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Exclusive - Slaughter and May sacks two trainees before they even start
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30 April 2018

Slaughter and May has terminated the training contracts of two of its future trainees after they failed modules on the LPC.

Law firms have differing approaches when it comes to showing clemency to future trainees who flunk exams. Freshfields and Norton Rose have traditionally been charitable, Herbert Smith has not. But it's possibly unsurprising that the firm which prides itself on being the gold standard when it comes to black letter law takes a zero tolerance approach. Still, it's pretty hard luck on the unfortunate students who, having won the golden ticket in the law, will now be scrabbling around to find a job pretty much anywhere.

  At least they can still tell their mates they work at S&M...

The news comes just a week after Ince & Co kicked out a trainee in his first year for failing to perform at an adequate level. Gone are the days of getting away with being a bit slack prior to qualification...

A spokesman for Slaughters said 'our trainees are required to pass all the modules of the LPC at the first attempt. Unfortunately, these two students did not pass. If they are able to resit their papers and have that classed as a first attempt, we would of course accept them back.'
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HSF sacks top partner after accusations of harassment
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16 March 2018

HSF has fired one of its top partners in Australia after several members of staff claimed they had been harassed by him.

Until yesterday the unnamed partner had been in a senior role in the firm. He has now been suspended and will, according to the firm, be kicked out of the partnership by the end of next week.

The firm launched an investigation after three members of staff complained about him. The nature of their complaints has not been disclosed by Herbies. But the firm clearly considered his behaviour to be sufficiently egregious to justify not only firing the partner but also publicly humiliating him. So keen was CEO Mark Rigotti to publicise the firm's impeccable #MeToo credentials that he issued a lengthy and excoriating statement* before the partner had even left the building.

Which may be entirely justified. Or not - the firm has not provided any of the details. And it may be premature. Herbies wouldn't comment, but it has been reported that the partner may appeal. If he does and is successful then Sydney's defamation lawyers will have field day. And if he isn't Rigotti may have made himself a hostage to fortune when, as seems inevitable in a firm of this size, other employees come forward to say that similar complaints in the past were not taken nearly as seriously. 

* Rigotti's statement:
"It is paramount that the individuals who have come forward feel fully supported and can have faith that the firm is taking the right action. We do not tolerate behaviour that contravenes our Values, Codes and Policies and we will not accept behaviour that violates a person’s dignity or erodes their self-respect.

 As custodians of the business, the partnership in particular must live and breathe our values and do all they can to ensure that all our team members enjoy an open, inclusive and supportive working environment that encourages them to thrive and enables them to be their whole, true selves at work and outside work.

 On a personal level, I am deeply disappointed to hear how the behaviour of this person has impacted others at our firm. Every one of our people deserves to be treated with respect and dignity and the action we are taking should highlight the importance of this.

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Puerile blog of the week
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28 February 2018

Juvenile titter:



More names in law here. 

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Comment from Russell McVeagh
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15 February 2018
In relation to the story: "Russell McVeagh lawyers accused of sexually assaulting students".

Comment from Russell McVeagh's Chief Executive Gary McDiarmid: 

"Over two years ago we received serious allegations related to incidents in Wellington. Where allegations were made, we immediately conducted a full internal investigation at the time and initiated a formal process. Those who were the subject of the allegations left the firm following the investigation. Out of respect for the privacy of the women involved, we have no further details to share.
As a responsible employer, Russell McVeagh has always taken employees’ concerns extremely seriously. Our firm is committed to ensuring our workplace is a supportive and safe environment for all of our staff and their safety and wellbeing is our utmost priority. We have zero tolerance for bad behaviour and will have no hesitation to act if we are alerted to behaviour that contravenes our values, with robust processes in place to investigate and resolve any issues. We continue to take all possible steps to create a ‘speak out’ culture and as part of this, have made it clear to our staff that there will be no repercussions for speaking out in any circumstance.  
We are committed to addressing any issues of harassment at Russell McVeagh and in our profession generally by making it known that any such behaviour is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated. 
In addition, we have been and are working closely with many of the other major law firms and the universities to develop a ‘transition to work’ programme and have appointed an independent person, to provide additional support to our staff and graduates within the profession as they commence their careers from university.
We have been asked by the women affected to respect their privacy, and therefore, will not be commenting further."

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Japanese lawyer endorses questionable fitness product
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30 January 2018
An advert has been unearthed of a lawyer endorsing a bizarre fitness product.  

Pao Facial Fitness was marketed in 2014 as the season's must-have face tightener to prevent shameful sagging. The advert contrasts a "tight face" with the horrors of a time-ravaged "slack face" drooping like a melted waxwork:


To avoid plastic surgery or looking like a Botox-riddled balloon à la Simon Cowell, Facial Fitness Pao offers another solution: toning up with a facial work-out.


Though the model appears to be trying to release a trapped dove from her mouth, she is actually engaging in a form of exercise. Dubious exercise.

