Radcliffes Le Brasseur
Radcliffes merged with medical specialists Le Brasseur J Tickle in December 2001, increasing in size and gaining offices in Leeds and Cardiff in the process. Then in 2009 the firm merged with West End outfit Lithgow Pepper & Eldridge.
The merger added muscle to the firm’s tax and corporate departments but Radcliffe’s largest practice remains healthcare, with 14 partners in the firms London and Leeds office. Private client is also a tidy little earner for the firm, with 10 partners dedicated to this practice.
Radcliffes was always the antithesis of the big City firms, but times have changed it, or at least its location. Its headquarters were until 2015 pleasant offices next to Westminster Abbey rather than a glass and marble pile on Bishopsgate. But now its relocated to the City,. tkaing space in the old Reuters building on Fleet Street. It remains appealingly diminutive, however, being nowhere near the size of the average City firm. It boasts a headcount of 41 partners, with just 39 qualified lawyers.
While working hours are supposed to be far more reasonable than the big boys and girls, the flip side is that the pay is a fraction of what Magic Circle assistants take home. No firm with those sorts of profits is going to pay megabucks to its staff, so a three year qualified solicitor will find himself earning less than a newly qualified at Jones Day.
But on a cost / benefit analysis, it doesn't look too bad. A bonus scheme can add up to 10%, based on a combination of firm, departmental and individual performance. The firm flags up "predictable hours" as a selling point, and we've certainly heard no complaints. Assistants report an extremely friendly and supportive atmosphere and good facilities.
Whilst this isn't the place if you're after big money, mega deals and international travel, it's got a fair bit going for it if the prospect of earning a decent wage for interesting work and civilised hours appeals.