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Exclusive: City law firm asks trainees to pull all nighter days after promising to support lawyers mental health

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193

Leaked email sent late on Friday tells trainees who said no that they must ‘provide evidence’ of their ‘inability to help’

sleeping lawyers

A top City law firm asked a group of its trainees to pull an all nighter just days after publically promising to support its lawyers’ mental wellbeing, Legal Cheek can reveal. The firm, which we have chosen not to name, then asked rookies who didn’t volunteer to “provide evidence” of their inability to help.

In an email leaked to Legal Cheek (pictured below), an associate requested urgent support with a document review task for the firm’s Tokyo office. The message — fired off at 4:43pm last Friday (ouch!) — asks that trainees who “have [the] capacity to assist” to get in touch.

A screenshot of the first email

In a follow-up email (pictured below), again leaked to us, a partner in the firm’s London office promptly responds to the request and tells trainees who decline that they will need to need to “be prepared to provide evidence” of their “inability to help”. This, according to the partner, includes “other business critical commitments this afternoon/evening and tomorrow morning, including details of those commitments.”

A screenshot of the of the follow-up email

Legal Cheek understands that the follow-up email was already being investigated internally before being leaked to us and that the partner in question has since been spoken to. As for the trainee volunteers, it is understood they were reviewing documents until 4:30am and were back up at 8am on Saturday to finish the job off.

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While accepting that long hours were part and parcel of City life, a source told us that the partner’s email was not particularly well-received given it came just days after the outfit publically marked World Mental Health Day by trumpeting its support for good wellbeing in the workplace. The insider continued:

“Trainees were terrified to leave the office as their plans were only to go home and see family or a weekend trip abroad. I felt pissed off that this follow-up request was only 20 mins behind the original [email].”

Wellbeing in the profession has become somewhat of a hot topic in recent years.

Last year, research produced by the Junior Lawyers Division showed that the percentage of rookie solicitors who have experienced mental health problems had more than doubled over the past year. This came on the back of a number of highly-publicised Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal cases in which solicitors cited mental health and stress-related issues.

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193 Comments

Anonymous

Name and shame!

(169)(3)

Anonymous

Can confirm that is not CC

(5)(1)

Anonymous

How come they’re using the CC distro list style then?

(3)(0)

Anonymous

To be fair, the list style is common.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

“We have chosen not to name”????

SHITE JOURNALISM, LC.

We expect better.

(45)(4)

Anonymous

Do we really expect better…

(18)(1)

Granny Grammar

We expect better punctuation!

Where was your question mark?

(5)(4)

Pupil barrister

“Shame”? Nothing shameful about that. They all knew what they were signing up for.

(18)(58)

Anonymous

Irwin Mitchell

(15)(2)

X

Its Baker McKenzie – the *LON – email list gives it away.

(14)(0)

X

(ex- BM here, hence why recognise it)

(2)(0)

Anonymous

That path identifier is really not distinctive. I’ve seen the same used in another firm.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Why is this firm being protected? This is absolutely despicable behaviour that deserves to be outed.

(187)(3)

Anonymous

The firm name shares synergies with a large red dog.

(105)(2)

No Idea

… I still don’t get it.

(3)(19)

Anonymous

Magic Circle, two names, each with the same first letter.

Or just scroll down.

(9)(0)

Anonymous

Cliff…….

(6)(0)

Girl

Clifford the big red dog..?

(3)(0)

Anonymous

CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG!!!!

Now, that still doesn’t help me work out which firm it is.

Perhaps a clue would give us a chance?

(59)(3)

CC

I can tell it’s not Clifford Chance bij the * in the DL address.

(7)(0)

Manuel

Que?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

The firm in question actually shares synergies with half-baked litigants-in-person…

(6)(3)

Anonymous

Half baked litigants in person…

Chancers.

Big red dog….

Clifford.

No. Still need a clue…

(0)(0)

Cheekylegal

It’s linklaters. They were the one that celebrated world mental health day 2018.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Not the only firm… scroll down further.

(1)(0)

Solicitor (London)

This is a complete non-story. Providing urgent and often overnight assistance is inevitably part of life as a city firm trainee and unfortunately plans sometimes have to be cancelled. I’d only be concerned if the firm expected this on a regular basis and didn’t appreciate the effort / sacrifice of the trainees in question. What firms do to support mental health has to be seen in the round rather than through isolated incidents.

