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Blog Name: Jamie's blog

The London Legal Walk in photos
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19 May 2015

On Monday, RollOnFriday joined thousands of people taking to the streets for the London Legal Walk, a gruelling 10km amble. The aim was to raise money for the London Legal Support Trust, an independent charity which scares up funds for free legal services in London and the South East. This is the story of that momentous 5pm - 7.45pm.

The walk began around the back of the RCJ, behind the bikesheds. RoF James and I decided against stamina-boosting waffles, so I did some groin stretches while he went off to find the cat called Tom Paine who lives in the nearby Seven Stars pub. He failed. Here's Tom anyway though, and yes that is its ruff.


Despite fears it would be a London Legal Swim, the rain stopped, the clouds melted away and it was actually a bit unpleasant walking into the blinding sunlight. Also, RoF James set me a quiz about London which was infernally difficult, boring and almost drove me to seek free legal services myself. Try it now! These negligent officers refused to arrest him.


The massive traffic jams caused by 9,000 walkers using the same pedestrian crossing provided some distraction, as did this dog sporting a natty T-shirt-and-nappy combo.


Maybe it wasn't a nappy. Anyway, before that could be investigated, two legal aid warriors dressed as hedges shuffled into view.


Having not got the memo, they are still posed as a bush in Green park, waiting to assault a Chris Grayling who will never come.

Before we knew it, we were striding through Middle Temple, where a canny clerk had realised that the passing trade that evening might willingly take his rubbish away for him.


Armfuls of EC law and Arbitration books would have weighed us down too much, though, and the McDonalds bag was empty so we carried on.

Just round the corner it became clear that someone else had gotten wind that thousands of legal types would be in the vicinity, and parked their van accordingly.


But it wasn't just canny tradesman indulging in sharp practices. About 3k along the route, we stumbled across this cheat:


For some reason everyone was too polite, or stunned, to raise an objection. It took us another 20 minutes to overtake Lance Armstrong, but when we did we were gratified to see that she had abandoned her scooter and was being carried by a member of her support team, whether due to exhaustion or a comedown from massive doses of injected red blood cells it wasn't clear. Nonetheless we immediately notified the stewards.

Then this guy was hilarious.


Look at him! He doesn't care that he can't chew off his stitches which he got after doing something awesome. He's just happy to be out!


Pure, stupid joy.

A moment of reflection followed as we passed the mass graves of walkers who fell during the 2014 campaign.


This year's corpses had been more hurriedly covered.


Their mounds will be landscaped more attractively in time for 2016's event. It was a moving reminder of the reason we were presumably walking.

Well aren't you the cutest legal walker!


High spirits were restored by this proud little fella, and with the sun on our backs and a song in our hearts, we raced home, though this team's t-shirts gave us pause.


The dripping font didn't make much sense until we saw the acronym printed on the front, which looked even weirder.

From there we were cheered home by the stewards, embarrassing because we were only walking. And before we knew it we had completed the walk. With free drink tokens raining down like confetti, more incompetent hacks would have forgotten to take any photos of the scenes of celebration, but not RoF:


If you want to find out more about the London Legal Support Trust's fine work, click here. On another more serious note, the street party featured a Delete Blood Cancer UK stall set up with the help of criminal barrister David Herbert. David was recently diagnosed with a blood cancer, Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, and you should really find out if you can help David or someone like him by checking if your blood is eligible for donation.
.... read more >
Exclusive: The Texas Law Hawk is Back and Better Than Ever
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19 May 2015

In a sequel more freighted with expectations that Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Texas Law Hawk has released a follow-up to his blockbuster Youtube advert in which he did all kinds of great stuff like fail to snap a branch.

What's the verdict? It's not hyperbolic to say it's the best thing you'll see today featuring a hawk.


