Hundred lawyers break the £1m barrier

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The Independent Online

An elite group of 100 City lawyers are now earning more than £1m a year each. Figures published tomorrow will show that Britain's leading solicitors are being paid the kind of sums more commonly associated with bankers and stockbrokers.

An elite group of 100 City lawyers are now earning more than £1m a year each. Figures published tomorrow will show that Britain's leading solicitors are being paid the kind of sums more commonly associated with bankers and stockbrokers.

Leading the field are lawyers at Slaughter and May, whose top fee earners each drew £1.2m last year. Close behind is Allen & Overy, whose best lawyers earned £1.1m. In third place was Linklaters, with its top lawyers drawing £960,000.

The study, published in Commercial Lawyer, owned by legal publisher Chambers & Partners, identified an élite group of 100 solicitors who have now broken through the £1m-a-year barrier.

This is partly due to a clutch of US law firms in the City willing to pay top dollar for English expertise. But Commercial Lawyer also found that Britain's own law firms had a record year with 35 of the top 100 showing profit margins of 30 per cent.

Reena Sengupta, the editor of Commercial Lawyer, said: "The number of healthy commercial law firms in the UK is surprisingly high."

A survey of 500 lawyers also published by the magazine reveals the lifestyles of these highest-earning solicitors. The findings showed that 41 per cent of lawyers own at least two houses with 7 per cent owning three.

Nine out of 10 solicitors and barristers surveyed said they paid up to £30,000 a year for their children's education. But when it came to how they spent their leisure, the majority put golf and travel above children and family, which only just pipped "equestrian pursuits" in order of the most popular hobbies.