From hair transplants to Pelotons: City lawyers reveal how they’re spending their lockdown bonuses

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Purchases come as law firms reward associates for their home-working endeavours

(Image credit: Peloton)

City lawyers have revealed how they’re spending their lockdown bonuses in an Instagram Q&A, with everything from hair transplants to Peloton spin bikes featuring on associates’ shopping lists.

This comes on the back of City law firms handing out one-off cash sums to lawyers in recognition of their hard work during the pandemic.

Last year, many City players initially introduced belt-tightening measures, including salary cuts and furloughing staff, as they looked to protect themselves from the financial fallout of COVID-19. Such protective steps were short lived, however, as law firms found their performance to exceed early expectations, with COVID-uncertainty keeping lawyers busy.

That said, while law firms have quickly bounced back, trainee solicitors are apparently fed up with remote-working and the lack of support they receive from seniors. According to recent reports, bouts of exhaustion and feelings of isolation and frustration are seemingly rife at the junior end of the solicitor profession with many longing for a return to the office.

With lawyers now debating whether they’re ‘working from home’ or actually ‘living from work’, it appears some are using lockdown bonuses to blow off steam.

This week popular corporate law meme account CityLawBois asked its Instagram followers to reveal the “dumb shit you copped/plan to cop with your bonus”. The responses did not disappoint.

(credit: @CityLawBois)

“Facelift and hair transplant for balding in my late 20s,” one revealed. “Big old Fender guitar amp to crank up as hell and blow off the work steam”, replied one Insta user. “Private flower arranging workshop. Stress reduction in strange time,” said another.

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Designer fashion was a favourite. Proposed purchases included “handmade loafers” accessorised with a luxury Patek Philippe watch, “more Cartier and/or Chanel”, while another said their “bestie at [a magic circle firm] will be investing in her first Birkin”. As one had their eyes on limited edition streetwear — “all the Off White x Nike collab” — another was just happy to be shopping on the highstreet again: “Spend it on the bargains in PRIMARK now it’s back open hun!’

Flashing the cash on “new wheels” was also popular, including “his n hers Pelotons”. CityLawBois did call out one respondent, who mentioned a “new shape [Mercedes] AMG”, for not actually being a lawyer — a useful reminder to our readers to take some of these with a pinch of salt.

Others are taking a more sensible approach, revealing plans to spend the extra cash on “paying off the last of my student loans” and a “charity donation”. And yet, money isn’t everything it seems, as one person replied: “The only happiness I can afford is a Happy Meal”.

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Legal Cheek is this industry’s version of the Daily Mail Online.



The most read? 🤔



That’s a bit generous, they are more like this industry’s version of The Sun



not really, the Daily Mail is an institution that many graduates actually aspire to work at, and it’s pretty hard to get a job there



I don’t even know why this is being downvoted. I have a friend who did the grad scheme at the Daily Mail and rated it very highly. Yes it is pure crap and 8/10ths of their journalists can’t spell, but they apparently do genuinely try with their grad scheme. That’s more than you can say about the more ‘respectable’ mainstream papers, which make the nepotism in law look positively innocent.



The value of this article is somewhat diminished when you realise it’s just based on anonymous responses likely written by the page’s predominant demographic, law students without a job.


Sweaty Foot

The people I know who follow CLB are city associates 🤷‍♂️ hardly posting content about Warwick v Durham


alright CLB

it’s okay to be a 2nd year warwick student


citylawbois is cringe, sue me 😎

yeah because City associates have lots of time to spend swiping through some childish IG page that mimics cooler and more established pages and steals content from them

stop pretending lol



I’m not a city associate anymore but if you think you’re suddenly going to be too rich and cool for mindless insta scrolling when you hit NQ you’ll be disappointed. Everyone in the queue for the microwaves was tapping through stories and we all share memes.



I’ve been billing >220 hrs a month since Jan (2nd yr Associate at US firm) and have time to scroll Instagram (in fact I saw these responses yesterday). While life is extremely busy as an Associate and you’re always on high alert, you’re not permanently working 24 hrs a day.



I may regret when my bell is rung
working so hard when I was young.
But I’ll smile knowing when fades the light
I did it all in Nike x Off-White.



This is such fucking lazy “journalism”, even for Legal Cheek. Genuinely embarrassed for you.


Reality check

Couple of grand after tax isn’t going to buy you a Patek, Birkin or an AMG… you need equity for those



What would equity be at a City firm such as CMS, AG, Dentons?



Michael Kors or a Seiko.



George at Asda and a Casio you mean



Depends. A newly minted junior partner at CMS/AG starts at the c. £150,000 mark.


Kirkland Phatboi




Not sure on the other two but I think top pay at CMS last year was £1.15m (was in the legal press) – at any city firm an equity partner is going to be on a lot…although, the US equity pay is ridiculous in comparison to the majority of UK firms



Indeed. I’d buy an equity partner dropping ££ on a Patek watch anyone else, not so much.



Oh no. LC have found another great source of original information to steal from. DYOR.



Here’s a question for you to dig in to Legal Cheek: why have Freshfields US employees been paid a Coronavirus bonus but not the London trainees/associates? Apparently London had a call with facts and figures on great revenue/ the inordinately high amount of hours worked in London, but then no pandemic bonus LOL talk about salt in the wound



Because in London they hire middle class hour gimps who will take it whatever they do.



True innit



What bonus hahaha?! We’ve been told they’ll be no bonuses, no pay rises and no opportunities for progression for the next 2 years because they’re losing so much money!



Which firm?



This is precisely another reason, to use an insured, capable Paralegal law firm. All those Partners in Solicitor firms grasping for a profit share, the fishtanks, flat-screen Tvs, coffee machines, bonuses – who pays for all that? The client presented with the eye-watering billable hours.

I have 37 years experience, more legal qualifications than most Lawyers, and provide PI insured, quality legal services at half the cost of fat-cat Lawyers.

Its time to derail the Rip-off legal services gravytrain.



Seriously, who doesn’t have a flat-screen TV nowadays?


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