(33)(144)

Anonymous

I agree the initial request is a non-story. I think the semi-interesting point is the Partner’s follow-up.

It’s just a bit twattish – I wouldn’t doubt their authority to take that line, but it creates a really shit culture and ultimately no one’s going to want to work in this partner’s team if this is their style.

(154)(2)

Anonymous

Agreed that this is sometimes part of life in the City. However I think the pressing point is the Partners follow up, which emphasis’ the fact that well-being in the office is not looked after as some external propaganda suggests. The pressure that comes with ‘volunteer for this’ and then ‘provide evidence that you can’t’ is so contradictory and bad for well-being.

(49)(3)

Anonymous

emphasises*

(3)(5)

Anonymous

It’s not so much the urgent and overnight assistance as much as it is the partner’s ridiculous demand to provide evidence.

(9)(0)

Anonymous

The trainees will most likely be informally collectively held to account by the other partners for this leak and simply not kept on.

Sadly, this is the reality of our profession.

(27)(1)

Anonymous

There is a direct breach of the night worker provisions of the Working Time Regulations, even on the simple version set out in the article. This is potentially a whistleblower situation for any employee that reported it, and also reportable to the SRA.

Incidentally, the HSE, in investigations of regular such breaches (I am not sure if this is or isn’t) will not countenance breaches on the basis of particular industries ie that’s the way it is in city law firms.

(30)(13)

Anonymous

In the employment contracts they specifically contract out of the Working Times Regulations.

(31)(2)

Anonymous

Under the WTD an employee is only able to contract out of the 48 hour working week, they are unable to contract out of any other provisions, including rest days, night worker protections, and minimum breaks, all of which seem to be affected here.

(24)(0)

Anonymous

You can opt back in as well. Opt out cannot be a condition of employment

(2)(0)

Overies

I would presume most City firm (and in general) employment contracts have a contract-out clause for WTR. This is to allow people to work to the needs of the firm where it is business critical, instead of maxing out at 48 hours and not being able to work anymore.

Your point is therefore unlikely to be a reality, or viable. This is not dealing with Whistleblowing, just the breach of WTR point.

(9)(6)

Anonymous

You can’t contract out of the WTR in their entirety, only the 48-hour week.

(14)(1)

Anonymous

In respect of the viability of the point above, it is only not viable on the culture, not the legal position.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Trainees have sold their soul – emails likes this are part and parcel of life in the City.

(17)(19)

Anonymous

They’re not. I’ve worked in the City for a while, including at the firm in question and have never received an email like the second one.

Usually, enough people volunteer for the first email (I have in the past) for it to be fine. If they don’t, individual requests are made, but things like holidays etc are taken into account.

(13)(2)

Anonymous

Mad that it’s even a question of whether you can justifiably not work on a Saturday. You shouldn’t need an excuse at all.

(20)(3)

Anonymous

Clifford Chance has a Tokyo office

(53)(1)

Anonymous

Legal cheek has plenty of events with CC no wonder they wouldn’t name them.

(66)(1)

Anonymous

Gonna be interesting to see how many of these comments LC are prepared to censor in order to protect CC haha.

(32)(0)

Anonymous

To everyone saying this is terrible journalism, big boy newspapers do this kind of thing all the time. They don’t cover stories which don’t suit their owners or big advertisers – not unique to this rag.

(7)(3)

Anonymous

Not sure this is CC – that’s not what their email distros look like.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

It’s not CC you muppets

(16)(6)

Anonymous

Hi CC PR team, welcome to A Bad Day In The Office, starring you.

(57)(2)

Anonymous

Agree with you, it’s not CC. They use a different email interface

(17)(9)

Anonymous

Indeed, it’s the “global law firm with a personal touch and a friendly approach”

(1)(1)

Anonymous

“Other business critical commitments “ basically, this reads as if it’s not work related you won’t be excused from volunteering etc. After all, don’t forget that nothing is more important than work when you’re a trainee in a city firm!

(9)(2)

Anonymous

That’s precisely what it means – the partner is saying that anything not work-related (close friend’s wedding, birth of a child, parent’s funeral etc) wouldn’t be a sufficient excuse.

I think that’s what people are really objecting to here.

(35)(1)

Annonymous

This is Herbert Smith Freehills. Thank me later.

(41)(8)

Anonymous

Who’s the partner?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

No, I’ll thank you now. Thank you.

