A City NQ tries to look sharp for a client after another all-nighter
In-house lawyers want City firms to lower the salaries of their junior lawyers and not work them to the point of exhaustion, according to results so far in the RollOnFriday In-house Lawyer Survey.
"Control the salaries paid to junior lawyers who know nothing much," said a GC in the aviation sector.
"Lower pay for new associates," said a senior in-house lawyer working in TMT. "Salaries of £100k plus for NQs is ridiculous and we will not instruct firms who pay at this level for and who expect their associates to be available 24/7." Firms should take "better care of their associates," the in-house lawyer added.
Another client said they had enough of "zombified" associates appearing like the "cast of the Living Dead."
"If you're flogging your associates, we're not getting good value for money," said another. "They're not bright and alert when worked to the bone...mistakes are inevitable."
"Stop raising NQ salaries or at least stop passing this on to in-house teams", said a GC in financial services. "It adds no value to us."
Others complained about what they perceived as outdated billing methods. "Move away from the billable hour," said a senior in-house lawyer in a bank. "It makes private practice lawyers work insane hours, give unrealistic estimates, write off huge amounts of time, and impedes their progress and job satisfaction." They noted: "I don't know anyone at my company who would accept a time-based bill. It's all fixed or capped fees."
Another in-house lawyer agreed: "Embrace fixed fees and alternative fee arrangements. The billable hour is dead for us, including in litigation."
"Fixed fees are still a bit of a myth and are generally reverse engineered from the chargeable hour," said a real estate GC. "I'd like to see more genuinely value based billing."
"Kill the billable hour," said a head of legal in retail. "[Firms] say we will do fixed fees etc but their whole remuneration, targets and promotion structure is based on the billable hour."
If you're in-house and agree or disagree, give your two cents below.