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Blog Name: Jamie's blog

Firm completely misunderstands what cars are
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07 October 2015

Did YOUR head fall off when you tripped over a negligently-laid paving slab while checking how sharp your secateurs were on the sensitive skin of your neck?

Did YOU break into a high-rise office block, lever open the elevator doors, jump laughing down the lift shaft and land on recklessly accessible concrete, damaging your spine?

Did YOU scald your facial cheeks after vaulting over a McDonalds counter and plunging your head into the vat of boiling chip oil because of inadequate labelling?

If the answer is, "Yes, I'm an utter weapon", then you're in luck, because Accident Injury Solicitors is not only happy to represent you, it has a wonderful prize with your name on it, if your name is Leaf.

A free car sounds fantastic. Let's not visit their blog, because who reads blogs. Let's take a look at the small print.

Now let's make it bigger and break it down.

I make a claim I get a car? That sounds too good to be true.

Oh Accident Injury Solicitors, you masters of puffery. Carry on then. Let's assume my claim is successful.

A complimentary Car would make things easier for me. My brother won a car in a raffle at Edinburgh zoo and it made his life easier, even though it's painted like a penguin and his wife won't let him drive it because he grinds the gears. But before I go any further with my claim, what exactly is a Car, Accident Injury Solicitors?

I see. Interesting. I've never heard of cars being described as gadgets before. Are you terribly, terribly old?

Isn't the car known primarily for its wheels and-

The lack of a computer screen or keyboard on a Car, and the sheer bulk of a Car, might make it appear at first glance to not be a perfect way to communicate by email. In fact, quite a challenging email device. But apparently, according to Accident Injury Solicitors, its lawyers and claims managers are themselves out there right now, endeavouring to contact their clients by tapping emails into cars. I wonder how that's going for them, thrashing away on the bonnet of a Citroen C4 Cactus, touch-typing the footwell of a Vauxhall Insignia, repeatedly pressing what they hope is the send/receive button on an Audi TT's headlight, to no avail, nothing coming in, no replies, just the soft sound of their fingertips on the car's metal and plastic and upholstery, frustration mounting because no-one is coming back to them, or if they are it's not appearing anywhere on the car that they can see, and people are staring at them crouching in the gravel drumming on the fender, people who don't have to lug around two tonne vehicles for work emails or leave the office to dash out a meeting request on the exhaust pipe of a Mondeo to seemingly no effect. I hope it's not baffling and upsetting.

  The Amstrad Taint 1.2 0dr, yours if you stuff your hand in a John Lewis display blender

Of course dreadful accidents could occur if someone were to actually mistake a car for an emailing gadget. I picked up the phone to Accident Injury Solicitors to get their advice. Here's what happened:

AIS lady: Hello, Accident Injury Solicitors.

Jamie: Hi. I'd like to make a claim please. I was told I could write emails using a car and I tried to type one out on the engine and I damaged my hands.

AIS: Oh. So it's a personal injury claim?

Jamie: Yes.

AIS: Can you give me the details now, or would you like to fill out the form online?

Jamie: Now is fine.

AIS: Where did you see our details?

Jamie: On the internet.

AIS: Ok. Bear with me a second.

[Hold music]

AIS: Are you the owner and driver of the vehicle?

Jamie: Yes.

AIS: What's your first name?

Jamie: Jamie.

AIS: And what's your last name?

Jamie: Hamilton.

AIS: H-A-M. ...?

Jamie: I-L-T-O-N.

AIS: And what's your address?

Jamie: Can I give you the details of the accident?

AIS: I'm taking the details.

Jamie: I tried to type out an email on the different parts of the engine and I damaged my hands. It pulled them off.

AIS: Is that how the accident happened?

Jamie: Yes.

AIS: Oh. So you weren't actually driving the vehicle.

Jamie: No. I was emailing on it.

AIS: ... Bear with me a second.

Jamie: Sure.

[Hold music]

Sarah: Hello, I'm Sarah.

Jamie: Hello. I read on a website that a car was perfect for communicating by email, and so I tried to type an email into the engine and it ripped off both my hands.

Sarah: Sorry. You were working?

Jamie: Yes, I was trying to work.