(10)(0)

Anonymous

This happened in a “top city law firm”. Think that rules out herbies lol

(28)(6)

Anonymous

Pretty sure the best litigation firm in the city qualifies as a “top city law firm”…

(10)(14)

Anonymous

Get over yourself. Litigation aint shit.

(1)(14)

Anonymous

All firms are top at legal cheek

(24)(0)

Anonymous

Provided they provide sponsorship, of course…

💷💷💷💷💷💷💷💷💷💷💷💷💷💷💷💷💷💷💷💷💷💷

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Well that email distribution list isn’t an HSF one, so probably not.

(9)(0)

Anonymous

No reason not to name and shame… Shoddy journalism.

Yes, it’s part of the profession, everyone who signs up knows that. The point is you can’t have it both ways – either you’re honest about the work environment or you’re just using mental health awareness and other socially topical issues to lie about what you’re doing.

Everyone knows the health risks of smoking. Still doesn’t mean you’re allowed to go around telling people the opposite.

(12)(1)

Anonymous

Hardly an isolated incident. If lawyers were good managers they could have made some work overnight while others took over in the morning. Operational management is a skill the profession needs to develop.

(31)(0)

Just a Junior Barristers Clerk

Ditto. Time management and project management is non-existent in Law firms. Simple time-saving tasks such as planning a week ahead are overseen. We need to stop fighting bushfires and actually start properly planning.

(12)(0)

Barry G

Law students aiming at City firms: read this story and the replies over and over again, and ask yourself if you are really worth so little to this world that you want to sign up to this life.

A few of my friends embarked on it. Every single one was miserable, and every single on left within five years. Don’t do it. It’s not too late.

Forget the supposed status, and the money, and the “intellectual challenge” (lol). The only people who recommend it are brainwashed losers who don’t have the guts or the self-respect to admit the truth.

(75)(2)

Anonymous

Yep much better off working as an (often unpaid) paralegal for 5 years just to have a sniff at doing mags appearances for £50 a day

(16)(7)

Anonymous

There are a vast number of careers obtainable with a law degree beyond being a solicitor or a paralegal. Most pay more generously and obviously have far better working conditions. Another bonus is that you aren’t surrounded by cringey legal career-whores either. Let’s face it, most city law firms look like the reject bin for ‘the apprentice’.

(0)(0)

Dangermouse

I don’t mean to be facetious, but is it a common issue in these firms that junior staff leave en masse? All I ever hear is that *everybody leaves*. How can they continue to function?

(3)(0)

Ex MC Associate

Lateral hires from other firms who don’t know or aren’t warned what it’s like and want the prestige, the 30% or so of the intake who are true sociopaths/workaholics who don’t mind the hours.

In my intake I noticed everyone with a personality or a personal life left within about 3 years of qualification (yes I was one of the last to leave).

(7)(1)

Anonymous

The people who stay aren’t sociopaths or workaholics. They’re high performers groomed for promotion by partners. Those who leave probably didn’t have great prospects anyway.

(8)(27)

Anonymous

The people who stay clearly don’t have a nice wife or husband to return home to in the evening.

(37)(2)

Anonymous

“…They’re high performers groomed for promotion by partners.”

No. Really, no, they’re not high performers. They’re unimaginative careerist doormats who lack any sense of self-worth.

(29)(1)

Sertraline addicted trainee

High performers, my b0770cks.

Definitely, devoid of a life, and/or personality….

Doc review… Such a high performance task and so cerebrally challenging…

(18)(0)

Anonymous

Well, the senior associates I worked with were intelligent, personable and well rounded. The bots get eliminated. They do exist, but they’re not promoted.

(0)(4)

Sad Truth.

If they were “intelligent and well rounded” they’d be at the Bar.

Not filing and pushing papers

Anonymous

True facts. My one abiding memory of a CC vac scheme I went on was a lovely blonde associate who said to me “why don’t you apply for the Bar instead, it’s much better”. I did, and 10 years on I’m very glad I did.

(32)(5)

anonymouse

Today, on “stories that never happened”…

(22)(1)

Stallone of Counsel

Cool story, Bar

(1)(0)

Barry G

I love the way Legal Cheek won’t name the firm. No doubt worried about sponsorship etc among these sorts of places. But they publish loads of articles about diversity and Brenda Hale so they’re doing God’s work really, right?

(31)(1)

Anonymous

It’s interesting because usually they’re v keen to name and shame. Must be a particular reason they’ve not done so in this case.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

“The firm, which we have chosen not to name…”

Why’s that then?

