City firms should slash NQ salaries to £50,000, say recruiters

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  • @ Anonymous | 20-Mar-2013 1:49 pm
    I agree with you. I think that is exactly what the article is trying to say, but has been poorly written by the reporter which has led to the confusion experienced by the above posters.

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  • Edwards Gibson can officially jog on. It has never been tougher to become a trainee solicitor and you're suggesting to the profession that they reward those few who are successful with pay cuts? What a wonderful idea. If I didn't already have a training contract I would definitely be looking at other careers at this stage. When all you see every week is depressing news about how miserably difficult and uncertain life is for newly aspiring lawyers you can't help but be put off.

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  • I honestly cannot see how a reduction in salaries will stop an exodus to the provinces / in-house.
    First, the motivation for PP is different to the motivation for in-house. Second, simple market economics would dictate that, to attract / retain the best, you would offer more - or better conditions - than less. Third, from experience, there is a valid reason why people choose regional practise ... and it's not the cash!
    More to the point, if the logic as reported in this article is true of Edwards Gibson, I would not like to be represented by them.

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  • The article is a bit unclear but i think the crux of it is that clients are unwilling to pay lots of £ for what essentially is a very junior recently qualified lawyer. It's true that in the city the fees can double in a matter of days once a "trainee has qualified" - when in reality, they're not getting twice the value.
    Although i don't think this is a pragmatic solution to the problem because able prospective candidates will just go into banking if the salaries get any lower. When you work out how many hours junior associates are working - they're probably getting little more than minimum wage...

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  • Yeah, reduce NQ salaries by 20% or so so it takes young lawyers even longer to pay off the ever increasing level of debt they've incurred by the time they've qualified to put themselves through university and law school.
    Edwards Gibson, I'm never coming to you when I want a job. You'll no doubt tell a potential employer to offer me less than they might otherwise have done!

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  • I'm very confused, how does cutting salaries for NQs in the City halt a jobs exodus to the regions. Surely, it increases it?
    From a client's perspective (and frankly when I was in PP), the thing that shocks me is not the salaries for NQs it's their charge out rates. Those charge out rates are set by the partners. If they want to see work flow in from the regions, they should cut the charge out rates....

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  • "City" law is in for a very rude awakening over the next few years, as are professional services companies generally, caught in a pincer of accelerating technological change, globalisation, offshoring, outsourcing and consolidation.
    IT is going to enable ever more processisation and automation, and make physical location ever less important (video conferencing is on the verge of becoming both far more common and far more effective, artificial intelligence will soon reach the point of being able to actually read text and draft documents).
    Globalisation is going to flatten the industry, forcing wages in the UK and places like India much closer together.
    Outsourcing, offshoring and use of support offices in low cost centres will all continue to grow as firms which fail to utilise them will be placed in a worsening competitive position. Maximising the use of these opportunities will also drive consolidation, which will in turn drive further outsourcing, offshoring and use of support offices.
    The ultimate effect of these trends will be far fewer lawyers working in London, and for lower salaries. Things wont look radically different in two years times but they will in 10, and in 20 they will be unrecognisable.

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  • Is this a joke? It is truely the first time I have ever heard someone suggest cutting the pay will keep people in the city... Surely lower pay will make being a in-house laweyer more attractive?

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  • If clients object to paying NQ salaries you wonder how they feel about the fees charged by recruiters for placing job ads and forwarding emails.

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  • @Paul in Sheffield: you've missed the point. It's not the NQs who will move to the regions, it's the NQ JOBS. No firm is short of NQ applicants.
    @JohnintheCity Many clients don't like paying a lot for NQ work because they don't rate NQ experience and expertises (understandably). The same doesn't apply for more senior lawyers. This isn't about fairness, it's about responding to what clients say. (Or more accurately, what Edwards Gibson say they say).

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