Slaughter and May boosts Xmas bonuses but sticks with pay freeze

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Also reinstates partner distributions

Slaughter and May’s London office

Slaughter and May is bumping up associates’ bonuses but is continuing with its firm-wide pay freeze until a review of the situation early next year.

Slaughter and May executive partner Paul Stacey said the partnership had decided “not to move associates through the salary scales this year nor to award salary increases across the rest of the firm”, according to an email seen by RollOnFriday.

Stacy announced the firm is also awarding associates with annual discretionary bonuses 2% higher than last year in recognition of their efforts.

Among its higher ranks, the magic circle firm reinstated the partner distributions it suspended in April this year.

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Slaughters chipped away at the salaries of its newly qualified (NQ) associates in May, from £92,000 to £87,000, to curb the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The rest of the magic circle followed with their own NQ salary cuts at the time.

Yet, a number of City law firms have now reversed or increased NQ pay in recent months. Fellow magic circle firm Allen & Overy, for example, has nudged its NQs’ total pay package slightly albeit not quite as high as its six-figure pre-COVID sum. The firm is also keeping the salaries of its business services and support staff frozen.

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With some £3m PEP this is some staggering cheapskatedness



The partnership is so absurdly transparent in doing this.


Kirkland NQ

On the Cravath scale then, is it?



Surely Kirkland NQ you must now be a few years PQE or do you keep getting held back on performance review? Your cohorts at other firms are probably now out-earning you :S


Kirkland NQ

Kirkland NQ is not a singular being but a state of mind, and a title to be handed down from one generation to the next.



Yawn. Back to your Zoom lecture on Contracts, gimp.


Bobby C

Meanwhile in Legal Aid land, pay cuts, furlough and redundancies.

No Christmas bonuses here.

Merry Christmas from another country.



City smasher

Merry Christmas


Big if true

Allegedly – no disclosure of the real numbers, so fair to assume they’re much lower actually. Slaughters just loves the image.



Slaughters is a sinking ship, reliant on the ego built on days gone past.
Genuinely can’t fathom why someone would choose to start out on £87k for the same hours that they can get £140k at US firms.


Beasted Slaughters Associate

Two reasons to consider:

1. The firm has advised on the majority of the UK’s largest public takeovers this year. There’s no better shop for corporate work.

2. There’s the lure of partnership – the opportunity to make equity fastest than anywhere else at the most profitable firm in the City. Even if you don’t make it, you’re well hedged to make partner elsewhere. Once you make partner you’re previous income as an associate is almost negligible.

For me those two reasons are preferable to working at a satellite office of a US firm, where the long-term prospects are either (a) salaried partner or (b) booted out after 4PQE.



1. You must really love verification and diligence. “Best corporate work” does not equal public takeovers. Unless you only care about impressing your non-lawyer friends. Then it probably does.

2. First, running the risk of being staggeringly underpaid for 7-10 years in the expectation of equity is mad. Second, it is allegedly the most profitable UK firm. Nobody actually knows. It is still far behind top US firms. Third, there are plenty of US firms in London with hundreds of lawyers which make up new equity partners all the time.

Let’s be real, the main benefits for you are the cred at your racquet club and the semi when correcting & to and.



If Slaughter and May has resorted to hiring associates who don’t know the difference between “you are” and “your”, then the mighty have fallen deeper than I thought possible.


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