The ad opens with a melancholy, almost mythic air as The Star-Spangled Banner is picked out on an electric piano in a mournful minor key. Attorney Bryan Wilson, aka the Texas Law Hawk, runs in slow motion towards the camera. He is holding the American flag. We can see, faintly, a hawk and another, gently rippling flag superimposed over the noble patriot. It is a moving tablaeu, reminiscent of that bit in The Postman when the little girl's letter is collected by Kevin Costner on horseback. It has the same chest-swelling, tear-jerking power.

Then, BLAMMO! Texas Law Hawk shrieks "Texas Law Hawk", a hawk screams and the screen explodes into flame.


Suddenly we're in the woods and Wilson is making the Claw:


There's no time for slomo now at the Texas Law Hawk snarls, "Hunger for justice", and plucks a fish from a stream with his bare hands.


Then a quick, eery interlude as the Texas Law Hawk runs through the forest with his flag, just growling.


Things take a turn for the more surreal as we cut to a mean cop carrying a small dog...


...spying on a group of gentlemen deliriously playing Hungry Hungry Hippos.


The Texas Law Hawk is playing with the formula in fresh ways here, stretching his creative muscles. It's glorious to see, especially on such a small budget.

The officer suspects these weirdos are high on a new kind of drugs, correctly in my view, and orders the hysterical gamers to let him in without a warrant. Luckily one of them has the Texas Law Hawk on speed dial, who immediately smashes through their living room door shouting, "Someone just called me!"


Before they can explain he launches himself through the front door too, sending the fascist policeman sprawling. Smash cut to a smash zoom and it suddenly becomes clear that the Texas Law Hawk knows exactly what he's doing with this cheesy extravaganza, because he tries to growl "Texas Law Hawk" and breaks into laughter.


Briefly, the Texas Law Hawk allowed us to see his soft side. Then he leaps out of a moving 4x4 and the hawk screeches and there's an explosion.

Thanks to, well, the Texas Law Hawk for bringing his latest work to our attention. "Hey Roll on Friday Editors!" he wrote, "Bryan Wilson, the Texas Law Hawk here! I noticed y'all wrote an article about my first commercial. I just wanted to send you a link to the second one we just released. Hope you enjoy!"

Normally people have to pay to advertise on RollOnFriday, Texas Law Hawk, but dammit, you're law's answer to Steven Seagal. And as someone who coughed up good money to see Seagal's band (he cancelled), there's no way I'm going to refuse.

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Exclusive: Did ULaw get the law wrong on Facebook?
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15 May 2015

Oh dear. The University of Law slapped up a funny law on its Facebook page yesterday. Only it got it wrong. As the comments point out, the law in question does not still stand. It has been repealed.

Very awkward indeed. Of course cross-referencing this from the 1839 Act:

...with this from the 2015 Act:

...shows the sort of dedication and attention to detail which marks out a truly outstanding future lawyer. But it's probably something ULaw should have picked up on, too.

Update: Unless it didn't get it wrong:

Just 11 days and we'd all have been in the clear, Ketteringham.
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Scam artist gives me a ticking off for mucking about
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14 May 2015

RollOnFriday gets a ton of junk email, most of which is boring. But sifting through it I found there were people out there who were desperate to give us a fortune.

There was Mrs Bessel Harris, who addressed us as "Prominent User of the Internet", wrote in bold purple and informed us that we'd won $1 million "due to your effort, using internet daily".

Mrs Ana Whalen asked us not to feel sorry for her even though she had been diagnosed with "oesphageal" cancer. Her health had deteriorated so badly she wanted RollOnFriday to distribute $25 million to charities for her. She didn't want us to share her email address though, because she'd "received some emails from some unscrupulous people claiming to be charity organizations and other weird stories".

Kirk Murdoch was "an attorney based in Scotland United Kingdom" who was desperate to share his client's vast legacy after the rightful beneficiaries sadly died in an explosion. Smely Oleg had a lucrative real estate opportunity, Ming Yang needed assistance with "a large amount of money", so did the FBI, while a lady called Kim who said she was "very calm and emotional" just wanted love.

