Every year The Lawyer magazine butters up a bunch of upwardly mobile solicitors and barristers by including them in its 'Hot 100'. As part of the fun, the chosen few get to enjoy a celeb-style photo-shoot. But something seems to have gone wrong this time around. Several of the snaps, like this one of CBS Outdoor legal director Grainne Brankin, are just plain weird...
Correction 11.45am 30/5/12: In its original form, this post stated that RollOnFriday had "maintained that [Ashurst partner Piers] Warburton had no editorial involvement in the Friday story round-up" until it "came clean" and admitted otherwise last week. This was incorrect: RollOnFriday has never sought to publicly hide Warburton’s editorial role, nor has it sought to publicly play down its association with Ashurst.
The error stems from a mistake made by Legal Week in its article, 'Friday's children - how RollOnFriday got kinda respectable' (24 February 2012), where it incorrectly stated that Warburton’s role at RollOnFriday was "purely on the business development side". Yesterday afternoon, Legal Week recognised this error by removing the word 'purely' from its article. No correction has yet been issued by Legal Week. We look forward to featuring the Legal Week correction as soon as it is issued.
RollOnFriday, the website that offers a jovial Friday round-up of corporate legal news, has famously close ties with the City law firm Ashurst. The site's manager, Matt Rhodes OBE, used to work for the firm, and Piers Warburton, who runs RollOnFriday with Rhodes, remains an equity partner at Ashurst.
According to the Legal Week profile interview of RollOnFriday (£), 'Friday's children - how RollOnFriday got kinda respectable' (24 February 2012), Warburton acts "purely on the business development side for [RollOnFriday], with Rhodes left to make the editorial and operational decisions."
To promote its recent tie-up with Australian law firm Blake Dawson, City giant Ashurst has released a series of videos as part of a £970,000 advertising campaign – one of the most expensive law firm marketing pushes ever.
In the videos Blake Dawson employees explain how delighted they are with the “perfect match” between Ashurst and Blake Dawson, which has seen their firm’s name completely dropped (Blake Dawson is now known as Ashurst).
The thrilled Aussies also tell of their happiness about the new brand colours. “You can’t miss them!” grins ecstatic
Blake Dawson Ashurst partner Philip Maxwell, “We’ve been used to the Tiffany blue colours of Blake, so I think this will be an interesting change for all of us”.
Colleagues of Maxwell then reveal how much they’re looking forward to a wonderful future that will in no way see them go from being a major Australian firm to a distant neo-colonial outpost of a London firm.
Needless to say, the footage doesn't recall in any way the hostage video genre, instead producing an overall effect that is both extremely natural and genuine – as you can see for yourself below.
Wolfe’s PR troubles began on 2 March, just after the QC awards were made, when Ashurst partner Piers Warburton posted onto his website a story about the Matrix man calling for the abolition of the QC system nine years ago.
Any decent PR professional would have advised Wolfe (pictured) to let the matter go. But the QC couldn’t help himself, wading into the website’s comments section to defend himself – in the process further fanning the flames of negative publicity.
By Sunday 4 March, those flames had reached the Independent, where diary writer Matthew Bell wasn’t very nice about Wolfe, writing:
Hope (of City recovery, creation of more fat cats and then another crash) is beautiful, writes Alex Aldridge
On Friday, I had a drink with a friend who works at an investment fund in the City of London. For the last few months he has been warning me in solemn tones to brace myself for near-certain Armageddon. So I was surprised to find him unusually chirpy.
“The mood is really up-beat right now in the City,” he told me. “Work is like living with a bunch of manic depressives.”
Certainly, the picture appears better than last year. Although the Eurozone still looks pretty crocked, as illustrated by Greece’s latest bailout today, it seems unlikely to trigger another financial crisis now that it has been flooded with cheap loans from the European Central Bank. Meanwhile, the US economy appears to be in recovery mode. With the FTSE 100 up 15% from late November 2011, sales desk employees at investment banks have, according to the Financial Times, been issuing internal messages asking if a “mini-boom” is under way.
But does this renewed sense of hope apply to the world of law – and could it have a positive effect on law firms’ graduate recruitment strategies?
Legal Cheek re-writes stories from other websites in 90s yoofspeak so RollonFriday doesn’t have to
Check it out, man! It's Bonfire Night 2 and this time the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) is on the fire. Yes, the GDL is literally going up in spliff smoke. Sheff Hallam Uni has hotboxed its GDL to smithereens because it couldn't get enough