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Blog Name: Matthew's blog

Fifty shades of grey - how not to do it
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26 February 2015
Spotted on the tube the other day:


Given that he was on the Central Line rather than tied to a four poster, his likely form of masochism was presumably savouring the scent of his neighbour's disgusting fried chicken snack rather than Jo Malone body oil. Or being smacked in the face by an overweight German's backpack rather than on the arse by a leather paddle.

Takes all sorts.

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Exclusive: former Linklaters partner may face assault charge
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20 February 2015
A Linklaters partner who resigned from the firm after being involved in a punch up may be charged with assault.

RollOnFriday reported just before Christmas that Munich-based Thomas Elser had infuriated his fellow partner Laurenz Schmitt by standing too close to a young, female employee at an Oktoberfest party. The irate Schmitt repeatedly punched him in the face, which seemed like a bit of an over-reaction. After an investigation both partners resigned from the firm.

At the time RollOnFriday suggested that Elser must surely have done rather more than stand too close to the young lady. And sure enough, a complaint has now been filed with the German prosecutor alleging that she was assaulted. The police will  investigate the incident and decide whether or not Elser should be charged.

  Elser (l) and Schmitt (r) in happier times

A spokesman for the firm gave RollOnFriday the following statement:

We can confirm that in September 2014, there was an incident at a social event in Munich.  Serious allegations were made about the conduct of two partners. These allegations were carefully and thoroughly investigated by the firm. At the conclusion of that investigation, two partners resigned.  
“We continue to do whatever we can to provide ongoing support to the employee who was directly affected by these events and are also concerned to protect her identity. We also continue to support other colleagues in our Munich office who are affected by the issues.
“We understand from a press report that the matter has now been referred to the Munich state prosecutor. Since this is now an ongoing criminal investigation it would not be right for us to comment further on the underlying events

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Things getting tough? The SBA can help you
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10 February 2015
The profession's charity is the Solicitors' Benevolent Association. If you haven't heard of it please check it out. It's your charity - there to help solicitors and their families who find themselves in harship.

The Chairman wrote a letter to the Gazette this week reminding the profession that the charity is more relevant than ever given the number of lawyers facing redundancy or shorter hours. As he points out, its mission is to ensure that no solicitor should be unsupported in times of need or crisis. If things are going south for you then call and see if they can help. 020 8675 6440.
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Best name badge ever
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22 January 2015
Spotted at Pret a Manger on Fleet Street this morning:


And he made a cracking flat white too.
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Official - Rwanda more business-friendly than Italy
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09 January 2015
The Economist points out that the World Bank now rates Rwanda as a better place to do business than Italy.

Sure, Rwanda has had a massive reversal of fortunes over the last few years. But it's still trying to get over its horrific genocide and civil war, and two thirds of its population live beneath the poverty line. How can this be a more business-friendly country than Italy, a G8 nation, the inventor of modern banking and the artistic and musical capital of the world?

    What could possibly have caused this to happen?

All self-respecting Italians should hang their heads in shame.

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Exclusive: Maclay Murray & Spens secretary tells top client to f*ck off
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08 December 2014
A secretary at Maclay Murray & Spens' Glasgow office is likely to find herself without a job after sending a foul mouthed letter to a top client.

The secretary worked for a partner in the firm's Private Client department, and has apparently been at the firm for nearly 30 years. So she should probably have known better than to end her missive with "I hope you're OK (but we don't really give a f*ck)".

Needless to say it wasn't asterisked, the client complained and the secretary is now facing dismissal.

    Some MMS secretaries yesterday

The reason for the outburst is unknown. Maybe the office held an early Christmas lunch and the Tennent's got the better of her. Or maybe she was just having a really bad day. Whatever the explanation, the firm is embarrassed, the client is furious and the secretary is facing Christmas without a job. Always think before pressing "send"...

A spokesman for the firm said "the matter is subject to an ongoing disciplinary process and it would, therefore, be inappropriate to comment any further".

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Citibank lawyers - buy a raffle ticket, win a Tuscan villa
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20 November 2014
In-house lawyers at Citibank in London are funding their Christmas party by raffling their holiday homes.

The legal and compliance team at Citi holds a raffle every year. Half the money raised goes towards its bash and the other half goes to charity. All jolly good, it's a very worthy cause, and team members have found it in their hearts to donate four luxury villas.

At least one of the homes belongs to a senior honcho in the group - a villa in Chamonix is apparently named after the managing director who owns it. Now that's tasteful. But some of them are owned by more junior lawyers (or, presumably, their families), and one property in Tuscany is understood to belong to the office manager. In-house at a bank is clearly the way to go...

    The weekend bolthole of Citi's outdoor clerk

It's extremely classy of the lawyers at Citi to offer up their homes. A snap poll at RoF Towers came up with offers of an old phone charger and some rugby-themed sweets originally sent in by Clifford Chance. Even back in the day when I was at a law firm we'd generally get a few bottles of wine, re-gifted bubble bath and paperbacks. Maybe a partner would donate a day's golf or some theatre tickets. But a week in his villa in Chianti? A week in four villas? Not a chance.

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Exclusive: Top Singaporean lawyer in viral fellatio shocka
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17 October 2014
One of Singapore's top lawyers has unwittingly shared her prowess at oral sex with the entire Far Eastern legal market.

Stefanie Yuen is joint managing director of TSMP Law. As well as being an accomplished M&A lawyer she is also pretty handy in bed, if a comment she made to some friends on Facebook is to be believed:


One of Stefanie's "friends" took a screengrab of this and forwarded it. Within hours it had gone viral, prompting Stefanie to post the following:


Ho Ho!

Stefanie told RollOnFriday "Obviously it sucks that a tongue-in-cheek comment has been blown out of all proportion, by being made public. It was an irreverent, humorous post made in a closed private circle, and has been taken out of context, which is both morally reprehensible and disappointing".

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Exclusive: A&O increases salaries
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16 October 2014
Allen & Overy has just announced that it's upped its fee earner salaries.

First seat trainees go up from £39k to £40k. NQs from £64k to £66.5k, 1PQE from £69.5k to £72.5k, 2PQE from £78.5k to £82.5k and 3PQE from £89k to £93.5k. Hurrah!

The firm pitched it as "a reflection of the strength of our performance within the London office as we have made a positive start in the year to date. It is the hard work and effort of all of our people that underpins our success as a firm, and this is recognition of the contribution our trainees and associates make to that success."

    God bless us every one

Which is jolly nice. But all the other Magic Circle firms increased their salaries earlier this year, leaving A&O lagging at the bottom of the table. So it probably didn't have that much choice.

Still, it's a chunk more money in a week when the FTSE has crashed. So an early and welcome Christmas present to all.

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Puerile blog of the week
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26 August 2014
Over the weekend, after a very good dinner and the best part of a bottle of red, I was dozing off to a programme detailing the amount of elephant tranquilizers Michael Jackson had to take in order to get some kip during his final days. My viewing pleasure was interrupted by an advert from Coca Cola, which invited me to go online and order half a dozen bottles with my own name on them.

There was a database of several hundred thousand names from which to choose. Being irritated and pissed, I ordered the following.


My colleague Jamie has just managed to dig up these beauties:


None of this is meant to diss anyone's culture. For all I know there's some ancient Norse hero called Farta. But Coke is held out as one of the global leaders in marketing. Did it seriously never occur to them that their brand is possibly not all about some sniggering idiot sucking back a nice, cold Tossa on the tube?

Or maybe they knew exactly what they were doing and I'm an unwiting pawn in their viral marketing campaign.

In any event, the website is Have fun.

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