I replied to all of them, and no-one got back to me. Until camera-shy Sadiq, who began with an irresistible opening gambit: "ARE YOU HONEST?"

Update: Read part two, the return of Sadiq.
.... read more >
Exclusive: Capsticks to make swathe of lawyers redundant
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13 May 2015

RollOnFriday understands that medical negligence firm Capsticks is making at least 15 lawyers redundant.

The fee-earners losing their jobs are reported to all be in the firm's public healthcare department. In 2013 Capsticks raided DAC Beachcroft for five healthcare partners, but the source who tipped off RollOnFriday says the move "has not paid off". Apparently not.

    Capsticks yesterday

Capsticks isn't a massive outfit and the redundancies mean it's losing a significant chunk of its lawyers. It's the biggest cull at the firm since it threw out that partner for fiddling expenses.

A spokeswoman confirmed to RollOnFriday that consultations were underway, but said that only "a small number of individuals" were at risk and that "where possible we will redeploy these individuals within the firm".

In a statement the firm said that "the healthcare sector has been undergoing major structural changes over the last two years, and some of our clients are under considerable financial pressure." And, "Unfortunately, these factors have impacted on certain areas of our work, and the staff working in those areas".

Update: Capsticks tells RollOnFriday 10 jobs are at risk. Read more on Friday,
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Exclusive: Hill Dickinson puts 39 jobs on chopping block
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13 May 2015

RollOnFriday understands that Hill Dickinson is putting 39 staff at risk of redundancy.

The roles are all in the fraud team of the firm's insurance practice and both administrative staff and fee-earners will be affected. It's the worst kind of deja vu: the fraud team took the same pummelling last year when, as now, 39 staff were put at risk. Unsurprisingly after such repeated battery, a source in the firm says morale "is at an all time low".

    HR returns for a second bite

But it is not just HD staff that are being hit. Though the law market is seeing green shoots of recovery in many areas, the world of commoditised law is suffering. Lawyers in the medical negligence team at Capsticks are set to lose their jobs, as exclusively revealed this week by RollOnFriday, and 80 are in the firing line at Plexus, which is outsourcing its high volume, low value work to South Africa.

Read more on Friday.
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Trainee boaster of the day
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22 April 2015

But what did you get in your modesty exam?

BPP retweeted the trainee's unhumblebrag, but, curiously, not the follow-up:

The Solicitors' Accounts exam is like being dropped on a pyramid, so boasting about surviving it is perhaps understandable. As long as beforehand she didn't go on and on about how she was definitely going to fail, you guys.

She's only following the example of her betters. BPP Vice-Chancellor Carl Lygo has a brilliant personal website which doesn't so much hide his light under a bushel as wave it in your face until your lips catch fire. Although he does deserve a tip of the hat for including links to every single one of his press appearances, good and bad, including RollOnFriday's article taking the piss out of him. Not sure Nigel Savage, ex-boss of ULaw, will do the same.
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Exclusive: Fieldfisher partner accused of threatening to destroy trainees' careers after they witnessed boss's toilet incident
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21 April 2015

A Fieldfisher partner has been accused of telling two trainees that they would be fired and their careers ruined unless they gave testimony in favour of the firm after saying that they had witnessed an altercation between a secretary and the office's managing partner.

The explosive allegation is made in a claim for unfair dismissal being brought against the firm by a secretary in Fieldfisher's Paris office. She has also accused Bruno Paccioni, the Paris office's managing partner, of assaulting her.

RollOnFriday can reveal that the secretary alleges the contretemps took place when she bumped into Paccioni on his way to the toilet. She accuses Paccioni of repeatedly pushing the door to the mens' loos against her when she asked him to pay her for overtime, hitting her with it in the process. She also claims that when Paccioni couldn't shut the door because she was in the way, he asked her whether she wanted to come in with him and if she wanted to "hold it" for him.

