Top law firms agree to pay staff a living wage
16 November 2012
Several of the capital's leading law firms have raised their minimum pay to match the 'living wage', an hourly rate calculated to ensure workers and their families don't slip into poverty.
Following a review by the Greater London Authority this month, London's living wage has been
increased to £8.55 per hour (the national minimum wage is £6.19). Over the last few years an increasing number of companies, plus a heap of law firms
, have joined the initiative. While it's unlikely to affect fee-earners or their secretaries (bar a bit of puffing
with pride), adoption of the living wage can mean the
difference between decent pay and the breadline for sections of support staff and a firm's
RollOnFriday contacted the top 20 London firms by turnover, with mixed results:
So well done to Linklaters, Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy, Herbert Smith Freehills, Slaughter and May, Clyde & Co and Pinsent Masons. While most of the other firms in the top 20 couldn't confirm that all contracted staff were currently guaranteed a minimum of £8.55 per hour, they all said that they were taking active steps to ensure its adoption as soon as possible.
Sadly, a few misers remain. A spokesman for DLA said that while the firm was "currently reviewing the position of staff employed through contractors
", he couldn't confirm that any worker on less than £8.55 would get a fillip. BLP and Bird & Bird had "no plans
" to raise the wages of those on less. And it's a mystery what partners are paying their cooks and cleaners at
Irwin Mitchell, which didn't respond to requests for comment. Procrastinating Taylor Wessing, which said in 2010 that it was "considering signing up
" is still "looking into the issue to determine our approach
Maybe it should speak to Linklaters, a founding partner of the scheme, whose PR department offered dashingly to "share our experience with other firms interested in introducing the