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pounds 800,000 And Up...The Men At The Top Of Corporate Law

Nigel Boardman at Slaughter and May is believed to be one of its senior partners, earning around pounds 900,000 a year. He is a corporate finance expert at this traditional law firm, which has a reputation for paying top salaries but is seen as unwilling to commit itself to an international merger strategy.

Richard Cranfield, a partner in corporate finance at Allen & Overy, receives about pounds 800,000 a year. His experience includes management buy-outs. privatisations and mergers and acquisitions. The firm is bolstering its US and European operations. Its high profit-per-partner ratio would be attractive to a US firm.

David Cheyne, a partner in the corporate department at Linklaters and Alliance, is believed to be on around pounds 800,000. His legal expertise includes mergers and acquisitions and flotations. Linklaters recently allied itself with a continental law firm, and is is keen to match rival Clifford Chance merger for merger.

Anthony Salz, senior partner of Freshfields, where he still does big-deal fee-earning work, is thought to earn more than pounds 650,000. Freshfields has taken on European firms as merger partners, but, although rumours linked the firm with Davis Polk & Wardwell, the company is yet to seal a deal with an American firm.

Michael Bray, head of the finance department at Clifford Chance, is thought to be on around pounds 550,000. In the merged firm he is to become the chief executive and will carry on fee-earning. His drawings, along with the other highest-ranking partners, are expected to rise to pounds 650,000 by the end of the year.