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Salary hikes and extra holiday at Slaughter and May
16 December 2016
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Slaughter and May has announced salary rises for all associates and an extra five days' holiday a year.

The firm said that 84% of its staff responded to a recent employee survey, and they were pretty clear as to what they wanted. They liked the fact that associates of the same level of qualification get paid the same rates, but thought those rates should be hiked. A spokesman confirmed that pay will continue to "be distributed in a way that mirrors the flat lockstep structure of the firm’s partnership" but that rates would increase in January as follows:

PQE
 New rate
 Current rate
 NQ  £78,000  £71,500
 1PQE  £87,000  £79,000
 2PQE  £98,500  £90,250
 3PQE  £108,000  £99,750

Jolly good. But the firm is still at the bottom of the table when it comes to Magic Circle pay. A 3PQE associate gets £111,000 at Linklaters, £112,500 at Freshfields, £115,000 at Allen & Overy and £120,500 at Clifford Chance. Although all staff will also get a bonus at the end of this month. Associates will get between 9% and 16%, depending on PQE, in line with last year. Everyone else (including PSLs) will receive a bonus of 3%. Clearly some employees are more equal than others...

Staff will also see their holiday rise from 25 to 30 days' per year, and a four week paid sabbatical will be introduced for associates when they reach three years’ PQE. All associates will "have the opportunity" to apply to work one day a week from home with effect from 1 January 2017. Let's see how that plays out.

    Slaughter and May partners discuss a request for flexible working

Steve Cooke, the firm's Senior Partner, said “there is a strong collective belief in our no billable hours targets culture and indeed 95% of associates believe that billable hours targets would have a detrimental effect on the firm’s culture... Further, the overwhelming message from our associates and trainees is that they do not want to see pay differentiated on the basis of performance. We will therefore continue to remunerate in a less differentiated and more egalitarian way than many of our competitors.  We have a very strong sense of a “one firm” culture and the desire to be all in it together.”

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anonymous user
16/12/2016 00:24
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So, with a 9%-16% bonus on the increased salary Slaughters are currently the best paid in the Magic Circle. That really is 'jolly good', without any need for sarcasm.
anonymous user
16/12/2016 08:29
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Associates at Clifford Chance will make more than this, despite the partners earning less than at Slaughters. This is good news, for sure, but no way is this top of the Magic Circle.
anonymous user
16/12/2016 09:04
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Pay not differentiated on the basis of performance? wow. just wow.
anonymous user
16/12/2016 09:25
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Why bother differentiating on the basis of performance when everyone here is already shit hot?
Lydia
16/12/2016 11:36
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Sounds good to me and it was good when I worked there. Nice firm. Second best in the country after my firm. I've never worked anywhere with billing targets thankfully.
anonymous user
16/12/2016 11:45
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I dont understand when RoF is going to start reporting CC salaries properly. A 3 year PQE gets just £102,500 as guaranteed pay. The rest is discretionary bonus. Don't be fooled by their press release- the truth is in the paycheque.
anonymous user
16/12/2016 12:11
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What does the "rest" amount to, though? Is it fully discretionary or are you automatically eligible to receive it if you hit stated targets?
anonymous user
16/12/2016 22:06
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Crikey, how times have changed. I started as a newly qualified solicitor at Slaughters in 1972 ( I know, I'm positively antediluvian) on £2,000 pa, which equates to £23,803 today, according to the BoE inflation calculator. Still we didn't have to work so hard back then- and it was a very good salary at the time at a top rate firm. Only stayed four years, but look back fondly at my time at the firm.
anonymous user
17/12/2016 23:53
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These ridiculously high salaries at top English corporate/commercial law firms are a prime example of what is wrong with this country and why inequality has become utterly disgusting in the UK.

Typical, disgusting, sociopathic solicitors - only concerned with having more money than their friends and colleagues. Half your salaries should be taken away and given to teachers, junior doctors, and builders who are the real deserving people in this country! Shame on you all.
skidaddle
19/12/2016 12:27
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@Anon 23.53 - It's a fairly unpleasant job in many ways, and people wouldn't do it if it didn't pay what it does. Your boss can walk into your office at 6.30pm and hand you 8 hours work to do by first thing tomorrow morning and you just have to get on with it. There's no rule to stop you joining the profession if you would like to.
anonymous user
19/12/2016 12:43
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@16/12/2016 22:06 - that doesn't show the effect of real wages does it? i.e. your purchasing power with £2000 pa in 1972 was not the direct equivalent to a Slaughters' Trainee being on £23k pa today.
anonymous user
19/12/2016 13:18
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@anon 12:27 19/12

You might not have realised just how narrow-minded, money-lusting and patronising your response is. If you are a solicitor then you have evidenced some of my assertions.

What's more, your anger is barely disguised. Be true to yourself and express it fully rather than holding back next time.
anonymous user
20/12/2016 00:05
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@Anon 19/12 12.27 - I don't think anyone on this board will disagree that inequality is a problem in this country and in London in particular. But, I would like to get to the heart of your point and I have some questions for you:

1. Do you feel solicitors are particularly undeserving of their pay compared to, say, someone who runs a small IT business, a footballer or a surgeon? If so, why?

2. If you simply feel that income inequality (as opposed to wealth inequality) is generally a bad thing and more needs to be done to remedy it, then the logical suggestion would to increase the higher rates of tax across the board. Is this not your position, and if not, why?

3. I am interested to know whether you feel that the law firms are “disgusting” for paying their staff what they do, or whether you feel the staff are “disgusting” for taking a job at the firm, or possibly both?

4. Law firms are private enterprises which pay their staff no more than they have to in the employment market. Like any other industry, law firms’ revenues are determined by what their customers are willing to pay in the (competitive) market for legal advice. I’m not saying everything is perfect in the world of city law, but what are your particular objections to what is set out in this paragraph? Please also mention if you believe what I have written here is factually incorrect.
  

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