Flying lawyer makes ‘uncontrollable sob’ over stressful work and ‘unbearable workload’ that can earn MILLIONS

A TOP lawyer, who was “sobbing uncontrollably” over her “unbearable” workload from a high-flying law firm, has launched a legal bid to cause stress and ended her career.

Attorney Joanna Torode, 46, claims that working for international law firm Ropes and Gray is “so horrible” that she has a nervous breakdown and cries while working.

Joanna Torode cried after being told she wouldn't be promoted


Joanna Torode cried after being told she wouldn’t be promotedCredit: Champion News
She is accusing Ropes and Gray of causing tension that ended her career


She is accusing Ropes and Gray of causing tension that ended her careerCredit: Champion News

She believes she was left with a “non-stop” workload after an “exit” of colleagues and was often the last to leave at night.

A court heard that she suffered a mental breakdown at Christmas 2017 and has been unable to work since being hospitalized in April 2018.

The former lawyer is currently suing the firm for damages in the process of prematurely ending her budding legal career.

Ms Torode, from Whitechapel, east London, is demanding at least £200k from the law firm, but could receive millions of dollars as she claims a “significant” pay loss.

The US firm is fighting the damages bid, claiming that as a very high-paid City attorney, Ms. Torode would sometimes work long hours.

They also denied that her workload was too much and instead claimed that she was “too focused on promotional activities”.

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Ropes and Gray also claim that she cried at Christmas because she was overtaken while her other colleagues were flourishing in their careers.

The Supreme Court heard that Ms. Torode began working in the company’s Ludgate Hill office in June 2017 as an expert in the areas of financial crime regulation and money laundering.

Her attorney Jeremy Hyam QC told the court she joined the company’s “government enforcement” team as a “hired attorney”.

However, just two and a half months later, her team had to “quit” when some colleagues left to join another company.

Mr Hyam claimed that this made her the only English-speaking lawyer on the team, so overnight she was faced with a “significant increase in workload and responsibilities.” “.

Her working conditions became “chaotic, stressful and stressful” and she told her employer she needed support.

He told the court: “Not only was she often the last lawyer on her floor to leave in the evenings, but she also frequently worked on weekends.

“But the intensity and pressure of her work increased dramatically due to the lack of any effective support at the grassroots and senior levels, nor any effective team.

“In late November and early December 2017, the claimant was feeling exhausted and she was showing early signs of major depression with worsening mood.”


Mr Hyam said she was “obviously very upset” after being told she would not be promoted while two other colleagues would.

He added: “Her apparent sadness and sobs were an important event beyond a brief loss of composure.

“It has been witnessed by others and is a clear indication of the fragile emotional state she is experiencing due to the relentless and overwhelming work pressure she has been subjected to.”

He claimed that the company should have been more supportive of her apparent emotional problems, but instead told her that being upset in the office was “inappropriate behavior.” and could jeopardize her chances of future promotion.

Ms Torode became ill in April 2018 after it was announced she would face a disciplinary hearing after speaking to a journalist about a client.

She didn’t realize her comments could be seen as “criticism” towards their customers and gave the interview at a time when she was scared of “dropping the ball”.

The conduct of the “heavy-handed and disproportionate” disciplinary investigation, which included her suspension and claims that she could be fired, had caused her mental health “to deteriorate dramatically” “, which resulted in her being hospitalized.

He claimed that Ropes and Gray had caused Ms Torode’s illness, he said: “The plaintiff’s mental illness was caused by the defendant’s negligence, breach of contract and/or breach of duty.

“The claimant … is currently suffering from severe, recurrent, drug-resistant, and moderate depressive disorder without psychotic symptoms with moderate to severe anxiety and anxiety.

“She is unlikely to return to being a lawyer… The claimant has lost the ability to practice the profession she has chosen as a professional.”


Ropes and Gray denied that Ms Torode’s workload was too much, as she is a well qualified and experienced lawyer with a “significant” salary and bonus.

Robert Glancy QC, defending the firm, said: “The work she does in the evenings and to some extent on the weekends is normal for the City’s senior attorneys, who are paid salary is substantial and is not out of the norm, nor is it excessive.

“The claimant knew, or should have known, when she accepted the job as a highly paid City attorney that she would sometimes have to work evenings and weekends. .

“It is specifically denied that a claimant’s workload, in relation to the workload or complexity of the work, is in any way excessive or unreasonable for a Senior attorneys are being paid a substantial salary and bonus in a City firm.

“In particular, it is denied that the situation in which the plaintiff is working is chaotic, unduly stressful or under pressure.”

The company also claims that she is “excessively and unrealistically focused” on promoting and has been informed that she will not be taking a private step before going public in 2017.

Mr Glacy claimed that she “usually” becomes upset when she doesn’t get what she wants, and is “angry and upset” when she learns two colleagues will be promoted.

They denied claims she had had a “fever” and told the court she had “significantly exaggerated” the events.

He said the disciplinary action taken after her interview was a “reasonable and appropriate” response to her “grave error of judgment”.

She knew she should only give the interview after notifying the company’s PR department, but she did anyway, he said.

“Under the circumstances, it is reasonable and appropriate to suspend the plaintiff and the respondent has no knowledge, factual or constructive, of the plaintiff’s precarious mental state at this time.”

The lawsuit and defense documents have been filed at the High Court in London, but the case has yet to be heard by a judge.

She's suing them for £200,000 but it could be in the millions


She’s suing them for £200,000 but it could be in the millionsCredit: Champion News Flying lawyer makes ‘uncontrollable sob’ over stressful work and ‘unbearable workload’ that can earn MILLIONS

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