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UK City Firms

King & Wood Mallesons (London)

Our view...

SJ Berwin, which merged with KWM in 2013, was a really decent City firm. Albeit one with a disproportionately large number of particularly aggressive. money-grubbing partners.

Sadly the rapacity of those partners (and management incompetence) saw the firm go into a death spiral within a couple of years of the merger, and the majority of them then decided to jump ship and feather their own nests rather then hang around and try and fix things. In November 2016 the firm announced that it had been unable to fund its recapitalisation plan and was looking for a white knight to save it. It failed. The firm went into administration in January 2017, staff who were told they would be paid wern't and hundreds of them lost their jobs.

KWM's Far Eastern paymasters have said that they will be retaining a small legacy firm in London in order to service clients. It remains to be seen what this will look like but surely it will never be more than a pale shadow of a once great firm.
For more information on King & Wood Mallesons click here


Salary (1st seat trainee): £40,000
Salary (NQ): £64,000
Salary (1PQE): £68,000
Salary (2PQE): £80,000
Salary (3PQE): £87,000
Salary (Salaried partner):

Bonus Scheme

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


Grant for GDL:
Grant for LPC:
Training places per year:
% of trainees retained: %

RollOnFriday Firm of the Year Scores

Salary: 59%
Development: 62%
Work/Life: 59%
Openness: 55%
Biscuits: 75%
Toilets: 60%
Social: 64%
Firm of the year overall score: 62%


Holiday allowance:
Flexi holiday: No
Pension: Contributory 5%
Maternity policy:
Target hours:
Childcare vouchers:
Gym: Subsidised
Restaurant: Yes
24 hour photocopying support: Yes
24 hour secretarial support: Yes


News Stories

Shafted KWM staff win £1m employment tribunal claim
After ignoring legal advice, gamble pays off ... read more > (5 comments)
KWM partners call each other ****s in emails sent to entire firm
"See you next Tuesday" ... read more > (3 comments)
KWM files notice to appoint administrators
As management team partners start new jobs ... read more > (5 comments)
Exclusive: KWM appeal launched to help staff
As grim details reach RollOnFriday ... read more > (4 comments)
KWM partners asked for £14m and a lock-in to save the firm
They have a week to look down the back of the sofa ... read more > (6 comments)
Exclusive: KWM in weak 57% trainee retention, Freshfields strong 95%
Koulda, Woulda, Mighta, didn't keep on 43% ... read more > (1 comment)
Exclusive: Olswang posts dismal 50% trainee retention rate
Second bellyflop in a row for media firm ... read more >
KWM left rudderless after trio of senior resignations
If one is unfortunate and two is careless, then three ... read more > (5 comments)
KWM SJ Berwin partner in bonkers YouTube video
Tim Taylor QC can't get enough of the limelight ... read more > (6 comments)
SJ Berwin pulls off merger with King & Wood Mallesons
And, like a post-coital male mantis, will now be eaten ... read more > (8 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
11/05/2012 16:58
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Why do you persist in putting a vastly inflated salary level for 2pqe solicitors at SJB? £80k??? It is nowhere even close to this figure!
anonymous user
10/08/2012 10:29
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NQ is actually at 60k.
anonymous user
22/04/2013 11:22
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This is really out of date! A 3yr PQE is NOT at £87k!! That's what a 5 yr PQE is on ...
anonymous user
19/09/2013 13:41
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1st seat trainees are actually on £37.5k
anonymous user
02/04/2014 18:53
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Come on ROF, check your facts - salaries have never been at those levels at SJB! NQs hover around £60k, 1PQE £62-65k, 2PQE £65-70k, 3PQE £70-75k (if they're lucky). And that, friends, is one of the main reasons US firms are so successful at poaching mid tier UK City folk. The only exception is Funds where the associates who didn't jump ship were extremely well-rewarded for their loyalty.
anonymous user
09/09/2016 12:44
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What is the current 2pqe pay at KWM?
anonymous user
26/11/2016 10:17
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Any KWM employees here? Could anyone tell me what is the current work environment in the London office amidst all the partner exits and the financial crisis?
Is it affecting the employees? Are the salaries still around 80k for 2PQEs?
Any information would help as there are job vacancies in the firm and I would like to make an informed decision.

anonymous user
18/01/2017 11:09
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Can I still apply for a TC at this leading City firm?
anonymous user
19/04/2017 12:19
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So glad to hear that SJ Berwin folded. They made my life a misery. Good riddance to them.