in Employers

How to be a Nice Boss at Christmas

1. Don’t throw things at your staff. Particularly the Law Society Conveyancing Handbook – it hurts!

2. Don’t get drunk at the Christmas party – this always leads to consequences remembered for decades afterwards. Whether this involves rambling incoherently about how useless one of your staff is, or some minor act of vandalism, your colleagues will remember the following day even if you forget.

3. Give out Christmas cards – sign them neatly and legibly, so that your colleagues know who are you when they put it up at home. Do not scrawl your usual signature straight across the greeting.

4. Firing staff on Christmas Eve could lead to your car windows being put in and your car tyres let down. Your workforce would probably symphathise…

5. Having a Christmas party is always a good thing, even if they are usually tedious affairs for some. It gives you a chance to talk to your colleagues outside of work, and have chats about other things than clients (although they inevitably lead back to work eventually!).

6. Buying your staff presents is always nice, and should be encouraged. However presents such as law textbooks, a DIY Willpack or a p45 already filled out are probably not appropriate…

7. Offering to close the office early on Christmas Eve (particularly if is a Sunday) is a nice gesture, and will probably result in more work being done in the morning before closure than if you keep it open all day!

8. Consider offering to do some cleaning in the office or more manual work (perhaps photocopying?) on Christmas Eve as a sign of goodwill to all men and women. It will give some of your staff a chance to talk to you for a change.

9. Offer large pay rises and invite yourself round to a member of staff’s house to Christmas Day armed with a goose and a box of chocolates! They would be overjoyed to see you.

10. Don’t complain all the way up to Christmas about how you have to close down over the Christmas period and  the extortionate cost of the Christmas meal (which you leave early in any event), keep the office open until 5.30pm on Christmas Eve and make all the staff stay until then, fire a secretary on Christmas Eve just for entertainment and pass a rumour around the office that redundancies are on the cards for all fee earners. Bah humbug!

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 20 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at You can contact Jonathan at