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UK City Firms

Addleshaw Goddard (London)

Our view...

When Theodore Goddard merged with Addleshaw Booth & Co in May 2003 there was much speculation as to whether or not the two firms were really suitable bedfellows. TG was a small, City practice with a big reputation, and an unusual media department. Addleshaws was the gruff Northern outfit with a small City office and a history of solid corporate finance and real estate work. But rather like champagne and Guinness, what looked to be an unlikely combination seems to have blended together. 

Since the merger, Addleshaws has looked to grow internationally, opening offices in Singapore and Dubai in 2012 in the hope to increase its global client base.  Like every other firm, AG has been trying to develop its corporate and finance groups in recent years. And it hasn’t done a bad job of it: its more notable clients include the likes of Sainsburys, Aviva, Barclays Bank, Credit Suisse, Santander and The Co-operative Group.

AG experienced some speedy growth in the glory days thanks to its large real estate and corporate departments. However these areas were hit hard by the credit crunch. And while turnover remains steady at the £166.5 million mark it's still well below the 2007/8 peak of £196 million.  But it came at a price, as 24 fee-earners were booted in 2012 in London, Leeds and Manchester, as well as a swathe of support staff. Still, it's trebles all round for partners. PEP's recovered to £467k, up 27% on the previous year.

The litigation team has a strong reputation, although it remains to be seen how its high profile involvement in the Berezovsky litigation, which apparently saw the firm miss out on a hefty success fee, will affect the bottom line.

Hours are hardly slack, but they compare favorably to other large firms. “Completely flexible working.  We work from our own satellite offices for as many hours a week as we choose” says one associate. One lawyer even “has enough time to write comedy for TV in his spare time”.

The firm also wins praise for the people and partners: “first-rate banter, friendly atmosphere, notable lack of people who need to be avoided”. One associate gushes “Friendliest place I have ever worked - colleagues support one another and are intelligent, interesting and diverse” while another describes partners are "approachable and supportive". The firm also takes its pro bono efforts seriously and was one of the first UK law firms to make a significant commitment in this area.

There are a few grumbles about wedge: "Salaries are bad. Bonuses are worse"  says one lawyer. And another describes pay as "atrocious for a City firm" and a bonus structure which is "unrealistic" and "doesn't reward hard work".

In the City, the firm's housed in swanky offices overlooking Slaughter and May, the building designed to bring almost all of the London based staff under one roof & AG's subsequent bandying around of phrases such as the "Milton Gate Effect", lead some to believe that London is increasingly going to become the focus of the firm and it very much appears that it is attempting to establish itself as a smart city outfit. However, with a good deal work still originating from the north of the country northerners are pulling their weight.

If you’re looking for a bit of Northern common sense in the City Addleshaw Goddard may be a good bet. Plus "one of the partners looks like a pirate".

Salary

Salary (1st seat trainee): £36,000
Salary (NQ): £59,000
Salary (1PQE): £64,000
Salary (2PQE): £67,000
Salary (3PQE): £71,000
Salary (Salaried partner):

Bonus Scheme

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

Training

Grant for GDL: £7,000
Grant for LPC: £7,000
Training places per year: 50
% of trainees retained: 78%

RollOnFriday Firm of the Year Scores

Salary: 71%
Development: 72%
Work/Life: 71%
Openness: 64%
Biscuits: 70%
Toilets: 77%
Social: 71%
Firm of the year overall score: 71%

Benefits

Holiday allowance: 25
Flexi holiday: Yes
Pension: Contributory, 5%
Healthcare: Yes
Maternity policy: Enhanced maternity and paternity
Target hours: 1500
Childcare vouchers: Yes
Gym: Subsidised off site
Restaurant: Yes, subsidised
24 hour photocopying support: No
24 hour secretarial support: No
Other:

  

Your Views

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anonymous user
14/10/2011 14:55
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The NQ figure is right but the 1-3 PQE figures are rubbish. 1PQE associates are on £59k-£61k with 2PQE capping out at £64k.