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Firm of the Year 2017: The best meeting room biscuits
17 March 2017
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Olswang was pilloried by its staff for most things in the RollOnFriday Firm of the Year 2017 survey, but it came top of the UK for its meeting room biscuits.

Handing it 98%, lawyers described its freshly-baked Smarties cookies as "great", "excellent" and "kick ass". Even the lawyer who wrote a short essay on Olswang's failings grudgingly admitted one good thing about the firm: "nice biscuits". A colleague said the biscuits "are excellent, but then again, if you were sitting in the waiting room in Hell and they served you good biscuits, would that be a good thing?"

Shearman & Sterling came second for "yummy" biscuits, and was helped along by RollOnFriday's 2016 survey. "Following last year's feedback", said a staffer, "we've even kept the cookies out when the mince pies are on offer.  Progress!Hogan Lovells' cookies always perform excellently. They are so good even lawyers who left the firm dream of them. "While I miss very little about Atlantic House", said one ex-HogLover, "I do miss the warm, soft and delicious cookies".

  It was hours before they realised it was missing 

Osborne Clarke's London office offerings were "not a patch on Bristol", where "our biscuits must be the best in the west". Western firm Burges Salmon, Firm of the Year 2017, did score a little lower than OC, but staff said 
the "biscuit barrels and cakes are awesome - particularly the Reeses Cups, Oreos and Tunnock Teacakes". Maybe separate out the Mint Clubs, though, which "are shit", according to an otherwise very happy trainee, "and somehow permeate every other biscuit in the jar".

It was a brave new world at Taylor Wessing thanks to the introduction of "fancy snack packs of seeds in meeting rooms - crunchy ones, soy sauce flavoured ones, etc etc". According to a senior solicitor, "the best ones are Choccy Apricot - bits of dried apricot and seeds covered in dark chocolate.  I know this sounds dull but they are DELICIOUS, they make meetings worthwhile and I always nab them first". 



It was all too much for a non-fee-earner at Mayer Brown, who said the biscuits "are good but not available for internal meetings! Same goes for tea and coffee. How can anyone work in an environment like this". A Trowers & Hamlins staffer voiced a similar complaint: "Only 1 type of biscuit, otherwise it's Haribos and we're not allowed near them unless we've been to a meeting". A food-based apartheid was in evidence at Herbert Smith Freehills, too, where "there are a number of different grades of biscuits (and sandwiches) depending on the intended recipients". While the client-facing food "can be smashing", the rest "leave something to be desired, especially at compulsory training sessions (captive audience)".

A sense of loss pervaded BLP, where "we used to have chocolate covered marshmallows (they came in milk, dark and even one with layer of caramel) in our meeting rooms", but "these have been taken away and I am heart broken". Clarke Willmott also came in for some stick. The biscuits "are shit", said a senior solicitor. "Individually wrapped, so you make a show of yourself in taking one, and then impossible to eat without crumbling everywhere, specifically over yourself. Annoying". Others rushed to its defence, saying the bics had "recently been upgraded" and now, incredibly, "make afternoon seminars a joy to attend". Plus they had "Malteaster bunnies at Easter, Lindt reindeer at Christmas and chocolate popping-candy eyeballs at Halloween". As opposed to nothing at all.

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