(8)(0)

Anonymous

They’ll be a sponsor of Legal Cheek, 100%.

(21)(0)

Anonymous

My shop recently invited me to the Christmas party. If declining the invitation, we had to give reasons!

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Tell them you don’t believe in Santa.

(19)(0)

Anonymous

I’m not prepared to lie.

(49)(0)

Anonymous

LC clearly don’t want to lose their sponsorship monies by naming and shaming the firm that rhymes with Blifford Bhance

(12)(0)

Anonymous

Surely the fact that they aren’t named is because they sponsor Legal Cheek?

How stunningly pathetic if so. For a source of journalism, the lack of journalistic integrity is impressive. Tom you’re a joke within your own profession.

(14)(1)

Anonymous

It has to be CC

(5)(4)

Unpopular opinion

Not a huge benefit in naming. This sort of behaviour is rife across the City. Any number of firms do this sort of thing on a regular basis.

To the whinging commenters: do you really expect junior lawyer pay increases at sharply higher levels than the rate of inflation to come with no downside?

(10)(2)

Anonymous

If it’s not a problem why does the firm need to be anonymised?

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Do you really expect us to think City lawyers lead interesting or fulfilling lives if this is what happens to their weekends?

(6)(0)

Anon

Err salaries haven’t increased faster than inflation. Do you mean increase with seniority?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Many abusive psychopaths work in the law non shocker

(10)(0)

Chloe

This is what these trainees signed up for I’m afraid. I’m sure that they are very very well paid. What I don’t understand is who actually relies on this kind of work carried out by trainees when the trainees are knackered and are probably rushing to get the work done so that they can go home. Surely it’s a pointless exercise as someone more senior would have to check their work with a fine tooth comb anyway. I know from experience that we have to do this and may as well do the work ourselves

(9)(14)

Yoda

Sign up to having their weekend cancelled at quarter to 5 on a Friday evening they did not.

Seem to understand the balance of power between employer and employee, some don’t. Slaves they are not. Lives they do have. Strong in the force the partner is not.

(48)(0)

Anonymous

You get what you’re paid for..:

(1)(5)

CC Partner

I never used to send emails like this when I worked at Slumber and March

(9)(0)

Anonymous

Expecting somebody to work until 4:30am and then be back at 8am not only harms mental health, but also physical health. Completely unacceptable and blaming it on being “just the way it is” is no justification. Modern day slavery.

(32)(0)

Yoda

Get it, you do.

(12)(1)

Forced insomniac

A few years ago, a young German intern at an investment bank did this for several days running – worked the “magic roundabout” of an all-nighter, followed by a taxi home, shower, change of clothes and back into the taxi for another day of spreadsheet hell.

Except one day, he didn’t emerge from the shower, he collapsed and died of heart failure, although he was only about 26. The news reports were full of hand-wringing commentary about how appalling it was to treat people this way. As we all know however, nothing will change until clients who feel entitled (because of the enormous fees they have to pay) stop making unreasonable demands and quivering lawyers who presently yield to such demands (because of the enormous fees they charge/salaries they receive) stop doing so. I’m not holding my breath.

(60)(0)

Future US firm trainee

Can do that for 1 day a week but besides I need around 7 hours of sleep regularly for good long term health. Don’t mind putting other social commitments aside for just work but there’s a physical limit to the human body. We all need 6 to 7 hours of sleep every night at a minimum, unless it’s an ocassional deadline emergency. No point beating yourself so much when young to get a heart attack when you finally reach equity Partner in your early 40s.

(15)(0)

Anonymous

In my experience, it’s very rare for people to overtly demand you pull an all nighter. In some teams there is an implied expectation of face time, and in others they are under resourced and perennially recruiting because people keep leaving and the partners are too blinkered to look at why so keep doing the same thing and hoping for different results. Just remember you can always say “sorry, no that isn’t feasible”. Sometimes, partners will respect those who push back a little. Also, if you do get your cards marked come qualification, having trained at a city firm you’ll be able to get a job on qualification in most other places too. It’s up to you but remember you always have a choice.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Similar hours in Legal Aid crime,
though days off often given in lieu, the work is actually interesting and the partners are not total sociopaths!

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Oh surprise surprise, City Law partners thinking they are God’s gift when actually they are just document monkeys who don’t have genuine control over anything other than some poor trainees.

(21)(2)

Trainee

lol still no one has correctly guessed the firm

(10)(5)

Anonymous

Name it then

(2)(0)

XOXO

SPILL THE T

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Linklaters?

