JOURNALISM WATCH: Ashurst co-owned RollOnFriday’s love of recycling

On Friday, I was shopping online for flights to Marrakesh for my holidays. But try as I might, I just couldn’t find the flight booking menu on the easyJet website. Then I realised I wasn’t on easyJet.com at all. Instead, I’d navigated in error to the remarkably similar-looking RollOnFriday.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Still, it had been a while since I’d had a proper read of RollOnFriday – which was fun and different back in 2000 when it launched, but has since become as edgy as David Cameron – so I put my flight booking aside for a few minutes to have a look around.

Now, I wasn’t expecting fireworks; RollOnFriday is, after all, half-owned by Piers Warburton, a partner in the investment funds group at City law firm Ashurst (the other half belongs to Matthew Rhodes OBE, a former colleague of Warburton’s at Ashurst). And the advertising the site carries for Ashurst and virtually every other top corporate law firm (a small selection of the ads on there are pictured left) has long precluded it from publishing anything genuinely damaging to the UK legal establishment.

But things are worse than I thought. It turns out RollOnFriday is barely even gathering its own news anymore. 5 of the 7 “top stories” in the Friday 28th October edition were recycled from other news sites, where they had been published earlier in the week. The stories were then re-written in the RollOnFriday style (patronising circa 2000 yoofspeak), given crrrazy pics, and re-published.  Here’s the full list:

‘DLA swoops for ex-Linklaters supremo Tony Angel’RollOnFriday 28 October

Previously published in: The Lawyer (Wednesday 26 October)

Standout RollOnFriday yoofspeak: [Tony Angel] is “notorious hard man of the legal world”

‘Mallesons signs up with outsourcer Integreon’ RollOnFriday 28 October

Previously published in: Asian Legal Business (Thursday 27 October), The Lawyer (27 October)

Standout RollOnFriday yoofspeak:  Mallesons described as “Malleys”

‘University application numbers fall – even for law’ RollOnFriday 28 October

Previously published in: The Law Society Gazette (Tuesday 25 October), The Lawyer (25 October)

Standout RollOnFriday yoofspeak:  “grad rec market”

‘Fraudsters’ convictions rendered unsafe as juror texts during trial’ RollOnFriday 28 October

Previously published in: Daily Mail (Thursday 27 October)

Standout RollOnFriday yoofspeak:  “banged up”, “sent down”, “crappy”, “festive farrago”

‘QualitySolicitors’ Amanda Holden gets ITV in trouble’ – RollOnFriday 28 October

Previously published in: LegalFutures (Wednesday 26 October)

Standout RollOnFriday yoofspeak:  “fat wodge”

Alex Aldridge is the editor of Legal Cheek