Less well-paying firms have squeezed out the big spenders to take first, second and third place in the Firm of the Year poll for staff satisfaction with pay, offering reassuring proof that money alone can't buy a lawyer's love.

Marque Lawyers took the top spot, with deeply satisfied respondents handing their employer a score of 85%. Marque's "fun, busy, entertaining" culture makes the reasonable pay "an absolute gift". Second-placed Lavan Legal staff were also very happy with their wedge, coming second with 83% despite "relatively small Christmas bonuses compared to other firms ($100)"). And another small firm, Mills Oakley, rounded out the top trio with a respectable 80%, leaving higher-paying firms like Corrs Chambers Westgarth languishing further down the table.



And there were some truly measly scores from staff at the worst-ranked firms. Holman Webb came a convincing last, with 25%. Even its greatest fan hinted at salary misery, noting that "the pay could be higher. Best firm you could ever hope to work for (apart from the pay)". Golden Turd winner HWL Ebsworth came second from bottom with 33%, well below the next-lowest, Ashurst Australia (58%). Staff were scathing about HWL's attitude to pay, blaming bungled salary increases for "absolutely terrible staff retention".

For a full list of this year's winners and losers, click here.
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