(1)(7)

Trainee

Not in my interests. Job done.

(1)(2)

Anonymous

Bore off.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

So, LC will happily call out individual barristers (destroying their careers) but will protect their large corporate sponsors? How is that in anyway fair or ethical?

(43)(0)

Anton

It’s not fair or ethical.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Baker McKenzie

(40)(2)

Anonymous

Haha bakers top city firm

(2)(6)

Anonymous

If I was getting paid over £70,000 a year whilst in my twenties, I would stay late as much as they like. If you get a big wage your bosses are going to expect big commitment. Whoever leaked this I don’t believe is going to make it far in this line of work. Especially not if you throw the company you work for under the bus like this.

(5)(42)

Anonymous

That’s because you are a prostitute and will do anything for money.

(22)(1)

MsPacman

i Know 70k sounds a lot when you’re unemployed but this is really not worth it

(26)(0)

Anonymous

lol @ 70k being a big wage in London

(7)(6)

Anonymous

Is a big wage for a trainee you idiot.

(2)(4)

Anonymous

No trainee is paid £70k you idiot.

(22)(0)

Anonymous

And 70k doesn’t enable you to get a deposit for a house in zone 2 I’m afraid.

Zone 3 “up and coming” for you mugs thinking this sort of work is going to get you anywhere.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

How many 23ish year olds are looking for a house to buy in Zone 2?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

“up and coming” 4 u

(0)(0)

Wellbeing at the bar

Fancy a back rub???

Prickolas

I love dogging in zone 3

(2)(0)

Anonymous

LOL £70k isn’t worth much… thats worth turning up to work for but nothing more

(0)(1)

Sertraline addicted trainee

“Whoever leaked this I don’t believe is going to make it far in this line of work. Especially not if you throw the company you work for under the bus like this.”

Such a b17ch…. Stop your b17ching bambaclaat

(4)(0)

Anonymous

To be fair most 80% of MC trainees are pretty lazy and sometimes when something needs to be done urgently it needs to be done urgently. Not that it justifies this email but you can understand how it happened.

(3)(15)

Anonymous

Yes, but it isn’t impossible for them to plan ahead given that this sort of project isn’t out of the ordinary.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Poor planning and preparation leads to piss poor performance. Is it really urgent? Why is it urgent? If it’s that urgent dial 999. Sometimes, expectations need to be managed. Project management is a skill lacking in many senior lawyers. As is the notion of ‘asking for help’ – silos and so on develop because partners are terrified that partner B will ‘steal’ partner A’s client. In this example, why did document review for a Tokyo based client need to be resourced out of London at 5pm on a Friday? The US had many hours in the working day remaining. Did trainees need to be physically in the office to do it? At least let them get to where they need to be & if they need to log on for a few hours from there they could do. Large organisations have call centres which come online to suit timezones, if law firms are truly global why can’t they be set up in a similar fashion? I appreciate it brings up regulatory issues but ultimately they’re using trainees to do a doc review.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

How many of these snitching kids are actually going to leave the firm?

They want the $$$ without the work. If you don’t like it, walk away. Go to a firm without such expectations. Partner’s make these demands because they know trainees are willing to do it. They know that they will have no difficulty recruiting more trainees in the future. Bright, talented individuals, fully aware of what they are getting themselves in to, are still willing to join and stay at these firms. For prestige and $..

(9)(14)

Anonymous

if the only way you can make big money is by doing “document review” over the weekend, then yes maybe this is the job for you.

For those of us with brains and/or hinterland…

(9)(1)

Anonymous

As sad as it is, law firms ultimately rely on fear to get people to do things. The partner’s email is part of this culture – comply with our (objectively unreasonable) demand, or suffer potential consequences.

Having worked at a firm without such a culture, I cannot however say that it is really much better. Instead you get the opposite problem of trainees who are entitled snowflakes and who won’t actually do anything – give them a deadline, they just won’t meet it. Complain? nobody cares or does anything. Tell them off? They don’t care. They went to Durham don’t you know. Shout at them? They just cry like babies. Need help past 5.30 or at the weekend? Good luck, all of the trainees will claim to be have theatre tickets or be seeing their granny.

The issue firms are having now is the different work/life expectations of today’s juniors vs their seniors, and it’s only going to get worse.

