Burges Salmon leaps highest again.
The RollOnFriday Best Law Firm to Work at 2023 is...drum roll...Burges Salmon!
Over seven and a half thousand lawyers and non-fee-earners across the UK participated in RollOnFriday's satisfaction survey, which asked them to rate their firm's pay, career development, management, culture, work/life balance, and the office amenities.
This year, over 650 staff at Burges Salmon completed the survey, and the firm notched up an excellent overall score of 87%.
The firm's culture was the highest rated category with a score of 92%. "Friendly" cropped up again and again to describe the people at Burges Salmon. And many staff expressed their view that there was "no obvious sense of hierarchy". A trainee observed, "I've yet to work in a team that wasn't lovely, which hasn't helped me in narrowing down my qualification decision."
"Decent for those of us with young families," said a senior solicitor. While another lawyer commented that the firm is "run by humans for humans (and not by psychopaths for people that will one day themselves become psychopaths)". Others agreed: "Even the arseholes aren’t really arseholes."
"Management decisions are made after consulting with staff and with people in mind," said a lawyer. Another concurred: "Management is very much interested in its employees' views. When ideas are put forward, management listen...it genuinely feels like our opinion matters".
A Business Services employee said they believed the secret to the firm's success was that "management at the very top of the tree are friendly, approachable and sincere. This then trickles down to middle management which makes for good management all round."
"Excellent leadership, particularly in the context of flexible working and WFH policies," was one trainee's view of management. "The firm couldn't be better on those fronts from what I have experienced."
The firm was also praised for getting the balance right for work/life balance. "Whilst long hours do happen, it tends to be for concentrated periods and work is far from being all consuming," said a senior lawyer. "Rolling recruitment to ensure the team is properly resourced means that if the balance is slipping, it's likely down to a specific transaction."
A Business Services member of staff commended the "hybrid policy in place" and the firm being "very supportive of this model" with "lots of flexibility and a "big focus on mental health and wellbeing."
Most staff took the decent work/life balance into consideration when rating pay. "Given that I don't get worked like a dog and the partners treat me like a human being with a life outside of work I think I am very fairly paid," said a junior lawyer. "Would be lovely to be at the top of the Bristol market but I can't complain."
Staff were happy with the firm's offices. "Lots of space, wonderful canteen with food that rivals a decent restaurant, and a newly redesigned social space in the atrium with trees and lots of comfy seating," said a junior lawyer about the Bristol office. While one trainee described the canteen as "dangerously good...with lots of options,".
The Edinburgh office was also commended, with a partner saying that had "nothing to do with the gin trolley of course!" Although there was a gripe from a Bristolian partner: "I think it's a serious problem that our Edinburgh office has Tunnocks tea cakes and the Bristol office does not. Just not fair."
Burges Salmon staff were generally happy with career development opportunities at the firm. A senior lawyer said: "My appraisal is very much 'where can we get you next and how can we help' rather than the list of 'here's the things you did wrong this year" from my previous Silver circle firm'. There are so many training sessions, coaching sessions, mentoring opportunities - everyone really wants you to succeed."
A Burges Salmon consultant said the firm takes career development "very seriously and there is phenomenal support for all lawyers." They added that they were "also impressed with how many people are able to move into different Business Support roles, the firm is very flexible and tries to find the best fit for each person."
Burges Salmon's Managing Partner, Roger Bull, told RollOnFriday: “To be named the RollOnFriday ‘Best Law Firm To Work At’ last year was great and to achieve this accolade for the second year in a row is simply fantastic."
"This win really does highlight the strength of our positive culture, given that the results are based purely on our people’s individual views of the firm," he added. "We are immensely proud of this achievement. I believe it reflects the commitment and passion that our people have for our clients, for supporting each other and for the culture of the firm. What a great start to 2023.”
Check back next week for the complete rankings.
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