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Freshfields times it perfectly with pay freeze announcement

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Readers' comments (17)

  • chance of redundancy

    "Most lawyers would ­prefer to be paid the same and keep their jobs rather than take a one in 10 chance of redundancy."

    Seriously? I think that's assuming a lot.





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  • one in ten

    I agree.

    99.9% of lawyers are arrogant enough to be pretty sure that they would be among the nine in 10, rather than the one.

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  • Adolescence at the keyboard

    I'm offering here not so much a comment about this particular article, but a comment on how egregiously simple-minded most of The Lawyer's coverage about law firms' responses to this quite notable recession has been.

    The general editorial tone of The Lawyer's commentary has been consistently adolescent, along the lines of "OMG, they're freezing associate salaries, laying off lawyers, and generally reducing costs. How COULD they?"

    Your editorial perspective is truly beneath what I hope for from business / legal journalists. If occasional serious analysis isn't too much to ask for, I'd suggest for starters that you go back to the 1990-91 recession and take a look at what happened then -- and what happened during the next five years -- and then decide how inappropriate (or not) most law firms' responses thus far have been.

    I also respectfully suggest that you ask a grown-up to look at your work before you push the publish button.

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  • About Time

    For many years the big circle associates have had it easy. Big clients easy billable hours, and a shortage of associates meant the gravy train ran far longer than it should. The tide has turned stop moaning and start earning your crust like the rest of us or you will be down the road.

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  • Adolescence at the keyboard

    Adolescence get a life lad, the articles in the Lawyer are spot on, and reflect the times. I know you may well be wary of losing your job. As Norman Tebbit said get on your bike, and eventually you will find something albeit not in publishing I suspect.

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  • Adolescence at the keyboard - SECONDED

    A rousing cheer to the previous poster. "when one of Europe's four biggest firms puts an end to a culture of pay rises that has characterised its peer group for most of the last decade, it's something of a sign of the times". Would you say the same about one of Europe's biggest banks that managed to avoid laying people off by reducing or eliminating bonuses this year despite the bonus culture of the past? Or one of the world's biggest automakers?

    Magazines like "The Lawyer" exist due to the realisation that law firms are a business like others. Maybe it's time we actually cottoned on to this.

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  • the lawyer

    I can't see what your point is. the magic circle HAS paid bonuses for most of the last decade, this move IS an end to that.. what has it got to do with banks or anyone else? doesn't sound like an opinion, just facts

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  • the lawyer

    the lawyer often has a kind of sixth form socialist attitude in its columns about cash (when it isn't knocking good firms for low PEP), but i think this was fair enough. besides, freshfields hav even written their own response!

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  • RESPONSE TO GREG

    Without meaning to turn this into a chatboard, the point of the original "adolescence" poster was that the Freshfields partner was saying "we have managed to avoid large-scale redundancies by freezing salaries; is that such a big deal?" while The Lawyer's response was "Yes, it IS a big deal, look at all the associates complaining that it is "really" a pay cut", with a clear implication that the associates were justified in their complaint

    If any other major business currently affected by the crisis had managed to do the same it would be lauded for its efforts by any major business publication and employees who said "they are screwing us by freezing our salaries" would hardly be portrayed as justified.

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  • Really?

    I think you're reading something into it that isn't there - the reason they gave in the news email was that the freeze was a 'sign of the times' because it was the end of pay rises every year that we've come to expect. Which is fair, isn't it? Why assume a reason that they haven't given and ignore the one they have?

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