City law boom is creating the UK's first pounds 1m a year solicitors

LEADING LAWYERS in the City of London are earning salaries approaching one million pounds, according to new figures published today.

The profits table, compiled by Legal Week magazine, confirms that a career with a City law firm now guarantees the kind of wealth once associated with banking and broking. A solicitor in his or her early thirties taken on as a partner at one of the top 12 City law firms will start on about pounds 300,000. By the time they retire at 55 they can expect to take home twice or even three times that amount.

The richest lawyers in the City are the 103 partners at Slaughter and May who on average earn pounds 705,000. But Legal Week said its research showed the profits-per-partner of Slaughter and May's most senior solicitors were more likely to be pounds 900,000 a year. Slaughter and May is the most traditional of City law firms and strictly rewards its lawyers for the number of years served in the partnership.

The next-highest earners are at Allen & Overy (pounds 700,000), Freshfields (pounds 700,000), Clifford Chance (pounds 685,000) and Linklaters (pounds 625,000). Although the average drawings per partner will be less than these figures, Legal Week said the longer-serving partners in all these firms were being more richly rewarded.

The figures show lawyers are enjoying a boom time, which eclipses even the record profits of the late 1980s. Profits at the UK's giant City law firms rose 17 per cent on average compared with last year.

Legal Week said most City law firms recorded profit growth of between 10 per cent and 20 per cent. A high level of this growth is linked to increased activity in the mergers and acquisitions market.

Legal Week said: "Corporate departments have acted on a welter of deals in recent months. These included taking listed companies private, mergers or takeovers of smaller listed companies and strong buyout activity."

Law firms which have embarked on an aggressive expansion strategy are already beginning to reap the rewards. Clifford Chance, set to become the world's first billion dollar legal business when it merges with American attorneys Rogers & Wells and German lawyers Punders next year, had a 19.5 per cent leap in profits from last year.

Jeremy Sandelson, a star litigation partner at Clifford Chance, is believed to be on about pounds 650,000 a year, and is likely to earn even more when the firm merges.

Big Legal Earners In The Square Mile

GILES HENDERSON, senior partner of Slaughter and May, believed to be earning pounds 900,000

NIGEL BOARDMAN, head of corporate law at Slaughter and May, believed to earn pounds 900,000

RICHARD SLATER, a leading partner at Slaughter and May, believed to earn pounds 900,000

RICHARD CRANFIELD, partner in corporate finance at Allen & Overy, thought to be on pounds 700,000 a year

ANTHONY SALZ, senior partner at Freshfields, is thought to earn in excess of pounds 700,000

JEREMY SANDELSON, a star litigation partner at Clifford Chance, is thought to be on about pounds 650,000

DAVID CHILDS, head of corporate finance at Clifford Chance, is also thought be on pounds 650,000

DAVID CHEYNE, a partner at Linklaters and Alliance, is thought to be on pounds 625,000

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high