The Legal Cheek View
One of the most highly rated firms for training in the City, Mayer Brown's newly qualified (NQ) associates are so well drilled that they're often targeted by other US and magic circle rivals. But a rise in NQ pay above the £70k mark is illustrative of a newfound determination from the firm to hang onto its talent.
Remuneration has been a bugbear at Mayer Brown since its US-based management team opted against adopting MoneyLaw rates and instead chose to follow what is a broadly silver circle junior solicitor pay scale. With profit per equity partner at the firm standing at £1.2 million – broadly equivalent to magic circle firms – some believe it could be a bit more generous. Still, the rewards are obviously in place for those who make it to the top. And the quality of work is what you would expect from such a profitable firm.
In London, Mayer Brown concentrates on corporate finance, litigation and high end insurance work, while also boasting highly-rated niches in intellectual property and tech. Alongside standard trainee tasks in these practice areas like bundling, bibling, proof-reading and general admin, insiders tell us that there is “meaty work, such as drafting documents, interesting pieces of research, and attending meetings/court.”
Work-life balance is distinctly reasonable for this bracket of firm, while the general culture and friendliness of partners is said to be pretty good.
Perks are plentiful, with the subsidised gym membership the standout freebie (even if some complain that it is on the “stingy” side). But a decent firm canteen, with “excellent” coffee and “lots of options including healthy ones such as juices, smoothies, fresh yoghurts and a great salad bar”, wins widespread approval.
International secondments are great if you can get one – with around 17% of the current trainee intake having spent time abroad with the firm. Common destinations include New York and Hong Kong. Mayer Brown provides free plane tickets to secondees and additional “home leave”.