    "Oui, oui, non, je comprend - mais can we discuss this dans deux minutes sil vous plait?

The secretary was dismissed the same day, and is seeking damages of €120,000. The sum includes compensation for the alleged extra hours she worked, her dispute with Paccioni and the "humiliating" conditions of her exit, which allegedly involved being ordered off the premises and standing on the pavement with a box of her belongings until her husband picked her up.

Whether the secretary was subjected to assault by toilet door or just hasty office bantaah from a man touching cloth will presumably be addressed at the hearing, due in September. But RollOnFriday also understands that after the incident the secretary approached two trainees (who were lucky enough to have desks near the toilets) and asked them if they would write down what they had witnessed. They agreed. However, it is alleged by a second secretary that within minutes of finishing their accounts a second partner approached the trainees and told them that they would be fired, and obstacles placed in the paths of their future careers, unless they issued new testimonies in favour of the firm. She alleges that one of the trainees broke down in tears over her treatment by the partner.

RollOnFriday understands that the trainees' original testimonies have been submitted to the tribunal, as well as the second secretary's testimony that a partner attempted to strong-arm them.

A spokesman for Fieldfisher said, "The case is still running and so we will not be commenting any further". .... read more >
Exclusive interview with Ted Loveday: a week after winning University Challenge "we were destroyed" in pub quiz
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17 April 2015

Cambridge law student Ted Loveday has become a bit of a legend after his bravura performance in the final of University Challenge, in which he answered ten starters for ten correctly and propelled his team to victory over Oxford's Magdalen College. Clips of his lightning quick responses have been awing the twittersphere, as has his impressive knitwear wardrobe.

I caught up with geek chiq's real deal to find out about his famous fans, what he doesn't know and how the University Challenge champions got trounced in a pub quiz.

Keeping warm

Ok, first things first, there's been a lot of commentary on your knitwear: where did you get that superb jumper?

I can't even remember where the jumper was from - and I'm surprised about the fuss people have made about it! I think it was a hand-me-down from my dad but I'm not sure where it came from originally.

Did you find Mr Paxman intimidating?

We were scared at first - we thought he was going to be terrifying. But, when you get onto the actual set, he tries his best to put everyone at ease. He was nothing but civil to us - there's a big difference between the way he treats students and the way he treats politicians. Maybe because, unlike politicians, we're actually happy to answer his questions! Having said that, his put-downs to losing teams can be pretty harsh.

What's the response been like back at university - have you had any messages of congratulations from celebrity fans?

Everyone's been really, really supportive - we're really lucky to have such great friends who have rallied round. We woke up to loads of notifications from well-wishers in college. (I guess the real challenge will be seeing if we can convert all the goodwill into free drinks over the next few months!) In terms of celebrities, er, Richard Osman sent us a tweet. That was a highlight for Anthony [Martinelli, the team captain], since he's a huge fan of Pointless.


The winning team: Loveday's quick to point out that it was a group effort


How many requests to be on pub quiz teams have you received since the final - or are you still available?

We're all still available, but I'd warn you that it might not be a great idea! A week after we filmed the final, the four of us had a little reunion at a local pub quiz to celebrate. We were destroyed - we came 5th out of 7 teams! It definitely took us down a few pegs.

What's your weakest area of knowledge?

Sport. But the rest of the team are brilliant at sports questions. We were a strong team because we played to each other's strengths and covered each other's weaknesses.

You drank quite a lot of water - was it because you were on fire?

Probably nerves. I didn't really realise I was doing it. We were all really focussed on the questions and didn't really give much thought to presentation or being on TV.

I have to ask this given it was raised in the show: Are you in Mensa?


Does your family make you play Trivial Pursuit with a handicap?

Haha! We don't really play Trivial Pursuit at home. But I'm sure they'd all be able to compete on level pegging - I'm good at academic knowledge but not necessarily general knowledge. On the other hand, Michael [Taylor], Anthony and Jeremy [Warner] are all quite well-rounded - their families might be a bit more afraid to pit their wits against them.

