’tis the season…

As anyone who has cracked open the first three days of their Simpsons advent calendar will testify, Christmas is fast approaching.

So filled with the spirit of seasonal goodwill are the partners at A&L Goodbody that they celebrated the start of December by showing their appreciation for the hard work of their secretaries.

On Wednesday, as the snow piled up outside and conditions became increasingly treacherous for the hardy souls who had made it into the firm’s Dublin office, a cheery missive was fired off to the firm’s army of PAs (see story).

“Due to the worsening weather conditions,” said the email, “if you have a difficult journey to make, then please liaise with your relevant fee-earners/partner with regards to leaving early.”

Cheers erupted from the put-upon diary keepers. At least for a couple of seconds.

“For those of you on the clock,” continued the message from the HR mandarin with a misfiring spell checker, “this time will be deducted or you can chose to take it from your annual leave.”

We all know times are hard, especially across the Irish Sea, but this behaviour makes Scrooge look like Bob Geldof.

Still, at least the firm is taking care of its most prized assets. Corporate chief David Widger, in an email to his team, encouraged fee-earners to “try to get out at a reasonable hour” before repeating the advice for overpaid support staff.

The law. It’s a people business, isn’t it?

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In The Lawyer on Monday: The top 10 cases of the year reviewed; an interview with Attorney General Dominic Grieve; and leading funds lawyers on the EU’s alternative investment fund managers directive.