Latham & Watkins may once again have taken the top spot for pay but it couldn't quite push Norton Rose off the podium.

The full results are set out in Inside Info. However the issues dominating this year's scores were how well firms handled the downturn and how well they treat their staff. And White and Case illustrates exactly how important these issues are - the firm may have come second for pay, but poor scores in these areas saw it drop down to just 41st on the table. Associates felt that when it came to handling redundancies, pay freezes and bonuses the firm, which has always been quite autonomous in London, suddenly seemed dominated by New York. One associate commented that "there was no room for flexibility on pay or bonus".

Meanwhile Hammonds appeared to come back from the dead to make third place overall. The firm, which has in the past been plagued with everything from financial difficulties to shoe fetishists, received glowing praise for its treatment of staff and came top of the class for promoting its talent.

Whilst US firms still score best for pay, the inclusion of Pinsent Masons in the top four shows that associates also value a firm that pays a fair wage for reasonable hours. With a respectable 73% score for pay, associates commented on the "value culture" of the firm and that it "paid well in comparison to similar firms". 

Wragge once again crushed lesser firm biscuits underneath it (Wragges PR, you know where to send the freebies) - and Norton Rose's toilets "live up to the hype. They're amazing!"

Meanwhile while Hammonds came top for its parties, Ince & Co also scored highly for its "very, very, very delicious" canapes, as did Holman, Fenwick and Willan whose parties apparently end in "spit-roasting" which, respondents insist, is a good thing. Bringing up the rear is Eversheds... well it's not really a place with a party atmosphere at the moment.

  Pay Prospects  Downturn  Treatment  Biscuits  Toilets  Parties
Latham & Watkins  Hammonds  Norton Rose  Norton Rose  Wragge  Norton Rose  Hammonds
2 Jones Day  RPC Reynolds  Hammonds  Lovells  Clifford Chance  RPC
White & Case  Latham & Watkins  Hammonds  Bird & Bird  Olswang  Reed Smith  Ince & Co
Pinsent Masons  Trowers & Hamlins  Stephenson Harwood  RPC  Norton Rose     Lovells  HFW
Linklaters  Norton Rose  Slaughter & May  Latham & Watkins  Osborne Clarke  Talor Wessing  Latham & Watkins
Pay Prospects Downturn Treatment Buscuits Toilets Parties
48 Talor Wessing    McGrigors LG BLG Irwin Mitchell Stephenson Harwood Charles Russell
59 Dundas & Wilson Irwin Mitchell Travers Smith White & Case Denton Wilde Sapte BLG TLT
50 BLG Eversheds DLA DLA Baker & McKenzie Travers Smith Dundas & Wilson
51 Eversheds    LG Eversheds Eversheds TLT McGrigors Shoosmiths
52 Irwin Mitchell Shoosmiths Shoosmiths Shoosmiths LG Trowers & Hamlin Eversheds
See the full results on Inside Info.
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