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Blog Name: Matthew's blog

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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Eugenics of the week
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12 August 2014
Went to a cracking Chinese restaurant for dim sum on Sunday (Bright Courtyard Baker Street, give it a go, it's nom nom nom). A high chair was presented for the nipper, with the following legend on the back:


OK, OK, bad spelling and grammar is one thing. How good's my Cantonese? But refusing to allow the "mentally deficient" to sit at the table? You need to be a Nobel Laureate to eat a prawn dumpling?
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Exclusive: Keoghs consults on closing Manchester office
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08 August 2014
Keoghs has confirmed that it is reviewing the future of its Manchester office.

A spokesman told RollOnFriday this morning that it was not clear whether there would still be a presence in the City, but that if work was to be moved to another office then staff would be relocated. He stressed that it was not a redundancy consultation and that no jobs were at risk.

It's pretty embarrassing for the firm given that it only opened in the city two years ago (when it made a big song and dance about bagging Clydes' 17 strong fraud team). The spokesman said that the defendant insurance market was in a very different place to where it was in 2012, and pointed out that all insurance firms had been hit.

The process is likely to take a further two or three weeks. Read more about it then.
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The Great Gatsby...
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12 June 2014 alive and well and strolling round the City.

I bumped into this chap after a lunch the other day, and he was only too happy to be snapped

He may look like the bastard offspring of Elton John and David Hockney, but it sort of works. At least, I thought it did.

And while the co-respondent shoes are an acquired taste, they're at least better than the monstrosities snapped on Fleet Street the other day.

Please send in your own examples for this occasional series of unusual City dress to

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Exclusive: 15 secretaries lose their jobs at FFW
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15 May 2014
Field Fisher Waterhouse has made 15 secretaries redundant.

They all left the office on 30th April after a five month review. The firm says that it was sad to see them go but will be more efficient and competitive as a result.

Read more in tomorrow's edition.
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The pointiest shoes you ever did see
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25 April 2014
These little beauties were snapped outside Freshfields on Fleet Street this week.


Someone actually paid hard cash for these abominations. Maybe he moonlights as a jester.

Sartorial standards and profits must have collapsed at FBD for the firm to allow this within a mile of its front door.

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Exclusive: mass departures at FFW
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09 April 2014
A number of lawyers from FFW's privacy team and one of the firm's top tech partners have resigned.

Eduardo Ustaran, the head of FFW's privacy department, announced last October that he was leaving for Hogan Lovells. FFW, in a fit of pique, held him to an 18 month notice period. Because a similar strategy worked so, so well for Mark Abell...

And now four of his colleagues have apparently jumped ship too.

To cap it all, Stewart Room, one of FFW's top technology partners, has also just announced that he's leaving.

    FFW this week. How it might look.

A spokesman for the firm confirmed that Room was off to PwC, and that there had been a number of junior departures from the privacy team.

More to follow on Friday.

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Exclusive: Leaked screenplay for new series of Silk!
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09 April 2014
A thousand thanks to the reader who sent in the following sneak peek of the next series of Silk. He is wasted as a lawyer.

Episode 1

Clive Reader has now been Head of Chambers for six months and Shoe Lane has become a prosecuting set. Martha is absent.  The clerks room is now known as the “Practice Hub”, the clerks as “Case engineers”, and all is overseen by Harriet who has been appointed “Senior Chief Facilitator”. “Briefs” are no longer referred to as such, instead the CPS deliver “Victim protection and retributive justice assignments”.

The West Ham pictures have gone and instead there are two very large pictures, one of Clive looking very handsome and masterful and another with a slogan in big letters: “Vive la prosecution”. We learn, from a whispered conversation between John, Jake and Bethany that Billy only works one day a week now because it is all he can manage but they think it is “all this” which is killing him, not his cancer.

Clive is seen being visited in his room by a number of attractive female solicitors from the CPS who deliver instructions, flirt and leave saying they will see him later. A montage of shots follows revealing his life to consist of glamorous and well-paid prosecutions by day and dinner, parties and sex with his instructing solicitors by night.

The montage includes courtroom shots with Clive prosecuting and the bent policeman from series 3 saying things like “We found the drugs in his van”, “His fingerprints were all over the gun” and “He’s as guilty as the day is long”, a succession of hapless defence Counsel doing a very poor job, and various defendants being led from the dock looking upset/angry/bewildered as the judge says “Take him down” and the bent copper and Clive smiling with satisfaction.

Clearly Clive has gone over to the dark side and justice is not being done.

Billy is shown shaking his head with sadness, looking at a framed picture of Martha and asking the other clerks if there is any news of her and they just shake their heads and look sympathetic.

This is then contrasted with a sequence showing other members of Chambers to be doing nothing but crappy, low-level prosecutions and being very unhappy about it.

The only exception to this is Amy – we see her being utterly hopeless in case after case but somehow all end with a shot of each jury foreman saying “Guilty”. This results in her in getting ever more important and well-paid briefs, being generally feted (including appearing in the Times as “Lawyer of the Week” and later having her own weekly column in the same newspaper).

CW lurches around Chambers drinking, slurring and swearing (she doesn’t try to hide it and just doesn’t care any more) and fomenting revolution.

Episode 2

There is still no sign of Martha. Clive has to deal with complaints from a number of members of Chambers about the way he is running things. He calls a meeting of all members and staff (including Billy) to enable matters to be aired and opens by saying his door is always open and people should feel free to raise any concerns with him. A number of people do and are promptly and harshly rebuked. Whilst explaining “again for the benefit of people who still don’t get it” why Shoe Lane had to become a prosecution set he is interrupted by Jake who accuses him of having blood on his hands because his changes are killing Billy. Clive tries to explain that it is his cancer that is killing him but at that point Billy collapses.