(17)(1)

MJ

Any hints of which prior firm you’re referring to? Sounds eerily familiar…

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Genuinely surprised at the number of people surprised; this happens to me on a WEEKLY basis.

At my US firm, I am a particularly beasted trainee and there are others in relatively quiet seats doing the same TC and getting paid the same who are leaving at 7 or 8 everyday. I am not and where I am I work between 11 and 2am everyday.

Last Friday I worked until midnight and did a few hours on Sat and Sunday. Usually I’m leaving between 7 and 9 on a Friday, but 10 is not uncommon.

Re capacity emails, I usually don’t volunteer as I have too much work, but as the email above notes, it is standard practice for the trainee to volunteer if they have capacity. It is (seen as) unacceptable to refuse work and go home at 6 or 7.

Moreover, it is standard practice to ask your supervisor and immediate colleagues what other work you can do for them before you can go home – and I mean it is usually expected for you to do this past midnight.

Vacation schemes do not align in any way with the hours and work you will be doing during a TC. Yes, the above is standard for a US firm and not a UK firm, but towards the MC end of the market, it is expected too.

By the way, it goes without saying that I don’t recommend a TC to anyone who isn’t a 1% mentally unstable psycho. Normal people leave as soon as they can, and the money isn’t worth it. Particularly trainee money which is the same in the US firms as the UK. Why I ended up training here I have no idea, if you are going to do it, you might as well do MC and do the bare minimum in a less exposed environment. You can’t get away with that here.

(31)(5)

Anonymous

You’re missing the point. Capacity requests are the norm, and indeed an expectation that you will work weekends at times. However, providing evidence of business critical commitments that prevent you from volunteering to do the work is not.

(15)(3)

Anonymous

They were asked to provide evidence because everyone said they didn’t have capacity and on a Friday night, that is unconvincing. As I say, it is seen as unacceptable to turn down work and then leave at 6 or 7.

(2)(9)

Anonymous

Nobody says no to a capacity request then leaves at 6 or 7 mate. That’s not a US thing. Your description sounds very standard. I say this partly for students to be aware and partly to let you know the grass isn’t greener.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Very confused. I’m not justifying the psychopathy of law firms or partners. Someone said it is unusual to have to provide evidence of not having capacity – indeed it is. The only reason (that makes sense) the partner would have written such an email would be if numbers of trainees were turning it down when it is the norm for people to leave between 6-7 on a Friday night – I can bet that was the case; even in my smallish intake, a good half dozen or more would be leaving by 6-7; only me and 2-3 others would be working until 9 anyway and weekend work is not the norm for most.

I have seen many internal correspondences at my firm with partners and associates bemoaning slow or non replies to capacity requests, or where most are replying in the negative. Pissed off follow up emails have happened subsequently. Rare, but happens once every year or every other year.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Also at a US firm and I hear exactly what you mean.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Not a great week for Baker & McKenzie.

And only 5 days after Legal Cheek broke the news that “Review reveals ‘shortcomings’ in Baker McKenzie’s handling of sex assault allegation”.

(17)(0)

Anonymous

I’m laughing at the number of people who think they need to sacrifice their 20s and 30s to this sort of crap in order to make money.

Newsflash: you don’t. And it’s not worth it.

These partners will continue to abuse their underlings so long as the kids buy into the delusion that this is the only way to ‘make it’.

(20)(1)

Anonymous

Reading these types of articles genuinely makes me glad that I didn’t pursue a training contract – It would perhaps have been nice to have qualified, just because that’s generally what you look to do after completing the LPC, but doing so on these terms is bullshit.

There is a big, wide world outside of the City and the opportunities are plentiful. The money is an obvious draw, but it’s relative to what you have to sacrifice for it; the prestige, unfortunately, isn’t really a thing outside of law – I work with advisors (legal and otherwise) from across the globe on a daily basis, and where they trained means very little; conversely where I did, or didn’t train isn’t an issue either. Also, as a client of more than one legal firm regularly discussed on this page, I can assure you that we are drawn to you more by personal connections that anything else.

(15)(2)

Anonymous

Partners who behave like this are generally a bit bitter at how life turned out. Years as a slave to the machine, thinking it would be great when they reached the top. Meanwhile they have sacrificed the rest of their lives, have a distant relationship with their children, and their wife has long been shagging the tennis coach.

The only answer? They have to get angry and make sure the trainees suffer the same fate.

