The plot is often poorly conceived and the writing is careless. To begin with every main female character in the show is emotionally fragile, though the word used (over and over and over ) is "vulnerable." Comes down to the same thing. Please sloppy BBC writers learn to depict women as complex characters rather than a bunch of stereotypes. Every stereotype from the virgin to the whore is there. The shy, introverted & misguided young Asian woman, the frightened Muslim woman abused by her own family, the angry black woman (see Kate in season 1--she disappears without explanation in season 2, we get one line telling us she's gone but not why) are the cherry on the trite cake. For a while Harriet seems to be different but at the end of season 3 she ends up doing exactly what Billy had sneeringly accused her of.
Then there is the slapping. Every main character gets slapped by someone at some point or another in the show. If people slapped each other in the real world as often as they are depicted to do so in British shows half the population would be jailed for assault. As far as I'm concerned slapping is the lazy shortcut taken by writers who can't be bothered to find the right words to depict a complex emotion. A dead ringer for low budget productions.
The lack of imagination doesn't stop here. Most episodes have story lines that either don't make sense or fall apart if you have a decent attention span. [***Spoiler alert -- If you haven't watched the show and think you might want to, stop reading]. Take for example the terrorist episode in season 3. Martha defends an alleged terrorist accused of hacking into the Univ. of Arizona computers to download their security plans so two terrorist brothers can blow up a building on campus. What security plans? The campus is an open public space and there are downloadable maps online so what exactly did that alleged terrorist hack into? The other absurd plot line is that Martha wins the case by arguing that Rashid should not be extradited on psychological grounds, i.e. he threatened to kill himself therefore he's too unwell to be interrogated by intelligence agents. So, he is free to go home. Huh? Hilarious doesn't begin to cover it. If his involvement is proven (as it is) he'd be extradited, period. Besides, why does he have to be extradited just to be questioned? Why can't he be questioned in London? And why does it have to be the Americans who question him? Why can't the MI5 do it? If he is a psychologically frail terrorist, why isn't he sent to a medical facility in Britain? Poor conceptualization from beginning to end.
In the final episode Martha's ex-boyfriend stands trial for murder. A jacket is discovered at the 11th hour with some blood on the sleeve. The defendant explains that he touched the body after the victim was killed. For everyone else in the courtroom (except Martha) the blood on the sleeve is evidence that he committed the murder. The jury consequently finds him guilty. Pleeaaase! Treat the audience with some respect for their intelligence. Is there spatter on the sleeve? If there is, the defendant was in the room with the victim at the time of the shooting. Moreover, forensic analysts can establish the velocity of that spatter and the defendant's distance to the victim when the latter was murdered. But no, we're expected to believe nobody in that courtroom has ever heard of forensic science. Martha can't figure out what to do with the blood stain (as if it were her job to figure out anything about it), she loses the case and has some sort of nervous breakdown. This is just bad writing and poor research.
The Micky Joy story makes little sense, too. In season 2 he is an interesting character but he crumbles quickly in season 3. To begin with, you'd think an informant of his level would be sunning himself in Mauritius or some other nice island instead of rotting away in police custody (jail it would appear at the beginning of season 3, though it isn't clear) for actually helping the police. He even tells us that he can't get any vitamin D (i.e., sun). If he is that important he'd be in some sort of witness protection program far from the reach of London gangsters. If he's jailed because he betrayed his client, well that's what informants do. If jailed because he lied under oath then all the other police officers who did the same should be jailed right next to him. But wait there's more. In season 2 he is an informant against the Farr family who, we are told, is the most vicious organized crime family in London. In season 3 however they simply disappear. Instead it is the Monk family who is the vicious Mafia-like organization and it's they who supposedly kill him. Huh? What's his connection to the Monk family? And why is Micky all of a sudden able to roam the streets at night? Clearly these BBC writers had no idea how to develop a gangster story.
The Billy harassment story is silly, too. Harassment (sexual or otherwise) is defined as enduring, severe or pervasive conduct that creates a hostile working environment. A single incident is not an environment. And Billy, who is a clerk (senior or not) really doesn't have enough power to guarantee the hiring of a barrister. If there is anything severe, pervasive and enduring in his conduct it's his bullying. In this show he bullies Kate, Clive (season 1), Harriet, Jake, John, you name it. The only two characters he doesn't bully are Martha and Alan. The fact that he calls all women (even Martha) "Doris" is offensive. So, I'd say his behavior qualifies as harassment but not for what is portrayed in the show (i.e., touching a young woman's knee once).
And, by the way, has anyone ever been in a work environment where everybody from the CEO (head of chambers in this case) to the support staff gets a vote (equal and open) on whom the company should hire? Really? The only place that comes close to this are some academic departments but they are few and far between (most university colleges have hiring committees) and even those departments invite only the faculty to vote. Secretaries (or clerks) might get a say but seldom an equal, open vote. Plus, the hiring process differs in season 1 vs season 3. In season 1 Alan has a private discussion behind closed doors with Clive and Martha about which of the two pupils they should hire. When Clive and Martha disagree, Alan (and Alan alone as head of chambers) decides to have a mock trial performance where each pupil gets 5 minutes to prepare a defense on a given case. The reason is that Alan needs to see them in action so he can make a decision. In season 3 there's just a vote and the only ones who've seen the candidate argue a case (in a real courtroom now) are CW, Clive and presumably Martha. There's little cohesion here.
In conclusion, I've seen worse shows and I've seen far better ones. Watch "Silk" if you must (season 1 is the best, season 3 the worst) but don't say you haven't been warned.