Given that the legal profession is awash with jowly lawyers whose only facial work-out is bellowing at trainees, Pao Facial Fitness thought it appropriate to turn to a lawyer to extol the product's virtues:   


Japanese lawyer Yukio Kikuchi of Bancho Law in Tokyo says in the promo that he "never thought about exercising the face" but gushes that it had "quite an impact" on him. Although the advert adds the disclaimer "this is a personal opinion". 

And here is Kikushi three and a half years later with a visage as smooth as a baby's bottom that's been preserved in greasing oil and margarine: 


And here's how he would look today were it not for the wonders of Pao (this is a personal opinion):


Other office workers who were less fortunate were rounded up in a room for a terrifying execution-by-cheek-flapping:


And celebrity gel-head Cristiano Ronaldo has been paid a King's ransom to hold the product absolutely loves the product. Although the company appears not to have had the funds to pay him to actually put it in his mouth:

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Comment from RepKnight
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26 January 2018

In relation to the story: "Exclusive: Firms' fury over misleading cyber security claims
Comment from Jeremy Hendy, executive vice president of sales and marketing at RepKnight:

"The reason we’ve done this report is to raise awareness that there are literally millions of credentials floating around out there — some from five years ago, some from last week. The overwhelming majority of law firms we’ve spoken to at the Securing The Law Firm event today were unaware of their footprints, and were grateful for the information.

A few firms seem to be getting upset that clients have called them up and asked “has my data been breached”? We think that’s a perfectly reasonable question to ask of any of your professional advisers, at any time. If your company already has the right tools and processes in place, then that’s great — you should already be in a position to reassure that client straightaway. We’ve already apologised if this has caused additional workload — that wasn’t the intention.

As part of this research we’ve analysed the data relating to the UK’s top 500 law firms. We want to make absolutely clear that most of these law firms will have done nothing wrong cybersecurity-wise. Instead, the only reason this data is available is because it has been breached by third-party sites, which those employees have used in good faith. So, far from trying to cause unnecessary alarm, we are trying to raise awareness of an issue that organisations in all sectors have great difficulty dealing with. It’s a fact of life that large quantities of corporate data now live outside the firewall. On the dark web, you can find huge lists of employee email addresses and passwords which cybercriminals can use for phishing or unauthorised access to corporate networks. What we’re trying to do through this report is raise awareness of the dangers of the dark web, and make sure they put procedures in place to reduce the risk of phishing and unauthorised access.”

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Thank you Hogan Lovells (and Crosstown)
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15 December 2017

A big shout out to the PR team at Hogan Lovells for sending this large box of chocolates to ROF Towers:


The gift has been very gratefully received, even if it is a little funereal in appearance. In this season of giving, we await a horse's head from KWM.

For any other firms wanting free publicity, the ROF team also likes Royal Beluga caviar, first growth left bank wine and the new PS4 Pro.

While we're thanking people, Crosstown sent us a box of doughnuts, out of the blue, nine months ago. On the Friday of the delivery, the ROF team was out of the office at a "meeting" (boozy lunch), and so we didn't get to sample the delicious-looking doughnuts until Monday. By which point, they had gone stale. So we threw them in the bin. And we never thanked Crosstown. Sorry. Please do feel free to resend more doughnuts.

The unacknowledged letter, used to scribble down telephone notes (redacted) by thoughtless journalists

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Celebrities who look like solicitors. Does your firm have lookalikes as good as these?
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05 December 2017

Lawyers and their dead ringers:

Van Eecke, DLA Piper ...
  ... and a surreal Jim Carrey / Lady Gaga gif.

   Frans Rossen, Horten Law Firm ...
  ... and a terrifying Willem Dafoe.

   Ian Cranston, Ince & Co ...
   ... and "I'm Chevy Chase ... and you're not".

   Patrick Murphy, Clyde & Co...
  ... and All Rise for Lee Ryan of Blue.

   Martijn Wilder, Baker & McKenzie...
... and Gnasher waits for the postman.

   Angus McBride, Kingsley Napley ...
  ... and Max "are you staring at my pint?" Branning.

Get in touch here if you know of a lookalike at your firm, or if you could pass for a sleb yourself.

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More legal lookalikes
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05 December 2017
Long-lost twins reunite in the latest gallery of legal lookalikes.
   Avi Luft. Cleary Gottlieb
  Louis Litt. Suits

   David Wallace Wilson. Schellenberg Wittmer
   Where's Wally?

   Dr Katalin Szamosi. SBGK
   Joan Collins

   Thomas Rozsa. Rozsa Law Group
   Silvio Berlusconi

  Jonathan Webb. Cook & Co
   A cleaning utensil

There's other mug shots of legal lookalikes here and here.

If you know of any doppelgangers of law, email

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Another spot outside Freshfields
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07 November 2017
After last month's visitor, looks like Freshfields has a new client:


Because these days who doesn't want to serve a vainglorious media mogul?

Vanity-plate-client-collector Jones Day will be seething again.

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