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UK City Firms
Addleshaw Goddard (London)
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, and an office in Hong Kong in 2013 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 for the 2013/2014 period was steady at the £171.4 million mark it's still well below the 2007/8 peak of £196 million. Also, net profit in 2013/2014 dropped by 11% to £39.8 million. This dive in profits was blamed on internal budget miscalculations as well as factors including partner restructuring and a fee write-off relating to AG's role advising the late Boris Berezovsky in his court battle with Roman Abramovich.
There has been a change of management with John Joyce taking over at the helm in May 2014. Joyce has set out a new strategy for the firm that he has labelled as a "
". The approach includes raising profit margins to 30%. So a bit of extra grafting may be needed. However, the firm's ambition seems to be welcomed with one associate stating that "
John Joyce gets it. He is already making a difference in the essentials
". Another associate comments that following some departures in 2014, including a number of practice heads, "
it feels a leaner and more driven firm but one that's pulling together at all levels
Given the strategy that Joyce has set out, it is no surprise that 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 choos
e” 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: "
Great place to work, normal people who excel at their work but are fun to be with
". One associate gushes “
There are loads of nice people. The likes of which will say hello to you in the corridor or urinate on you if you're on fire
”. Although this is presumably not official Fire Marshall procedure at the firm. Another describes partners as "
approachable and supportive
". That said, one discontent business services staff member believes the firm still has a "
Them and Us culture
On the positive side, the firm 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 package which is "
" and "
Staff have also complained of an IT system that is out of date, with one associate complaining that it is "
" and that this reflects other areas of the firm since "
significant investments still need to be made generally
". Although presumably no extra investment is needed in the canteen where the food is described as "
" resulting in one staff member confessing "
I've put on loads of weight since I have joined here"
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 (1st seat trainee):
Salary (Salaried partner):
Typical bonus as % of salary
Grant for GDL:
Grant for LPC:
Training places per year:
% of trainees retained:
RollOnFriday Firm of the Year Scores
Firm of the year overall score:
Enhanced maternity and paternity
Subsidised off site
24 hour photocopying support:
24 hour secretarial support:
Explanation and source of figures
Nabarros poaches Addleshaws' head of Real Estate to open in Manchester
It's no longer grim up north
Addleshaws Managing Partner steps down early
As firm admits it got its numbers wrong
Addleshaws partners fined for buggering up bills
Sat on naughty step for "misdescribing" dozens of disbursements
Ooops! Addleshaw Goddard in massive HR email cock-up
Addleshaws accidentally circulates confidential trainee information to the entire firm
Exclusive: Addleshaws accused of offering minimum pay to redundant staff
As the firm loses a fortune in the Abramovich case
71 redundancies at Pinsent Masons and Addleshaws
More than expected
Exclusive: redundancies at Irwin Mitchell and Addleshaw Goddard
In total another 33 redundancies
Government says social mobility in law is on the right track
Tries hard but could do better
Latest partner promotions show women still under-represented in the UK
Six City firms don't promote a single woman
Exclusive: RoF survey shows woeful female partner numbers at City firms
Average is below 20%. Herbies heroes, Ashurst zeros.
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Please keep it nice. Thanks.
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.