Slaughter and May is giving its associates Christmas bonuses and raising junior solicitors' salaries.

The bonus percentages are smaller than they were last year, but only by a sliver. Showing fealty to whatever algorithm spat them out, they're also very specific. NQs will receive an extra 8.25% of their basic salary as a bonus, while 5 PQEs will get 14.6%. 

PQE 2018 (2017)
NQ - 6 months 8.25% (9%)
1 - 2.5 PQE 11% (12%)
3 - 4 PQE 12.8% (14%)
4.5 - 6.5 14.6% (16%)


Trainees, business services staff, PSLs, secretaries and paralegals didn't do quite as well. They'll receive 3%, the same as last year.

On 1 January Slaughter and May is also raising the salaries of its most junior solicitors, which it said was to reflect current market rates. NQs' pay rises the most, by £3k to £83,000.

PQE 2019 (2018)
NQ £83,000 (£80,000)
6 month £86,000 (£84,000)
1 PQE £89,000 (£88,000)
1.5 PQE £93,750 (£92,750)


Slaughters takes a semi-socialist approach to bonuses. While not every fee-earner in the firm gets the same percentage bonus, those within the same banding do, regardless of how many hours they've billed. Which is grand (even if one associate told ROF it was a source of sadness bonuses weren't linked to hours given they've clocked up over 2,000 this year) and means everyone can afford a splendid Christmas.



The only people who won't be splashing out on Scruff-A-Luvs are lawyers working out their notice or under a formal warning, or who have been "identified as an underperformer". They're carved out of the bonus pot.

If your firm's handing out meaty Xmas bonuses, or if it's told you it's not and blaming Brexit, let ROF know. 



Anonymous 11 December 18 19:18

It's worth noting that, as Slaughters uses its bonuses to effectively top up salaries to match others on total remuneration, the total remuneration package from 2PQE onwards is in fact lower than last year (taking into account the reduction in bonuses and the freeze in salaries since 2016). So, whilst this will be masked by the fact that people will be transitioning to new salary bands in May, the net result of this is a pay cut year on year for 2PQE onwards.

It seems rather clear that the partners understand that what they need to do is ensure trainees are offered the best deal, and junior solicitors don't leave en masse on qualification, but that for those who make it to 2PQE onwards, they will either stay for the carrot of partnership or leave for better life or better salaries elsewhere, meaning either way no salary adjustment is required.

A shrewd financial move, albeit heartless. Meanwhile the mass emails from partners offering to re-sell theater tickets at face value with an administrative fee on top continue (because why would you expect a partner who can't use theatre tickets to give them to the fee earners who can use them for free...)

Long ago 13 December 18 18:47

At least they pay a bonus - Burges Salmon have a paltry bonus system which pays up to 10% upon completion of a few Herculean tasks which require self flagilation, excommunication from all family life and all for an average hourly rate just over the living wage. Even when all criteria are met, the Spanish Inqusition can make up any excuse to refuse a bonus - particularly when the partner is behind his own targets.


Anon 04 January 19 12:51

@anon 11 Dec. 

Anyone paid £100k+ should (a) not complain that their remuneration is "heartless", and (b) be able to pay for their own theatre ticket. What a miserable whinge.

This is why people don't like lawyers.

Anonymous 06 January 19 17:13

@anon 4 Jan

So you think it's fine for a partner who draws something like £150k per month to email the group secretaries (whose combined yearly salary doesn't come up to that figure) and tell them "Here's a £50 theatre ticket that I can't use. For the paltry sum of £55 it's yours.", before binning the tickets because no one actually took him up on that offer?

This actually happened at my firm (not Slaughters) and I find it pretty disgusting.