Slaughter and May

The Legal Cheek View

Slaughter and May prides itself on standing slightly apart from everyone else – note the “and” rather than “&” in its name and the policy of not disclosing financial results. Certainly there can’t be many City law firms that still have a dining room where every partner has their own pigeonhole and napkin. But it's also a modern and relatively enlightened place, with a fairly diverse trainee intake (a scan of Slaughters’ trainee profiles on LinkedIn shows that the firm hires from a wider range of universities than many) and a strong commitment to meritocracy.

Of course, all the pigeonhole and napkin stuff works an absolute treat in helping to foster a mystique that casts Slaughter and May as the Real Madrid of the legal world. Profit per equity partner is rumoured to be the highest in Europe at over £2 million, but no one knows for sure. And the firm’s lawyers are said to offer a level of legal insight that is perhaps beaten only by leading commercial barristers. Such chatter naturally attracts the slightly nerdy academic types upon whom Slaughters has built its name. The firm that supposedly shuns marketing – until a couple of years ago its partners ran its press office – is an absolute master of the art.

Continue reading

Key Info

Training contracts 80
Latest trainee retention rate 91%
Offices 4
Countries 4
Minimum A-level requirement No minimum
Minimum degree requirement 2:1

Insider Scorecard

Quality of work
Peer support
Partner approach-ability
Work/life balance
Social life

Insider Scorecard Grades range from A* to D and are derived from the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey 2017-18 of over 2,000 trainees and junior associates at the leading law firms in the UK.


Average arrival time 9:20am
Average leave time 7:30pm
Annual target hours No targets
Annual leave 30 days


First year trainee salary £43,000
Second year trainee salary £48,000
Newly qualified salary £78,000
Profit per equity partner Undisclosed
GDL grant £7,450
LPC grant £7,450


UK female associates 46%
UK female partners 24%
UK BME associates 19%
UK BME partners 6%