That one of the chief concerns among law firm leaders in Legal Business’ annual Global London report is the retention of talent and the salaries required to do that in an ultra-competitive recruitment market is of course not ground-breaking news. Pundits have for years bandied around the term ‘the war for talent’, and with ever-more frequency in connection with demand for deal lawyers as the seemingly unstoppable private equity boom continues apace.
But when these phrases take hold they tend to stick and get churned out at every available opportunity when senior lawyers talk about the manifold challenges facing their businesses. Critical as the pipeline of talent unquestionably is, now that there is a real war on, the term seems hyperbolic. Continue reading “Time for a reality check on salaries”
The partnership of Allen & Overy has voted through reforms to its lockstep in a bid to increase rewards for star performers as market pressure from US competitors continues to take its toll on London’s big four international firms.
Partners voted through the changes last week after being presented with the proposal earlier this month. It comes at a time when the dual market pressures of the coronavirus pandemic and competition from US rivals on compensation show no sign of abating. A&O declined to comment on the reform but sources within the firm describe the key changes as the ability to stretch the top of the lockstep and accelerate high performers at the bottom of the ladder. Continue reading “‘US firms have more buying power’ – Allen & Overy tight-lipped as partnership ushers in lockstep reform”
Allen & Overy has become the first of its peer group to reveal its pay gap statistics and, while gender disparities are still concerning, the firm has made a positive statement of intent by disclosing its disability pay gap for the first time.
On gender pay disparity, A&O’s figures are a mixed bag, with the firm moving in the wrong direction on partner pay. Women – which make up just 20% of the partnership – are paid on average 18% less than male counterparts, compared with a 16% disparity last year. Continue reading “Mixed results for A&O on gender pay gap but disability disclosure shows the right attitude”
Marco Cillario assesses the background to RPC’s decision to abandon all-equity structure
At a November press event held by a top-25 UK law firm, Legal Business was struck by a sudden spike in the guests’ interest in RPC. The 76-partner firm has long been a respected insurance and litigation business, and solid mid-weight operator, but not generally a firm to cause too many ripples of interest among peers. Continue reading “RPC’s surprise partnership shake-up signals focus on next generation but is the firm still playing too safe?”
As the associate pay war rages, Thomas Alan finds major firms are falling back on cultural tropes in the expensive jostle for trainee talent
When Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer announced in May a pay hike for newly-qualified salaries, rising from £85,000 to £100,000 with bonuses on top, new battle lines were drawn in the war for junior talent. Continue reading “Prestige, cash and a bit of spin: how to get ahead in trainee recruitment”
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has joined the ranks of firms upping their associate pay commitments, boosting its compensation package to £105,000 including salary and bonuses.
The figure is a 13% increase on the £93,000 the Anglo-Australian firm announced last year. Though the firm would not disclose the underlying basic salary, the new structure is meant to place greater emphasis on associates’ performances and less on post-qualified experience (PQE). Continue reading “HSF hikes associate pay package to £105k as firms jostle for talent”
Linklaters has finished off the Magic Circle’s robust response to associate pay increases from US firms in London, raising its pay package for newly-qualified solicitors (NQs) to match its rivals.
The pay boost will see the total cash payable to NQs reach £100,000, including a salary and a discretionary bonus, while top performers will be set to receive more. The firm did not disclose the new base salary – or how it would increase for more senior associates – however the figure is a considerable rise from the £83,000 in basic pay Linklaters announced last year. Continue reading “Linklaters digs down back of sofa to match rivals’ £100k associate pay packages”
Allen & Overy (A&O) has become the latest Magic Circle firm to hike its salary for newly-qualified solicitors (NQs) to £100,000, narrowly beating a similar commitment from final holdout Linklaters.
The move will see NQs take home a minimum of £100,000, including bonus, marking a 20% uptick on the £83,000 salary set by A&O less than a year ago. Continue reading “A&O pips Links to the post in Magic Circle NQ pay hikes”
Slaughter and May is bolstering associate pay to a £100,000 including bonuses, becoming the latest of the City elite to play its hand on lawyer salaries.
The move comes after Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Clifford Chance (CC) both hiked their newly-qualified (NQ) pay to £100,000 in a bid to head off the ever-increasing threat from US rivals. Continue reading “Pay for today: Slaughters boosts associate remuneration package to £100k as talent war intensifies”
The news last month that Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was to push through the highest real-terms pay rises by a major City firm for a decade is a significant moment for the London legal market.
The decision to hike its associate pay scale, raising its benchmark rate for newly-qualified solicitors from £85,000 to £100,000 is a bold and expensive step for the City giant. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest such a move, which will put Freshfields well ahead of its Magic Circle peers, comes at an annual cost in the region of £10m. Continue reading “Paywars III – City elite caught between rock and hard place”