Global megafirm partner tells colleagues not to waste his time with ‘thank you’ emails

Avatar photo

By Thomas Connelly on

‘Ain’t nobody got time for that’


A partner at the New York office of Sidley Austin has blasted colleagues for sending ‘thank you’ emails.

Paul Wysocki (pictured below), one of the firm’s top tax lawyers, is clearly sick to the back teeth of people being polite to him.


In an internal email sent earlier this month — that our friends over at Above the Law have just got hold of — Wysocki issues a warning to his fellow lawyers about their impeccable manners.

Clearly failing to see the irony in writing an email that is itself arguably a waste of time, Wysocki complains about time wasting, writing:

Going forward, please don’t send ‘thank you’ emails but if you decide to do so (notwithstanding my instructions not to do so) please do not include partners. Just a complete waste of everyone’s time.

It is worth noting that Wysocki was recognised in the 2016 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Presumably for his approachable manner. So he clearly carries clout within the firm. Yet it remains unclear whether this policy will be implemented at Sidley’s London office.

The straight talking tax lawyer isn’t alone in his thinking.

An associate at US litigation outfit Quinn Emanuel was slammed last year for his over eagerness to thank his fellow lawyers at the prestigious Los Angeles-based firm.

Having politely thanked a member of staff via email, the unnamed lawyer received a response referring him to a 2009 memo drafted by none other than founding partner John Quinn. It read:

We have all been raised to be courteous in our dealings with our fellow man, and woman. I submit, however, that in the context of email, we should all be relieved of the obligation to send the routine ‘thanks’ email to acknowledge a response to a routine request. I won’t do the arithmetic here, but I think any of u can calculate the time cost of opening an email, reading it and deleting it. Its not worth it.

We assume that the same applies to reading articles about the use of ‘thank you’ emails. Get on with billing clients!