SarahAnd you put your hands in the engine?

Jamie: In the engine, yes.

Sarah: When did this happen?

Jamie: This morning.

Sarah: ...

Jamie: I read on a website that a car was the perfect way to communicate by email and I'd like to sue. I don't have any hands now.

Sarah: A car?

Jamie: Yes. It was on the website for - hang on, let me check on Google - Accident Injury Solicitors.

Sarah: OK. Bear with me.

[Hold music]

[Call disconnected by AIS]

Hopefully they'll follow up with an email.

Thanks to the reader who alerted RollOnFriday to Accident Injury Solicitors' fabulous offer. If you've seen something of interest, please do send it in.
.... read more >
Gordon Dadds picks up bust Jeffrey Green Russell in so-called "merger"
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05 October 2015

West End firm Jeffrey Green Russell has entered into administration and been acquired by Gordon Dadds as part of a pre-pack deal.

Spinning hard, the firesale has been presented as a merger, although in a very clear indication of which party is in charge, a spokeswoman said the "combined firm" will be known as 'Gordon Dadds incorporating Jeffrey Green Russell'.

     Who's your Gordon Daddy?

On Friday, RollOnFriday reported that Jeffrey Green Russell had filed to appoint an administrator. Later that day, it did, as part of a pre-pack administration in which the firm's choicest assets were sold to Gordon Dadds. In a statement today the firm said that "most" of the current directors of JGR will become partners in Gordon Dadds, and that they are "simultaneously transferring" their clients and practice teams over to it.

Their new master is making a habit of snapping up rivals when it finds them twitching on the slab. Last year Gordon Dadds acquired the juicy bits of Davenport Lyons, giving the partners cushty new positions but leaving other staff without jobs. The fallout this time is similar. JGC chairman Philip Cohen said, "Unfortunately, we could not take all our support services staff with us – I am extremely grateful to them for their past services to us". Picking perhaps the worst moment to praise the rude health of the market, having been part of management which has apparently spectacularly misjudged it for some time, Cohen said staff may have no employment, "but we are already helping them to find new jobs within a buoyant London economy". So buoyant we went bust.

Meanwhile, the fee-earners are, says Cohen, "hugely enthusiastic for this deal and for what they will be able to achieve in their new home”. Like get paid. Unlike the creditors and non-fee-earners and anyone else the failed firm has left behind. In a somewhat worrying prediction, Cohen said, “This sort of commercial model offers a way forward for the ambitious professional services firm of the future".

Read more on Friday.

.... read more >
Blavo & Co reported to police
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02 October 2015

Blavo & Co, the firm which yesterday placed all of its staff into a redundancy consultation, has been reported to the police by the Legal Aid Agency.

John Blavo, the firm's founder and Senior and Managing Partner, previously told RollOnFriday that the 240 people whose jobs are at risk could blame, er, their own crap performance reviews. But also the "knock-on effects of legal aid cutbacks". He said the cutbacks "have severely impacted upon the number of cases we are allowed to be paid for in this particular area".

His comment suggested that the firm was suffering from the same legal aid cutbacks that have been affecting the wider market. But Blavo was being too coy. His firm is actually the subject of very specific legal aid cutbacks. A spokesman for the Legal Aid Agency said it had "identified significant concerns about claims from this firm", and as a consequence stopped payments and terminated all its contracts with Blavo & Co. In an indication of the seriousness of its concerns, the LAA has referred the matter to the Metropolitan Police.

  Blavo, Sir

RollOnFriday asked the firm if Blavo had been economical with the truth. He said, “I can confirm that we are in dispute with the Legal Aid Agency", but that, “it would be inappropriate to make any further comment at this stage although we will fully co-operate with any enquiries if required to do so”.
.... read more >
Jeffrey Green Russell files to appoint an administrator
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02 October 2015

West End firm Jeffrey Green Russell has filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator.

The move gives the firm temporary protection from a winding up petition.

A spokeswoman would not comment on the petition, but told RollOnFriday the firm is in "advanced discussions" (over a barrel) with a "merger partner" (fire sale purchaser) , which is a "well-established London law firm" (anyone, God, anyone, someone, please). She said that the firm intends to transfer its business to the 'partner', but that in the meantime, "It is very much business as usual".

