Check out this week's top Asia-Pacific news on the Asia Pacific Headline page.

Follow RoF

For all the breaking news, follow RoF on Twitter and Facebook



The discussion board has the answers to all life's questions. Get advice on how to get a job, where to work, how your salary matches up and where to go after hours.

Your Firm

Your Firm
Inside Info gives lawyers all the facts and all the gossip on leading law firms. Think something is inaccurate? Then send in your views.

Bonus Survey

Bonus Survey
Whether your firm thinks bonus is a dirty word or whether you are putting a downpayment on a Ferrari, use the Bonus Survey to share the news.

UK Regional Firms

Burges Salmon (Bristol)

Our view....

Burges Salmon and Osborne Clarke are the firms that dominate the Bristol legal scene and it's fair to say that the former has been in the ascendant. It has stuck to a policy of steady organic growth, as befits a firm with a reputation as a restrained, stately sort of place with a conservative attitude to life which has allowed it to weather recent economic ups and downs successfully. And it's widely seen as being the top firm outside the capital and is top of the heap in Bristol for pretty much every practice.

It’s now grown to 79 partners, 80 assistant solicitors and 183 other fee earners and though its head office is in Bristol, its work reaches global heights.  It boasts a client list featuring the likes of Eurostar, The Co-Operative Group, FirstGroup and The Crown Estate. Notable deals include advising the Greater London Authority on the regeneration of Royal Albert Docks and advising FirstGroup on its bid for the InterCity West Coast franchise. Recently relocating its London office to an award-winning development at New Street Square, the firm is keen to move away from its image as being a ‘regional firm’.

Burges Salmon has got a good name for banking, insolvency and corporate work and recently made moves to bolster its competition practice too. Notable successes included a £31m AIM flotation of new client Bristol & London, securing a place on the panel of the multinational aviation service BBA group, and nabbing its largest ever securitisation deal from under the noses of numerous Magic Circle candidates.

The firm's associates seem to have few complaints at all: they voted Burges Salmon RollOnFriday's Firm of the Year 2006. And it came second in both 2007 and 2008. And whilst it may have slipped more recently, the firm came 8th in 2014's survey, lawyers still sung its praises for having "approachable and supportive partners” and "excellent work, good client contact, fantastic training."  One senior associate sums it up by saying, "I could see myself as one of the partners here, whereas at my previous (magic circle) firm I shrank in horror at the idea of becoming one of them."

Much praise too for the array of social events. As one respondent says “Great Social Life - lots of charity events and staff socials, which get everyone at all levels involved.” Lawyers praise the clients: "great clients that any firm would be proud off" and the cake trolley on Friday afternoons is "magnificent". And they even have a Gromit statue.

Of course it's not all rainbows; there were some grumbles. Staff complained about the lack of career development and even though “BS is a highly profitable top 50 national firm… pay at Associate level does not reflect this”. Overall, however the positives outweigh the negatives, especially when the only negative comment from one lawyer are that the "sandwiches at lunch-time training can get a bit repetitive". The horror.

The general consensus seems to be of a happy, supportive ship full of "nice and normal people". One respondent sums up nicely “Overall a nice place to work, but starting to feel a bit more like a London firm in Bristol, rather than the 'Bristol firm' it was”.

For more information on recruitment at Burges Salmon click here.
For more information on Burges Salmon click here


Salary (1st seat trainee): £34,000
Salary (NQ): £45,000
Salary (1PQE): £48,000
Salary (2PQE): £52,000
Salary (3PQE):
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: 25
% of trainees retained: 91%

RollOnFriday Firm of the Year Scores

Salary: 76%
Development: 73%
Work/Life: 70%
Openness: 68%
Biscuits: 75%
Toilets: 89%
Social: 84%
Firm of the year overall score: 75%


Holiday allowance: 25 days with an additional day after 3, 6 and 10 years service
Flexi holiday: No
Pension: Membership of a group personal pension plan with matching contribution from firm of up to 5% of salary.
Healthcare: Yes
Maternity policy: Enhanced maternity, paternity and adoption pay
Target hours: 1,450 Solicitors, 700 trainees
Childcare vouchers: Yes
Gym: Off site, discounted membership
Restaurant: Yes
24 hour photocopying support: No
24 hour secretarial support: No
Other: Private medical insurance, life assurance (4xsalary), permanent health insurance, free BUPA assessment every two years. Professional subscriptions paid, interest-free season ticket loans, generous relocation allowances, sports and social club. Free car parking / £2,000 p.a. cash alternative for associates.


News Stories

Exclusive: Burges Salmon partner shot tanks with Brad Pitt in Fury
Raises staff heart rates with story of "sitting between" star's legs ... read more > (1 comment)
UK Firm of the Year 2013: Pay
US firms dominate the top of the table, but it's not just big bucks that make for a satisfied workforce ... read more > (2 comments)
70% of Halliwells' new joiners find training contracts
35 get new offers, four of them from the Magic Circle ... read more >
Redundancy bias against female lawyers is widely reported
And Burges Salmon shares its thoughts on flexible working ... read more >
Exclusive - Burges Salmon partner in crackers email rant
Real estate team is given a proper kicking... ... read more >

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.

Be the first to add Your View

Law Firms