Slaughters hands lawyers and staff Covid bonuses

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Extra 5% ‘in recognition of everybody’s hard work’

Slaughter and May is the latest law firm to thank lawyers and staff for their lockdown efforts with special one-off bonuses.

The magic circle player today confirmed all eligible employees will receive a bonus of 5% of their salary at the end of June 2021. This, the firm says, “is in recognition of everybody’s hard work and considerable efforts over the course of the pandemic”.

News of the extra cash comes after Slaughters confirmed associates would move through the salary scales this month, following a suspension last year in response to the pandemic.

The 2021 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

A raft of City firms have now dished out special appreciation bonuses, with the vast majority, like Slaughters, opting for the 5% rate. Bucking the trend, however, is Shoosmiths, which provided all lawyers and staff with a 7.7% ‘thank you’ bonus — or four weeks pay.

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5% is pretty much the standard. Any firm that doesn’t give 5% is mugging off their staff.



And yet somehow Ashurst has managed it.




Buy yourself a packet of rolos or something.



It is truly a mystery how S&M has managed to get away with disrespecting its lawyers like this. Outdone by Shoosmiths lol.

If there was ever a reason to jump ship…



Freshfields what is happening


NRF Associate

Why aren’t NRF following suit ? It’s MC in all but name, come on



“It’s MC in all but name”

ROFL good one son 😀 😀 😀


NRF Associate

Not joking I accepted an offer at nrf over a&o becUse they’re number one in finance. We are as good if not better than most MC firms.


You've drunk the Kool-Aid

Not sure which conman convinced you that NRF is better than A&O in finance or that NRF is better than most MC firms. But it’s not.


Milbank 2PQE Deal Flow Enigma

You: “We are as good if not better than most MC firms”

Me: I don’t even know who you are


Weil 2PQE Leverage Finance Wizard

Well that’s an obvious lie son, but the sentiments check out.

NRF Associate

Nobody knows who you are mate – what is go move to a real US power house like lathams then talk to me.

Though nrf are better than them for Aviation and Project Finance obv


“…they’re number one in finance”

according to who? A&O are Band 1 in Chambers for big ticket B&F acting for both borrowers and lenders and NRF are…not in the rankings



Apply ointment liberally to the burns.

NRF Associate

Who cares about rankings. My supervisor told me we’re the best and so did the partner on my open day so which is more convincing .

Fbsfes. Reason we attract gneiss best talent and there is a reason nobody wants to leave this firm.

Fbsfes gneiss

Are you having a stroke?


NRF PEP is literally half MC average lmao



Sorry, make that less than half lmaooo



Right because PEP is not only a measure of partner greed… oh wait…


Maccy D

Did someone say PEP?


What a joker

Nice bruv your NQs make the same as CMS


NRF bigboss

Lmao what are you smoking: NRF is on £85k, CMS is on £73k LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL


Out of Touch Out of Time

That CMS NQ pay is outdated lol


CMS toiler

Yea cool ok bruv

Fresher Alert

Well done, lad. You’ve exposed yourself as someone who gets their information from Legal Cheek. Enjoy the law fair.


Jeff "Kirkland & Ellis" Bezos

Ah, it is always a funny sight when the proletariat fight amongst one another…


K&E wagecuck gimpsquad

Lmao too right. Bezos could buy-out Kirkland gimps 40 times over and still have enough wadd to retire as the richest person in the UK.

helpful henry

Impressive trolling


Sad 1 PQE

CMS announced a 5% bonus and NQs on £82k. Legal Cheek pls pls pls get them to make an official announcement to pressure them to actually announce other salary bands internally. We’re all burned out and keep getting told that payrises are coming, yet like Godot it never does…


Captain Obvious

Why don’t you just ask around?



Phat £82k stacks lmaooooo



A serious question: if PEP at Slaughters is really as high as some people say (£2m+) and well above MC average, why are salaries and bonuses so modest at the firm when compared to its peers?

Seems like Slaughters could get away paying almost US salaries/bonuses. Wouldn’t this help also boost the firm’s prestige/recognition?