    Business as usual yesterday

As the firm gears up for what looks likely to be a pre-pack administration, RollOnFriday remembers happier times, or rather time, when JGR gave a brilliant response to a story about its interesting link with The Association of Lap Dancing Club Operators. .... read more >
Exclusive: Firm places all 240 staff at risk of redundancy
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01 October 2015

Blavo & Co Solicitors has placed all of its staff at risk of redundancy.

The firm bills itself as the largest mental health practice in the UK, but also specialises in criminal, immigration and personal injury law. It has 18 offices across the UK including Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle and employs 240 people.

This morning founder John Blavo informed staff that all of them were at risk of redundancy. Its website lists 64 solicitors, five legal executives, 28 paralegals, 33 non-fee-earners and 20 trainees, with another 70 recent hires yet to be added (and who possibly never will be, now). The firm has 19 partners, but would not comment on whether they were included in the consultation.

Blavo, who set up the firm in 1997 and runs it alongside practice director Fred Blavo and policy director Lynn Blavo, blamed legal aid cutbacks which he said have "severely impacted" upon the number of cases for which the firm can be paid. But he said the firm was also "considering productivity" following "a recent staff performance review". Which sounds mighty harsh.

    "I'm afraid you scored three out of five for attitude so we're placing the entire firm into a consultation."

The sports lawyer said that the firm had "no other choice other than to restructure", and has initiated a consultation across all departments and offices. He added, “It is important to stress that the company remains financially strong but we have to take remedial action in order to ensure continued operational strength". .... read more >
Harry Potter lawyer to appear before SDT
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01 October 2015

The lawyer accused by a judge of looking like "something out of Harry Potter" is to appear before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

Alan Blacker or, to give him his preferred title, Dr The Right Honourable The Lord Harley of Counsel of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, burst onto the scene in March when he appeared in court with a chest full of medals and ribbons and lush flowing hair. A scandalised (read: jealous) judge took umbrage at Blacker's majesty and the two duelled with wands of words, words such as "impertinent" and "Do I make myself clear?"

  Not pictured: sweet medals

When it reached the press everyone found Blacker's LinkedIn page, which only swelled the ranks of his fan club because he said on it:

- he had written 'Boiler testing under the new code of practice - life made easy'
- also 'Hauling Trailers, the law made simple'
- oh and 'All you wanted to know about medals but were too afraid to ask'
- is fluent in, amongst others, Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi and Gujarati
- he is the "Mozart of the courtroom"
- and is "almost a national treasure" (he can delete the 'almost')

Instead of giving him another medal, the SDT has called Blacker to appear for a case management meeting on 4 November in relation to as-yet-unknown charges brought by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. It is not known whether Blacker will arrive in the siege machine he says he invented called The Hedgehog.
.... read more >
Exclusive: Allen & Overy leaves Canada
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29 September 2015

Allen & Overy is closing down its Canadian office after just a year.

The impact on the Toronto real estate market won't be huge. The only staffers are a partner, an associate and a PA. The firm never even moved out of a serviced office.

It's a damp squib ending for the firm's Canadian adventure. A&O was once thought to have real ambitions in the country, sending over fact-finders in 2011 to investigate the possibility of a launch. The board quashed that proposal in favour of Australia, with suggestions that it has decided that the Seven Sisters, Canada's equivalent of the Magic Circle, had the top of the market sewn up.

Four years later, A&O opened its micro outpost in Toronto. It was ostensibly to keep hold of a partner, Francois Duquette. A Quebecois, Duquette had planted the flag for A&O around the world, helping set up offices in Abu Dhabi and Casablanca, but wanted to move closer to home.

    Seven Sisters managing partners hear the news 

Before it opened, A&O told RollOnFriday that the Toronto office would not be competing with local firms and would continue to refer domestic Canadian work to its local network. Duquette told The Lawyer, “The purpose is to seed the network”, and take advantage of "low hanging fruit".

Instead, Duquette is moving in-house and A&O's miniature arrival has concluded with a miniature departure. The firm will revert to its former method of managing Canadian client relationships, on a fly-in-fly-out basis.

