SJ Berwin unveils plans to motivate disengaged workforce

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  • Of all the things to say about SJB, that 'it has traditionally struggled to keep its workforce motivated' is not one that usually springs to mind.
    At least from the outside, the firm has always given the impression its lawyers are a bunch of fierce workaholics, not people who need love and care to get them to work harder.
    If lawyers at SJB are 'disengaged' it may be more to do with the lack of interesting work, i.e. due to low levels of major PE deals and a lack of quality real estate work after four years of downturn.

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  • Sinking ship. Only a matter of time.

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  • Way to motivate a disengaged workforce: hold a strategy day in the office on a Saturday

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  • I am not an apologist for SJ Berwin, but the firm is damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Of course, the usual axe grinders are already out in force, but SJB is a firm, unlike many others in the City, that puts its hands up and admits that they have issues that need resolving and they go about trying to resolve them. Why is that a bad thing? I have never worked at the firm and never will before said axe grinders start accusing me of being in SJB’s HR/PR/BD/loo cleaning teams!!

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  • I'm no apologist for "Bob Diamond" but his comments (above) are spot on! Ditto the bit about never having worked at the firm etc.

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  • "The initiatives were discussed at a wide-ranging strategy day for partners at the firm’s London headquarters last SATURDAY". Enough said.

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  • What strikes me most is the utter irony - "We need to motivate our workforce ... lets discuss how to do so on a SATURDAY". Management at SJB are utterly absurd!!!!!!

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  • The firm has a fairly horrific reputation for the way it treats its associates. I would put in on a par with DLA, i.e. at the very bottom. Such reputations are not earned overnight but are developed though partners' slash and burn management over many years. Film flam such as this initiative is all well and good to keep the HR and PR people occupied but I prefer to judge firms by how they behave when there are serious decisions to be made, i.e. ones that cost the partners a bit of cash.

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  • What a load of b*****cks spoken by people who clearly have no idea about business. Partners = owners = they can decide when and where they meet. If they met at the Savoy on a Wednesday, you would all be aghast at the thought of partners wasting money on a workday OMG! As to the point that good decisions are ones that cost owners money - go and join the communist party; good decisions are ones that increase profitability so that economic growth can take place leading to wealth creation. The owners who risk capital have every right share in the profit. At least SJB is honest to admit stuff that other just hide under the spin.

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  • The Lehman Brothers meltdown showed how destructive greed and mismanagement can be and I would expect SJ Berwin to go the same way. Associates would be well advised to jump ship before it's too late.

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  • The Magic Circle doesn't get it's reputation for long hours from nowhere. Ditto DAC Beachcroft for poor pay. Ditto most US firms for limited partnership prospects. But when the question is SJ Berwin's longstanding name for being a dreadful place to work, all of a sudden the claims are unmerited...
    My own experience is the firm is full of partners who are poor lawyers. Poor lawyers who make partner invariably make for an unpleasant working environment.

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  • The problem at SJB is simple - the partners are devisive, greedy, self-motivated, self-interested and generally incredibly unpleasant and unappreciative to work for. That's it. Yes, it's the same ot a degree at other firms, but in my experience the partnership construct is nowhere near as bad anywhere else as it is at SJB.

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