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Corporate lawyer tells Mumsnet users to ask her anything — immediately regrets it

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‘Can I sue my neighbour because I don’t like the look of her garden?’

A high-flying corporate lawyer has discovered first-hand why you should never take part in an anonymous Q&A session on an internet chat forum.

Taking to the parental website Mumsnet, the intrepid in-house lawyer revealed she is a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) specialist who earns £80,000 a year. In a move she probably now regrets, the lawyer — using the online pseudonym ‘mumofthe21stcentury’ — encouraged users from around the world to ask her anything.

And things got off to a solid start. The lawyer, who says she qualified three years ago, politely responded to questions relating to work-life balance in the legal profession, her academic qualifications and the use of legalese.

Then things went up a gear, as she started receiving questions that weren’t really within her field of expertise.

Other queries were quite difficult to follow.

Some didn’t bother with questions.

While others cracked jokes.

Among the many legal problems, one Mumsnet user asked the M&A specialist if she could sue her neighbour because she didn’t “like the look of her garden?”

With the thread descending into chaos and the unnamed lawyer struggling to keep on top of all the bizarre enquiries, some users questioned her decision to undertake a public Q&A in the first place.

One Mumsnetter, who claims to be an employment lawyer, wrote:

“I genuinely think this thread might be a mistake… You really don’t want your own conduct being called into question. Plus you’re 3 years PQE and so shouldn’t be giving out unsupervised advice and this thread will inevitably go that way.”

Heeding the advice, she informed users that she was “going to close the thread”, adding:

“I opened it initially with the intention to try to let people ask some harmless questions and I never said that I’m giving out legal advice. I am being criticised by other lawyers on this thread that I am making a mistake.”

This isn’t, however, the first time a corporate law-themed thread has popped up on Mumsnet. In 2014, one soon-to- City solicitor asked the site’s users for their top tips. Forum responses included, “avoid the letchy partners”, and “don’t get drunk at the office parties and don’t sleep with your colleagues”.

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26 Comments

beedfack

Hey Legal Cheek, I’m a lawyer and I posted in a thread on Reddit earlier today – do you want me to send you a link so you can get it all typed up and posted on here??

(100)(1)

Anonymous

My question would be:

What makes you so insecure that you have to boast of your qualifications and earnings on Mumsnet?

Try a life.

(30)(6)

SoonToBLawyer

What makes you so miserable that you have mischaracterise an individual’s attempt at an AMA?

Try being kind.

(12)(1)

Anonymous

£80k at 3PQE is not “high-flying”.

(30)(13)

Anonymous

Maybe not high-flying, but if she is working outside of London then that is a good salary for a 3PQE.

(29)(4)

Anonymous

She isn’t earning that outside of the M25

(34)(0)

Londoner

M&A outside of London? Doesn’t exist in this country in the conventional sense of the word.

(16)(18)

Anonymous

Wrong.

(4)(2)

Londoner

I’d be interested to see where. Unless either Canary Wharf or the City picked up and moved to Birmingham, you can’t do M&A deals outside of London.
You need certain infrastructure to support it. Investment banks, accountants, auditors, international law firms.
M&A support work? Maybe. That’s done in Bristol / other regions.

(5)(13)

beedfakc

If you’re talking about London-centric firms doing all of their work in London then yes, you’re right.

However, I know that firms such as Pinsents and Addleshaws do the majority of their actual M&A work in Leeds because it’s cheaper – they still operate the front-office for this work at their London HQs though.

(8)(1)

Londoner

I did mean precisely M&A front office work.
You can’t get the same exposure in the regions. Who would meet with an actual client in their Leeds office?
They could, in theory, send their England-based employees on a train journey down once in a while, but the majority won’t do that precisely because they recruited them as cheap labour.

(2)(4)

Anonymous

“M&A outside of London? Doesn’t exist in this country in the conventional sense of the word.” What nonsense. The conventional sense of the words “Mergers” and “Acquisitions” being the merging together of two businesses or the acquisition of one business by another. Last time I checked that happens outside of London quite a lot.

Having never ventured outside of the M25 you may not have realised this but we even have auditors and banks in the regions …

(35)(1)

Londoner

Well, businesses merge and acquire one another all the time, but you understand precisely that regional M&A is a completely different world. You simply don’t get the same experience selling a coffee shop on a high street in Hertfordshire.

(6)(5)

Random passer-by

I’m a Londoner too and I think you are very stupid. Teams in Aberdeen, Birmingham and Manchester also advise on international M&A frequently. Large domestic M&A deals are frequently advised on by teams based in Leeds, Bristol, Cardiff etc also. Advisors (legal, consulting, IB) in London have a monopoly on international banking and finance deals in this country, and if a company is looking to list on the LSE then of course they will come to a London firm. But in terms of pure M&A you don’t need to be in London for that. It’s just that many big companies in the UK are based in the southeast.

(14)(2)

Another passer by

Londoner has posted the daftest comment I have seen on LC despite strong competition.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

To be fair, for an in-house gal that isn’t a bad wedge…

(11)(0)

Londoner

You’re probably gonna struggle to afford a new-build reasonably central 1-bed on £80k.
However, chances are, if she is in-house in an investment bank, her bonus would be 30-50% of her salary. That would get her above the £100,000 mark to get on the property ladder…

(1)(1)

Yawn

On what planet is £80k at 3 years pqe not a good salary? She is likely between the ages of 28 and 32 and earning over double the average wage in this country. How many people her age/experience in law earn more? Literally 500 people nationally absolute max. Kirkland and Ellis pay no more than 20 people more than her at her level (or below) so let’s stop pretending that these huge salaries are so wide spread.

(30)(2)

Ciaran Goggins

Mums Net? With Jean Hatchet/Vonny Watts? Just checking.

(1)(2)

JD Partner

I recently hired someone as a trainee who I saw responding to requests online. She did it live in front of a camera though.

(23)(5)

Anonymous

So, we see that a Mergers and Acquisitions specialist cannot cope with a citizen’s advice bureau caseload, and she is quick to use an excuse to offload it.

Would a MC or Us M & A lawyer have been any better ? I doubt It.

Could a citizen’s advice bureau lawyer populate a template sales agreement at 3am for 3x their salary ? Yes. I think so. If you can practice law you can turn your hand to a complex document.
But, as we see here, if you just populate a complex document for a living, you will struggle to practice law.

(14)(3)

Anonymous

Well ! It’s amazing that you can hold the job down. One tends to suppose that homeless alcoholics have mental health problems and punctuality issues. Are you in a backwater County Court ? Also, are you male, female or trans ?

(0)(0)

Hobbler

Oh please.

Just stop this now.

Your joke was not funny the first time nor the 50 billion other times you have repeated it.

Please stop it.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Couldn’t agree more. It’s brutal, tiresome shite.

(1)(0)

MFW

imagine unironically making £80k at 3PQE

where’s this mum at – the ‘Shed? Pinsents? Addleshawwwwwsssssss?

(4)(7)

Anonymous

Waited for the funny but the funny never came. Also I’m not sure how the divorce question was hard to follow. Is this why Author works in legal “journalism” and not law? Lol

(5)(1)

Comments are closed.

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