can see, faintly, a hawk and another, gently rippling flag superimposed over the noble patriot. It is a moving tablaeu, reminiscent of that bit in The Postman when the little girl's letter is collected by Kevin Costner on horseback. It has the same chest-swelling, tear-jerking power.

Then, BLAMMO! Texas Law Hawk shrieks "Texas Law Hawk", a hawk screams and the screen explodes into flame.


Suddenly we're in the woods and Wilson is making the Claw:


There's no time for slomo now at the Texas Law Hawk snarls, "Hunger for justice", and plucks a fish from a stream with his bare hands.


Then a quick, eery interlude as the Texas Law Hawk runs through the forest with his flag, just growling.


Things take a turn for the more surreal as we cut to a mean cop carrying a small dog...


...spying on a group of gentlemen deliriously playing Hungry Hungry Hippos.


The Texas Law Hawk is playing with the formula in fresh ways here, stretching his creative muscles. It's glorious to see, especially on such a small budget.

The officer suspects these weirdos are high on a new kind of drugs, correctly in my view, and orders the hysterical gamers to let him in without a warrant. Luckily one of them has the Texas Law Hawk on speed dial, who immediately smashes through their living room door shouting, "Someone just called me!"


Before they can explain he launches himself through the front door too, sending the fascist policeman sprawling. Smash cut to a smash zoom and it suddenly becomes clear that the Texas Law Hawk knows exactly what he's doing with this cheesy extravaganza, because he tries to growl "Texas Law Hawk" and breaks into laughter.


Briefly, the Texas Law Hawk allowed us to see his soft side. Then he leaps out of a moving 4x4 and the hawk screeches and there's an explosion.

Thanks to, well, the Texas Law Hawk for bringing his latest work to our attention. "Hey Roll on Friday Editors!" he wrote, "Bryan Wilson, the Texas Law Hawk here! I noticed y'all wrote an article about my first commercial. I just wanted to send you a link to the second one we just released. Hope you enjoy!"

Normally people have to pay to advertise on RollOnFriday, Texas Law Hawk, but dammit, you're law's answer to Steven Seagal. And as someone who coughed up good money to see Seagal's band (he cancelled), there's no way I'm going to refuse.

.... read more >
Exclusive: Did ULaw get the law wrong on Facebook?
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15 May 2015

Oh dear. The University of Law slapped up a funny law on its Facebook page yesterday. Only it got it wrong. As the comments point out, the law in question does not still stand. It has been repealed.

Very awkward indeed. Of course cross-referencing this from the 1839 Act:

...with this from the 2015 Act:

...shows the sort of dedication and attention to detail which marks out a truly outstanding future lawyer. But it's probably something ULaw should have picked up on, too.

Update: Unless it didn't get it wrong:

Just 11 days and we'd all have been in the clear, Ketteringham.
.... read more >
Scam artist gives me a ticking off for mucking about
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14 May 2015

RollOnFriday gets a ton of junk email, most of which is boring. But sifting through it I found there were people out there who were desperate to give us a fortune.

There was Mrs Bessel Harris, who addressed us as "Prominent User of the Internet", wrote in bold purple and informed us that we'd won $1 million "due to your effort, using internet daily".

Mrs Ana Whalen asked us not to feel sorry for her even though she had been diagnosed with "oesphageal" cancer. Her health had deteriorated so badly she wanted RollOnFriday to distribute $25 million to charities for her. She didn't want us to share her email address though, because she'd "received some emails from some unscrupulous people claiming to be charity organizations and other weird stories".

Kirk Murdoch was "an attorney based in Scotland United Kingdom" who was desperate to share his client's vast legacy after the rightful beneficiaries sadly died in an explosion. Smely Oleg had a lucrative real estate opportunity, Ming Yang needed assistance with "a large amount of money", so did the FBI, while a lady called Kim who said she was "very calm and emotional" just wanted love.

I replied to all of them, and no-one got back to me. Until camera-shy Sadiq, who began with an irresistible opening gambit: "ARE YOU HONEST?"

Update: Read part two, the return of Sadiq.
.... read more >
Exclusive: Capsticks to make swathe of lawyers redundant
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13 May 2015

RollOnFriday understands that medical negligence firm Capsticks is making at least 15 lawyers redundant.

The fee-earners losing their jobs are reported to all be in the firm's public healthcare department. In 2013 Capsticks raided DAC Beachcroft for five healthcare partners, but the source who tipped off RollOnFriday says the move "has not paid off". Apparently not.