(28)(0)

Anonymous

I once received very negative feedback for refusing to come in to work on a bank holiday…think this was back in 2012, so I was a fresh grad! This sort of behaviour from management is not acceptable, and management need to learn how to manage their projects and people better rather than drop crap like this on juniors.

(13)(0)

Anonymous

Unionise!

Outlaw all-nighters!

Strike, and show solidarity with your fellow wage slaves!

We need a four-day week, brothers and sisters! We need to tax City greed to fund the NHS!!!!!!

VOTE CORBYN, FOR THE MANY, NOT THE FEW!

(3)(10)

Anonymous

This started off not being funny and has turned into poor quality trolling.

Get a life, son.

(18)(1)

Anonymous

Nah, you are a pr*ck. I agree with the Corbyn guy. F*ck haters, f*ck all nighters, f*ck the barbaric “normality”.

(2)(5)

Anonymous

Ooh you’re ‘ard!

(2)(0)

Anonymous

We are just exchanging our time for money. Since time is the greatest commodity we possess, then saying we are exchanging our life for money sounds a bit more alarming.

(10)(0)

Anonymous

Coffee through the week…and alcohol on the weekend. Stimulate them to be productive and then dull their senses ready to do it all over again. Coffee and alcohol are the tools of choice that the system uses for controlling the workers and keeping the wheels moving. Caffeine and alcohol would be illegal substances if they didnt serve a purpose to the system.

(9)(0)

Anonymous

Pretty sure something stronger than caffeine is often consumed by certain trainees/associates involved in this madness.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Are they still snorting Pro Plus off strippers?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Baker McKenzie without a doubt

(12)(0)

Sertraline addicted trainee

So rich.

It never ceases to amaze me how wellbeing and mental health awareness is always banded around by those at (near) the top of the profession.

You only need to look at the cunch of bunts that are so vocal about the Wellbeing at the Bar, working group.

The vast majority of them being the most abusive misogynistic pr1cks… Maybe just to further their careers??

(14)(0)

silver circle trainee

Something analogous happened at my firm – a litigation associate sent an email to all trainees asking for urgent capacity (copying in his trainee). 4 trainees responded within a few hours but to the litigation trainee offering help. Fast forward to that evening and the litigation associate hasn’t received any responses, panics, and sends an arsey email to all trainees demanding all trainees who do not volunteer to give a full list of client matters they are currently busy doing. This ultimatum is greeted with much hilarity – said associate ends up getting a bollocking from various partners in different departments. Real Estate trainees also instructed by practice group manager to refuse.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

This happened at CMS – exactly. Not a SC firm.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

If you don’t like it, stop complaining and get another job. Every job has its ups and downs no matter what the profession and everyone has a choice as to where they want to succeed. You have to start at the bottom and put in the effort expected of you. Working hard and longer hours than some doesn’t mean an unhappy life, some of us enjoy what we do and shouldn’t be judged for it.

(1)(6)

Anonymous

Fair enough… Not judging

Jonny no mates…

Jonny no life…

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Actually, it’s William.

(0)(0)

Big 1

Big Willy??

I think not…

More like small Richard!

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Isn’t that just it though? The Associate asked nicely – nobody has an issue. The Partner demanded and implied that those who said no wouldn’t be trusted as face value but their reasons would be investigated. Maybe take 30 seconds and look at time recording / utilisation. Separate question as to why in a global law firm the work had to be resourced out of London at 5pm on a Friday.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

To me it really depends upon whether the Firm is paying the appropriate premium to their trainees and juniors to make these sorts of demands.

Some firms pay £70,000-£100,000 on the basis that the demands are going to be commensurately higher. In which case, is it unreasonable to demand extra time over a weekend? Equally, if the Firm is paying £50,000 they should be told to fuck off.

Doubtless the partners choice of words may be Ill advised. I can see a motive that it might be unfair on those who do volunteer if others simply go home because they want a weekend. Equally, don’t be silly and label it as a choice when it appears not to be. Also, why not let those who do get assigned take Monday off or something like that!

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Ironically reading the woes of soon to be extremely well paid city lawyers while covering my overnight police station duty slot. Yes I worked a full day yesterday and will doing so again later today.

(9)(0)

Skadden NQ

This is CC. I trained there. Trainees get treated like peasants.

(6)(6)

0:

CC doesn’t use asterisks to denote distribution lists, you dolt.

(6)(1)

Me & ur mum

Yes. CC use thumb prints and feathered quills…

You folt!!

(2)(3)

Anonymous

We are working too hard comrades!