Finally, do you employ any techniques other than being bright to amass that amount of knowledge?

It's absolutely not about being bright - it's about memory, quick recall and working as a team. Anthony was a great captain because he made us do loads of preparation. We practised together regularly, we watched dozens of old episodes together on YouTube and we binged on Wikipedia. Everyone on the team put in loads of hard work and it paid off.

So there you have it, it's not heresy to revise using Wikipedia after all. Big thanks to Ted for taking the time to chat.

Here are those starters for ten. How many can you answer within five seconds of reading them? The RoF team managed *cough*

1. “This long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we’re all dead.” These are the words of which economist?

2. “They illustrate the temper of a pre-revolutionary age, when there is widespread desire for moderate reform.” These words of Bertrand Russell refer to which two figures of the northern Renaissance born respectively in London and Rotterdam?

3. What five-letter word means a stupid or silly woman in Mexican Spanish, a university canteen in German and in the English-speaking world an organisation founded in 1946 for people with high IQs?

4. During the 20th century, which Conservative Prime Minister’s cabinet included that party’s previous and subsequent Prime Ministers, both of whom served for the whole of its period in office, the former as foreign secretary and the latter as secretary of state for education?

5. “The first known instance of the application of algorithmic thinking to a field outside logic and mathematics.” These words refer to a grammar of which language by the Gandharian scholar Panini?

6. Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter is an autobiographical work by which French author? It recounts her stifling and respectable upbringing and how she revolted against it at the Sorbonne with Jean-Paul Sartre.

7. Inspired by the artworks of Viktor Hartmann, ‘The Gnome’, ‘The Hut on Fowl’s Legs’ and ‘The Great Gate of Kiev’ are among the 10 movements that comprise which suite by Mussorgsky?

8. John F Kennedy’s statement that “mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind” is an example of what figure of speech named after the 22nd letter of the Greek alphabet?

9. From the Greek for 'unguent', what five-letter term denotes a complex of molten silicates with water and gases formed within the upper mantle of the earth?
10. Meaning ‘said only once’, what two-word Greek term denotes a word or word-form that is recorded only once in a text, in the work of a particular author, or in a body of literature?


1.John Maynard Keynes 2. Erasmus and Thomas More 3. Mensa 4. Ted Heath (the previous and subsequent Prime Ministers were Alec Douglas-Home and Margaret Thatcher) 5. Sanskrit 6 Simone de Beauvoir 7. Pictures of an Exhibition 8. Chiasmus 9. Magma 10. Hapax legomenon

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Exclusive: Irwin Mitchell to outsource all its IT roles
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10 April 2015

RollOnFriday understands that Irwin Mitchell is planning to outsource all of its IT work, with redundancies expected.

A source told RollOnFriday that Esteem, an 'IT Managed Services Provider', is being given the personal injury firm's IT functions this year. The first phase will apparently see all of Irwin Mitchell's helpdesk roles in Sheffield moved to Esteem's call centre. Irwin Mitchell staff are thought to be unaware of the plans.

    "Have you tried turning it off and then shafting me?"

Irwin Mitchell paid Esteem £1.7 million in 2012 to "transform their IT infrastructure". In the interim the firm's major PI rival, Slater & Gordon, ramped up its acquisition of UK personal injury firms. Meanwhile IM suffered embarrassment thanks to a cack-handed digital marketing policy which got it banned from Google's search results.

But probably most relevantly, the firm's pre-tax profits dropped by over 10% last year. As a result Esteem appears to have been tasked with not just transforming Irwin Mitchell's IT structure, but running it. Slicing Irwin Mitchell's headcount and wage bill in the process.

A spokesman for Irwin Mitchell told RollOnFriday, “Esteem are already a valued supplier of IT services to our business. We are in discussions with them and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage”. .... read more >

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