A spokesman said, "We would like to thank Francois for the contribution he has made during his time at Allen & Overy and wish him all the best for the future". .... read more >
The most beautiful firm in the world?
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28 September 2015
A tipster writes, "Is this the most beautiful firm of lawyers ever?"

Ugh. Yes, probably. They aren't so much all supermodels as intimidatingly luminous. They look hale and hearty and happy and healthy. The people page for the associates of Norwegian (of course) firm Wiersholm is row after row of tousle-haired, twinkly-eyed chin monsters and women so fresh-faced they make Bear Grylls look in the mirror and sob, "You're lazy. Look how pallid your skin is. You're like Gollum but you don't catch raw fish, do you, you just eat KFC over the bin you're pathetic you SHUT-IN."

But it is depressing, you can feel your back ache and your sagging old face as you look at the Von Trapps' children's children. How much more fun to open a link to twitching freaks or a grade A Glamorous Solicitor instead of these glossy bastards, up at the first low of the elk to wash in glacier milk.

Contact them by all means, reader, but be sure to make email small talk and win their trust before admitting that you want to caress their glowing skin and prod their impossibly glittery eyeballs. Coming right out and typing i love your face let me stroke it ingeborg, that can go badly. We know that now.

It's a mystery how these specimens can be lawyers. Where are their facial sores from hours being gently slapped by monitor radiation? Where are their bags, their creases, their mange, is this photoshop voodoo? How are they so refreshed. Do they work from horseback, riding through dells and copses? Are Norwegian data rooms in picnic hampers by fjords, with swimming competitions and, later, songs? Are all their clients in the kale sector?

These three alone prove that Roger Moore never blew up the Moonraker shuttles, he crashlanded them in Scandinavia and bred.

I mean, sure, there's Troels Leming, but you can tell he's going to grow into that Chuck Norris vibe.

And Einar may look like his dream date is an algorithm, but he's adorable in a Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time kind of way. "3,746!" "What was that?" "Just Einar, I dropped some sand". Martin is either too foul for the eugenicist who runs this Boys & Girls from Brazil website, or, more likely, flawless and his perfection was found to be disquieting to the human eye.

And so we seize on the few imperfections we can find, don't we? We search for the cracks in this edifice of laughter and purity. Like Maiken, who looks like she's being insulted off camera. Crack, Maiken. Crack.

.... read more >
Letters page: A reader asks, "WHY DOES ROLLonFRIDAY EXIST?"
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25 September 2015

Aggrieved Sheffield businessman Steve Wilkinson bombarded DLA Piper with dozens of emails accusing it of complicity in various conspiracies when he discovered that its lawyers had referred to him as a "nutter" with a "twisted mind". The emails were pretty great.

    Hohoho, RoF went, hahaha. FOOLS

This Saturday, Winchester swung his capslock bold 22px spotlight onto the lamestream media and, to avoid being nuked from orbit when he gets hold of a warhead, it's therefore time for a one-off special.

The RollOnFriday Readers' Letters Page

.... read more >
Exclusive: Olswang retaining 50% of trainees
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22 September 2015
Olswang is retaining just 50% of trainees qualifying this September.

It confirmed to RollOnFriday that it did not offer jobs to five out of its ten trainees.

What a miserable showing. But not a complete surprise. Four years ago the firm deferred its entire 2011 intake for a year, apparently without compensation. Consistently unable to find enough jobs for NQs, it slashed the size of future intakes: there are only 12 training contract places available for 2018, down from 24 in 2010. In the meantime, its retention rates have been largely crappy, with those qualifying in September particularly prone to expulsion:

A spokeswoman for Olswang avoided mentioning "50%". Valiantly polishing the turd, she told RoF, “We can confirm that our retention rate for 2015 is 67%. For March, our retention rate was 88%". She said the firm was helping those it's bunging out, claiming, "we have and will continue to support them in their search for a new position”.

  Their current position

2015 is proving to be an annus horribilis for the media firm. It took out its own CEO mobster style, its whole German office quit and its FD was done over by email scammers. Olswang's latest flop is only good news for Mayer Brown, which is no longer bottom of the table.

.... read more >

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