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UK City Firms

Linklaters (London)

Our view...

Linklaters is a City powerhouse and its corporate department has a reputation as one of the best - it's certainly one of the busiest, with the corporate team bringing in the lion's share of profits.

Linklaters acts for all the sorts of clients you would expect on all the sorts of transactions you would expect. Recent deals included advising News Corporation's Independent Management and Standards Committee in relation to all relevant investigations into the News of the World phone-hacking case; advising Lloyds Bank on a £1.6bn securitisation of PFI loans; and represented BP in its $9bn joint venture with Reliance, which involved BP's acquisition of a 30% stake in 23 oil and gas production blocks operated by Reliance. Other clients include JP Morgan, Standard Chartered Bank and Vodafone.

It has a total of 29 offices covering all the major jurisdictions and financial centres around the world.

Turnover rose 3% last year to £1.31 billion. Average PEP was £1.45m. And for the money-minded (so, everyone), note that the 2PQE and 3PQE salaries given here are the maximum possible in the bracket.

Ultimately these sorts of profits don't come with an easy workload, and this may not be the firm to join if you're particularly keen on seeing your home in daylight, or even on public holidays: “there is actually a risk you might be asked to work on Christmas day, New Years Day, Bank Holidays...any given Sunday...”. There are endless complaints of a crippling workload – “you will get flogged. Half to death (and then when you've recovered a bit, you'll get flogged again)." says one PQE. There is massive “internal pressure to bend over backwards, sideways and forwards for clients, even if they don’t really mind about a deadline”, and a “huge amount of face-time”. Criticism also for the building - the view of the Barbican has lost its appeal, and many complain that the inside - despite a lick of paint - is looking a little too shabby these days.

On the upside, there are “loads of parties and events on that people actually want to go to. It's fun, and softens the blow when the hours are tough”. One PQE comments, “surprisingly friendly for a MC firm. (Some) partners that actually seem to care about your having a life away from the firm”. Praise too for the perks, “great facilities - gym, health centre, medical cover, beauty salon, restaurant and shop”. Well what do you expect if you’ve got to be in office 24/7? However Links lawyers get to work on the biggest deals around, "generally a nice bunch of people and the work is first rate”. And the “jelly beans in meeting rooms continue to delight”.

The hours are tough, and this can be a pretty hard, commercial firm. But Linklaters is still one of the best outfits in the world, and offers all the advantages that go with its status. One of the best names to have on your CV.

For more information on Linklaters click here

Note: Links hiked its pay in March 2016. It only gave figures which included bonuses. So the figures in RollOnFriday's table are for salaries plus bonuses, therefore pay may be smaller than it first appears. The firm also pays different amounts within a PQE band depending on the lawyer's performance. The figures RoF has used in the table are for a median salary and median bonus for a median performer - high performers will earn appreciably more. See here for more details.
For more information on Linklaters click here


Salary (1st seat trainee): £42,000
Salary (NQ): £81,000
Salary (1PQE): £90,000
Salary (2PQE): £100,000
Salary (3PQE): £111,000
Salary (Salaried partner):

Bonus Scheme

Bonus scheme: Yes
Typical bonus as % of salary
- NQ: %
- 1PQE: %
- 2PQE: %
- 3PQE: %
- 4PQE: %
- 5PQE: %
- Partner: %


Grant for GDL: £7,000
Grant for LPC: £7,000
Training places per year: 125
% of trainees retained: 84%

RollOnFriday Firm of the Year Scores

Salary: 62%
Development: 65%
Work/Life: 43%
Openness: 44%
Biscuits: 78%
Toilets: 68%
Social: 71%
Firm of the year overall score: 59%


Holiday allowance: 25
Flexi holiday: No
Pension: Automatic enrolment into a Group Personal Pension salary sacrifice pension scheme whereby the firm contributes core and matching percentages.
Healthcare: Yes
Maternity policy: Enhanced provisions - equivalent to 26 weeks full pay
Target hours: 1700
Childcare vouchers: Yes
Gym: Yes, on site
Restaurant: Yes, subsidised
24 hour photocopying support: Yes
24 hour secretarial support: Yes
Other: Life assurance, travel insurance, in house GP


News Stories

MPs accuse Linklaters of being Russian stooge unfit to practice
Outrageous grandstanding ... read more > (10 comments)
Linklaters tells staff to report office romances
Let love blossom - after permission has been obtained ... read more > (28 comments)
Ex-Linklaters partner convicted for sex attack on student at firm party
Another partner punched him and they reported each other to the police ... read more > (12 comments)
Linklaters sued for professional negligence by Arsenal FC executive
Litigious rampage ensnares Magic Circle firm ... read more > (5 comments)
Linklaters escapes prosecution after de-instructing itself
Show of integrity saves its bacon ... read more > (11 comments)
Linklaters pilots revolutionary 40 hour week
Less pay, but no 2am finishes ever again ... read more > (21 comments)
Linklaters, Three Crowns and Skadden save man from lethal injection
Team helps mentally impaired prisoner win US Supreme Court appeal ... read more > (1 comment)
Air rage passenger claims to be Linklaters lawyer
Woman boasted on flight that she worked at the firm ... read more > (2 comments)
Linklaters and Herbert Smith post splendid trainee retention rates
And US firms do a lot with what they've got ... read more >
Olswang and Linklaters crucified for BHS advice
Branded the "unacceptable face of capitalism", which might be a bit unfair really given they did their jobs but hey who cares about technicalities like that? ... read more > (7 comments)

Your Views

Feel free to enter your comments on the news story below, subject to our terms and conditions. Please note that comments are subject to moderation and so will not appear immediately.

Please keep it nice. Thanks.

anonymous user
18/01/2012 18:39
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This firm has a sociopathic culture but a great drinks trolley.
anonymous user
27/02/2012 12:01
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From the short time is was there having an interview, i noticed 3 things.

The offices look nice, the receptionists are hot, but the view from the windows is poor.

With the current market the way that it is, how many people will turn down an opportunity at Linklaters. Who knows, maybe its fun being a sociopath.

anonymous user
04/08/2012 21:25
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If you don't want sociopathy, don't go to the MC firms.
anonymous user
24/12/2017 11:31
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Note: NQ base salary is not £81k, it's £78.5k.
anonymous user
27/03/2018 12:42
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Drinklaters ...