Jeremy Corbyn will implement a four day week and redistribute greed of high earning partners!

FOR THE MANY, NOT THE FEW!!!

(1)(8)

Anonymous

There is no other way to make 100k at 25 without doing this or IB so that’s why people do it

(1)(1)

Well being a pr1ck at the Bar

ABSOLUTE B0770CKS…

You could be a prostitute.

£50 and turn. Twice an hour= £100/HR

25 hrs a week= £2500/week

= £10,000/month

= £100,000 working 10months a year

The other 2 months I spent in a delightful clap clinic in Phuket, where I also avail myself of a smorgasbord of lady boys…

(6)(0)

Insider

Have you seen the follow up?

The partners are demanding a meeting of all trainees with the expectation that whoever leaked this to LC fesses up!

If they don’t, all trainees emails will be trawled to find out!

(12)(3)

Anonymous

No way. More info plz!!!

(4)(0)

Anonymous

That’s straight up bollocks.

(3)(0)

Roman slave

I’m Spartacus!!!

(2)(0)

CC slave

I’m Fartacus!

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Partners are such dicks. No leadership skills whatsoever.

(1)(0)

Insider

No-one fessed up.

The email trawl will happen and the leaker will meet with “serious consequences for their career”.

Watch this space!

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Stop spreading sh1te.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Any updates? Following these comments is better than anything LC writes!

(2)(0)

Anonymous

That’s so unfair. Conduct like this should be leaked so prospective trainees at least have some transparency over the life they’re choosing. Law firms are so condescending when they make these demands, claiming that well, you chose this, but nowhere in their graduate recruitment do they say that you’re subject to this kind of abuse. The partner’s conduct crosses the line, it’s completely unacceptable to intimidate trainees into doing all nighters. If this hadn’t been leaked, that partner would not have been held accountable for their conduct. Bullies need to know that their conduct carries consequences. This is precisely the information that should be published so that students know which firms to avoid when applying for training contracts.

(6)(1)

Anonymous

The pictures look like they were taken with a phone camera rather than being screenshots. I really hope they were and that the trainee in question sent it from their personal email account. It would be so sad if someone is fired for this. It’s also an argument in favour of revealing the firm — much easier for the firm to get rid of the trainee if it hasn’t been publicly identified.

(0)(0)

Wellbeing at the bar

Fancy a back rub???

(2)(1)

Anon.

If Legal Cheek supports the important efforts to improve mental wellbeing among employees in law firms, it would publish the name of this law firm.

(13)(0)

Oxford PPE

It’s an LC sponsor firm, so Alex won’t reveal the name. Alex is such a hypocrite.

(9)(0)

Wolverhampton Pee Pee E

Genius!

(0)(0)

CC Trainee (Corporate PE)

Clifford Chance. I’m glad a fellow trainee leaked this but extremely disappointed that LC didn’t have the balls to publish the firm’s name.

(5)(5)

Anonymous

You’re clearly not at CC given this email is not from CC. Back to first year public law you go.

(9)(2)

Anonymous

Shut up you fool. This was Bakers. Fact.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Project management is so fucking woeful at law firms. Doc review can never be this urgent.

Time for law firms to spend some money and invest in people to organise workflow. Partners are useless at any form of management, but too greedy to sacrifice a bit of PEP. I spent half my TC hoping I’d get a ‘quiet’ partner. Half of your cohort will be leaving at 6:30 regularly whilst the other half forget what sunlight looks like, all for the same money.

Either sort out work allocation, or pay those who have to deal with this proper bonuses.

(7)(0)

Insider

A trainee was spotted leaving with a cardboard box at 5pm this afternoon.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Oh no, how sad. That’s really very harsh.

(1)(0)

ABC

Hang on, a bit of perspective… being asked if you have capacity and it’s not even 5pm yet? That’s about as tame a request as you are likely to see once working somewhere truely busy.

If everyone available puts their hand up the job gets spread, rather than one poor soul taking all the work. If the majority avoid helping I can see why the partner wants to know why. If you are the only person left in the office at midnight on a Friday it’s probably because you already have too much to do. Can’t say I’d want many of the whingers on this forum backing me up when things get busy.

(0)(0)

Clifford McKenzie

Genius idea by LC to refuse to name the firm. That way there are 100+ extra comments compared to what it would have generated otherwise.

Can’t believe all the trainees didn’t volunteer anyway.

(1)(0)

Comments are closed.

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