Billy knows this is the end and makes a deathbed speech about the Bar, history, tradition etc. and implores Clive to make Shoe Lane a defence set again and restore its former glory. However, just as this is drawing to an end he is suddenly and dramatically interrupted by MARTHA'S RETURN. She tells everyone that she has retrained as an oncologist and surgeon and specialises in cases of disadvantaged people who have been unfairly diagnosed with cancer. She picks up Billy and carries him into a side room and begins to treat him. In a short sequence of shots which obviously last no more than about three days Billy has been completely cured by her.

Being back in Chambers has reawakened Martha’s passion for being a barrister and the episode ends with her deciding to combine her legal and medical practice. Together with Billy she sets up a combined Chambers and clinic next door to Shoe Lane. It is called simply "Deliverance" and its motto is “Doing Justice, Curing Cancer”. The receptionist directs those visiting accordingly: “Fitted up by the police? To the left and into the clerks room”, “Malignant tumour? To the right and take a seat in the waiting room” etc.

    Fighting cancer. And injustice.

Martha reveals to CW the secret of her disappearance at the end of the last series: she had dived in the river to rescue Mickey Joy after he was coshed and pushed in by underworld gangsters. She pulled him out, gave him mouth to mouth and revived him and he is now working for FIFA.

Episode 3

A state of civil war exists between Shoe Lane and Deliverance.  Martha has cured CW of her dipsomania (“treatment of alcoholics was one of the optional subjects I took during my medical training”) and together with Billy as Senior Clerk, they are running Deliverance. They are pitted against Clive, Amy and Harriet at Shoe Lane.

Shoe Lane scores an early victory when Amy becomes the latest character to take silk, something made possible by the massively truncated time periods in which everything happens in this series and the completely haphazard nature of the selection process. Deliverance is also shown to be struggling as Martha faces a series of dilemmas about how to balance her time between defending the innocent from injustice and curing the innocent of cancer.

Pupillage recruitment is a flashpoint with both sets shown interviewing the same candidate, but they spend less time interviewing her and more time trying to persuade her how cool and progressive they are. We switch between shots showing increasingly extravagant claims being made by both sets, with the pupil at first looking impressed but then visibly put off as the list goes on:

- “We have a chill out room
- “We encourage cycling and have a bike shed
- “All our computers and phones are from Apple
- “We hold one event for charity every month
- “We hold one event for charity every week
- “We provide free advice to victims of crime
- “We volunteer to help prisoners on death row overseas
- “We are opening a branch of Chambers in Afghanistan to provide advice on schemes of restorative justice
- “All of our pupils go on secondment to a leper colony in East Timor to advise them on their human rights”.

The interview ends with both panels asking if the candidate has any questions. She asks the same question of both: “My parents have no money and I have huge debts from university and Bar School – you place a lot of emphasis on voluntary work but how much will I get paid during my pupillage?” Clive answers: “Er, nothing.” Martha: “Nothing, sorry.

The episode ends with Martha and Clive in a café like De Niro and Pacino in Heat.

Clive: What’s become of us Martha? What happened to me and you? When you disappeared, I thought I’d never see you again.
Martha: Don't keep anything in your life you're not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.
Clive: Er, well I don’t. I just shag them and move on.

Episode 4

A shocking discovery is made in the Temple when workmen laying a water main outside the Temple Church discover what appear to be human remains.  Billy jokes to Martha that it could be the remains of a Knight Templar who, so the legend goes, brought the Holy Grail back to England but that when he reached the church one of its walls mysteriously collapsed, burying him but his body and the grail which then could never be found.

Martha thinks no more of it until a few days later when she is visited by a client who claims that he is a descendant of the knight and the bones should be buried in Glastonbury, which was the Isle of Avalon in the Arthurian legend and not in the Temple Church as the government has decided. Martha agrees to represent the client and later discovers that Clive is representing the government.

Subsequently CW is instructed on behalf of workmen who were laying the water main, who are claiming ownership of the bones and Amy is instructed on behalf of the Temple Church.

The case generates enormous press interest and the civil war between the two sets continue as they vie furiously to maximise the publicity they can get from it.

The hearing is one of the first to be televised under a pilot scheme allowing cameras into court – the case is being watched around the world.

Concerns about the effect on the dignity of the court process appear to be confirmed as the coverage begins and has a voiceover by that bloke from Big Brother. “Day 1 in Court 4” he begins, “and the judges are in the courtroom.”

However, shortly after beginning, the case is dramatically halted when new evidence is discovered mid-hearing and brought into court showing that the bones are not human after all. Just as everyone is leaving court, there is another even more dramatic development as MICKEY JOY REAPPEARS. He says he knows where all the bodies are buried and to whom they belong and reveals that the bones are in fact those of Shergar. Uproar in court.

The publicity leads to a great coup for Deliverance Chambers as they reach a deal with the BBC to allow a documentary crew to film life in Deliverance Chambers. Clive, Amy and Harriet are furious. However, there is soon trouble as Martha makes various comments on camera about the effect government cuts are having on her ability to defend the poor and dispossessed and cure innocent people of cancer. This leads to complaints from government ministers and MPs about BBC bias. Martha responds that these critics are blurring the line between fiction and reality.  At this juncture we can all see that she has a point.  It no longer being possible to disentangle the two, the documentary is cancelled and the episode and series ends showing stage hands dismantling the sets at Shoe Lane and Deliverance Chambers and the cast going to the pub where they meet up with Harry and Ros from Spooks, Judge John Deed and Kavanagh QC.

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