Imagine you’re an equity partner at Slaughters. You have a say in what junior lawyers are paid at the firm. Would you really take a pay cut so that others in the firm could be paid more? The vast majority of people wouldn’t.

Plus, they have no commercial reason to do so. Every year, PEP goes up and everyone else’s salary remains largely the same (with very incremental increases to keep in line with other MC firms). Slaughters already has maximum prestige/recognition in the legal world and clowns who graduate keep believing that this prestige is worth a 50% lower salary than what they could be getting at a US firm.



Exactly and I don’t see how, by this logic, 5-10 years down the line the firm will inevitably lose market share (and reputation/recognition with it) by willingly paying low(er) salaries and losing talent to the competition.

If you look at M&A league tables from 10 years ago this is already apparent. If partners are making north of £2m, wouldn’t they want to take a marginal pay cut to avoid this happening? Or am I missing something?



Those partners will have retired/moved on by then. If you’re 50+, you’re (justifiably) thinking about short-term personal gain. Very few lawyers are so loyal to their firm that they care more about the firm’s wellbeing than their own. Slaughters hasn’t lost suffered too much yet despite US firms jacking up the salaries so they won’t feel the need to change until they’re forced to.



This doesn’t happen. Their senior partner has said as much. They have enough top talent left over. Also the star associates stick around for the prospect of partnership, which is a lot more lucrative and comes earlier than it does at other firms (especially US firms in London!).

Honestly, this kind of wishy washy Legal Cheek analysis makes it very clear who is a trainee or associate and who is a first year Exeter student who just finished their May exams.



Indeed, very easy to spot the law students… especially when they say absurd things like partnership coming earlier and being more lucrative at Slaughters compared to most US firms.

American Firms 4 Lyfe

Dudebro is pretty right here. People get the title “Partner” at American firms at around the same time as Slaughters (7+PQE), but at American firms these are salaried partners – they then have to fight tooth and nail to get into that sweet equity.

Slaughters you get straight into the equity when made up, and due to the pure lockstep you’re basically guaranteed (unless you pull an Oliver Storey) to pull in that ever increasing equity for 20 years straight without having to worry about having a bad year / fighting other partners for work. But agreed that senior equity partners at American behemoths probably exceed Slaughters.


Also Slaughters tends to recruit people who don’t really need the money anyway. What does an extra 50k/year matter when your dad pays your rent?


helpful henry

You’ve answered your own question. Lots of PEP because less money going on salaries, because that extra money goes on PEP etc etc etc



Will Legal Cheek produce a table that compares the increase in profit for each firm this past year with the size of Covid bonus?

I work in business management and I think you what you will see is that for some of the top firms 5% is much, much less than the increased profits that partners have pocketed off your toil during Covid


Mr Chad

Wot? No comments on the Uni trans rights free speech row article?



Why do Legal Cheek commenters talk about law firms as if they’re football teams? So weird.



Makes the reality of the situation a bit less dystopian and grim.


Ashamed of your firm?

Back to your £70k NQ salary you go.


Arch Buttrew

It is mainly a function of their crushing insecurity and neediness. It is what means it is easy to get them to work as hour gimps too. For others on this site it is a function of having a limited range of imagination when it comes to trying to be funny.


Big Brian Mega Chad-o-saurus

This comment exudes such radiant intelligence. Such transcendent commentary. Such cutting remarks. You truly are an academic heavyweight. A real virtuoso.


Freshfields NQ




your NQ salary is like £8k higher than Slaughters, relax





Works at MC

Slaughters staff received a bonus in December too. So a bonus in both December and June



Re Slaughters presumably for 95% of junior-mid level associates it is likely to be valuable to spend the next 6-8 years at a top-paying US firm rather than waiting it out for partnership.


2nd seat trainee

Anyone know how much junior/salaried partners at US firms (Kirkland, Weil, Skadden) make? 300-400k?



Yes newly made up 8-10pqe “salaried partners” in that ballpark all in.


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