The Legal Cheek View
Addleshaw Goddard’s decision to impose a Brexit pay freeze on junior lawyers just a month after the firm announced that profit per equity partner had soared by nearly 40% to reach £682,000 isn’t the kind of move that fosters organisational morale. And as you might expect, AG’s bosses came in for something of a roasting in the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey. The firm scored a disappointing 'B' for partner approachability and does even worse in the perks category, bagging a lowly 'C' despite its recent embrace of so-called ‘agile working’. This may be read as a message to the AG head honchos to stick their hands in their pockets.
Of course, Addleshaw Goddard didn’t get this far by being financially reckless, and it may be that the firm comes to be glad of its decision to exercise caution in the wake of the surprise EU referendum result. Looking back at the 2008 crisis, the firms that moved first to curb costs tended to be the last to make job cuts.
But for now there is no getting away from the fact that the so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse’ of the legal world (which also has a substantial City presence and eight offices abroad) has a not particularly happy bunch of trainees and NQs. Other gripes include the firm’s offices, which are apparently “tired”, although moves to swanky new premises in Leeds and Manchester are on the horizon.
The firm does better for quality of work and work/life balance, gaining 'A' grade scores. And there’s no doubt that this is a decent place to begin your career. A full-service corporate law practice with a pretty strong London finance arm and a quirky media law niche gives trainees plenty of options. Meanwhile, AG also ranks respectably for international secondments, with Dubai is one of the most popular destinations.