    Capsticks yesterday

Capsticks isn't a massive outfit and the redundancies mean it's losing a significant chunk of its lawyers. It's the biggest cull at the firm since it threw out that partner for fiddling expenses.

A spokeswoman confirmed to RollOnFriday that consultations were underway, but said that only "a small number of individuals" were at risk and that "where possible we will redeploy these individuals within the firm".

In a statement the firm said that "the healthcare sector has been undergoing major structural changes over the last two years, and some of our clients are under considerable financial pressure." And, "Unfortunately, these factors have impacted on certain areas of our work, and the staff working in those areas".

Update: Capsticks tells RollOnFriday 10 jobs are at risk. Read more on Friday,
.... read more >
Exclusive: Hill Dickinson puts 39 jobs on chopping block
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13 May 2015

RollOnFriday understands that Hill Dickinson is putting 39 staff at risk of redundancy.

The roles are all in the fraud team of the firm's insurance practice and both administrative staff and fee-earners will be affected. It's the worst kind of deja vu: the fraud team took the same pummelling last year when, as now, 39 staff were put at risk. Unsurprisingly after such repeated battery, a source in the firm says morale "is at an all time low".

    HR returns for a second bite

But it is not just HD staff that are being hit. Though the law market is seeing green shoots of recovery in many areas, the world of commoditised law is suffering. Lawyers in the medical negligence team at Capsticks are set to lose their jobs, as exclusively revealed this week by RollOnFriday, and 80 are in the firing line at Plexus, which is outsourcing its high volume, low value work to South Africa.

Read more on Friday.
.... read more >
Trainee boaster of the day
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22 April 2015

But what did you get in your modesty exam?

BPP retweeted the trainee's unhumblebrag, but, curiously, not the follow-up:

The Solicitors' Accounts exam is like being dropped on a pyramid, so boasting about surviving it is perhaps understandable. As long as beforehand she didn't go on and on about how she was definitely going to fail, you guys.

She's only following the example of her betters. BPP Vice-Chancellor Carl Lygo has a brilliant personal website which doesn't so much hide his light under a bushel as wave it in your face until your lips catch fire. Although he does deserve a tip of the hat for including links to every single one of his press appearances, good and bad, including RollOnFriday's article taking the piss out of him. Not sure Nigel Savage, ex-boss of ULaw, will do the same.
.... read more >
Exclusive: Fieldfisher partner accused of threatening to destroy trainees' careers after they witnessed boss's toilet incident
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21 April 2015

A Fieldfisher partner has been accused of telling two trainees that they would be fired and their careers ruined unless they gave testimony in favour of the firm after saying that they had witnessed an altercation between a secretary and the office's managing partner.

The explosive allegation is made in a claim for unfair dismissal being brought against the firm by a secretary in Fieldfisher's Paris office. She has also accused Bruno Paccioni, the Paris office's managing partner, of assaulting her.

RollOnFriday can reveal that the secretary alleges the contretemps took place when she bumped into Paccioni on his way to the toilet. She accuses Paccioni of repeatedly pushing the door to the mens' loos against her when she asked him to pay her for overtime, hitting her with it in the process. She also claims that when Paccioni couldn't shut the door because she was in the way, he asked her whether she wanted to come in with him and if she wanted to "hold it" for him.

    "Oui, oui, non, je comprend - mais can we discuss this dans deux minutes sil vous plait?

The secretary was dismissed the same day, and is seeking damages of €120,000. The sum includes compensation for the alleged extra hours she worked, her dispute with Paccioni and the "humiliating" conditions of her exit, which allegedly involved being ordered off the premises and standing on the pavement with a box of her belongings until her husband picked her up.

Whether the secretary was subjected to assault by toilet door or just hasty office bantaah from a man touching cloth will presumably be addressed at the hearing, due in September. But RollOnFriday also understands that after the incident the secretary approached two trainees (who were lucky enough to have desks near the toilets) and asked them if they would write down what they had witnessed. They agreed. However, it is alleged by a second secretary that within minutes of finishing their accounts a second partner approached the trainees and told them that they would be fired, and obstacles placed in the paths of their future careers, unless they issued new testimonies in favour of the firm. She alleges that one of the trainees broke down in tears over her treatment by the partner.

RollOnFriday understands that the trainees' original testimonies have been submitted to the tribunal, as well as the second secretary's testimony that a partner attempted to strong-arm them.

A spokesman for Fieldfisher said, "The case is still running and so we will not be commenting any further". .... read more >

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