Bingham shocks market with NQ salary of £100K

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  • £100,000 is just ridiculous. My nephew qualified as a doctor last Autumn and is earning £35,000...at least he's saving people's lives. What are Bingham associates doing for the good of the public?

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  • Salary is a consideration for every candidate to varying degrees, as is the quality of training, prospects of retention and all the other usual considerations.

    To suggest that someone doesn't care about salary if they're well trained is ridiculous.

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  • Does it matter? It's Bingham's money and if they want to spend it on higher salaries then let them. Pay must be related to profitability somewhere along the line and the fact US firms pay so much more indicates that they are better at squaring their figures than UK firms. UK firms are getting left behind and when/if the market picks up they will need to think hard about trying to bridge the gap or risk losing talent to credible US firms who are now establishing their brands in London and other key financial centres outside of the states. I do agree with the post about doctors earning less and it being unfair, however the salaries of medical professionals have never been a determining factor of private practice pay and I suspect that that will continue to remain the case!

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  • A doctor's wage has nothing to do with what an associate is paid. People choose what career they want to embark on, and if one's choice pays less well then they can live with that having researched their options before hand. Anyway, thousands of people want to be doctors and can't because they don't have the ability; there's more to the role than cash and so the comment above is just a pointless and irrelevant attack. If £100k is too much then somewhere down the line it will show.

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  • ching ching wid me

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  • Who cares how much they want to pay?
    And yohoho to the partner that wants to 'puke'.
    Presumably he's just on day release from the monastery and doesn't except anything but donations to the churchmouse cheese fund for his 4000hrs a year...

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  • "expect", obviously.

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  • @ LawyerNot2b: "good of the public"? Srsly, what planet? Public's not paying Binghams, so why populist outrage? Not dissin' your nephew, but my couz is a doc and he gets plenty more wedge than that. If youre offended at big money for socially-useless old rope, take a look at bonuses paid by financial institutions operating in system that our tax-moolah props up.

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  • Calm down, calm down

    Binghams have two trainees pa. Overpaying them represents good marketing as being the top paying firm.

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  • “Salary isn’t really an influential factor for the really good candidates, who are after the best-quality training.”
    Sure mate, keep telling yourself that.
    “It’s ridiculous,” said the partner. “Whenever a candidate mentions pay during an interview it makes me want to puke.
    Me too.

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  • I guess if they have two NQs doing the work of 6 at a normal firm then fair dos.

    I don't believe any 24 yr old is worth 100k, however.

    Maybe R Patz. No one else.

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  • “It’s ridiculous,” said the partner. “Whenever a candidate mentions pay during an interview it makes me want to puke.
    “Salary isn’t really an influential factor for the really good candidates, who are after the best-quality training.”
    Is he a wind-up?

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  • In that case the ideal strategy would have been to:
    1. Announce NEW trainee salaries of X where X is any unreasonable number (120K? 150K?...)
    2. Later make a small and much less publicized announcement that no NEW trainees are to be taken in - crisis, y'know!
    Bingo. Free publicity.

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  • QUOTE: “It’s ridiculous,” said the partner. “Whenever a candidate mentions pay during an interview it makes me want to puke.

    “Salary isn’t really an influential factor for the really good candidates, who are after the best-quality training.”

    What planet is this guy on? Who associates the name of a firm with the "quality of their training"? In any case, how do you determine who a good trainer is/isn't?

    Regional firms tend to give the best training so if that person is right, no-one would go to the city at all!

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  • “It’s ridiculous,” said the partner. “Whenever a candidate mentions pay during an interview it makes me want to puke.

    “Salary isn’t really an influential factor for the really good candidates, who are after the best-quality training.”


    Is this a joke? If they're so confident of the "quality" of their training, perhaps they should pay 50% of what the other firms do and see who bites!

    Presumably this is the party-line for that firm to grossly under pay its fee earners - "we give you quality training, you don't need the cash"!

    Surely that's a reason to take the training then bugger off to a better paid job, genius!

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  • Only £100k after years of training and presumably being top of the crop?

    In London that's a pathetic salary these days. Chums of mine younger than 24 are earning two and three times that much.

    Who'd be a lawyer - crap money, hated by everyone, and they presumably have to work hard as well!

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  • @underpaid: you're not seeing it from the client's point of view. Bingham are paying 100k out of billings. How many clients are going to be happy with that?

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  • Good stuff - share the wealth - better to reward the young talent coming through than rewarding the lock step dinosaurs and right place right time merchants who bring little to the party

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  • I don't mind admitting that I'm envious of the wage of my contemporaries at Bingham's, who probably achieved similar academic results to me. Are they worth it? Probably not; it takes more than 6 months of photocopying documents in any given department to prove that you're worth that sort of wage.

    Regardless of my envy at the figure, I would still be reluctant to sign away my life and work in London even for double the wage. A top regional firm in a great city such as Bristol, Cambridge etc offering a great work-life balance is a fantastic lure in itself. Personally, I'd rather earn a lesser primary wage, earn supplementary money through more enjoyable avenues during my spare time and live an extra 10 years.

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  • They're representing your nephew when he is negligent and saving him from losing his license to practice medicine. They're also advocates for people whose lives AREN'T saved as a result of medical negligence.

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  • "Salary isn’t really an influential factor for the really good candidates, who are after the best-quality training"

    Heh. You heard it here, "really good candidates" - don't go to Binghams, accept half what they pay to work for this guy. You know it makes sense.

    It is is true that £100,000 is a ridiculous salary for an NQ, but then so are City law firm chargeout rates for work that is largely mindless churning. And I don't hear of any partner "wanting to puke" at his firm's absurd overcharging.

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  • As Wilde might have put it, the only people who worry about exhorbitant salaries and the ones not getting them.

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  • Re: Anonymous | 15-Feb-2010 5:52 pm

    Are your chums footballers by any chance?

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  • The headline grabbing salary has done exactly what it set out to do. The thing to note is that only 4 trainees are taken on at £100k so it may not have a huge effect on the business model compared with larger user firms such as Baker & McKenzie and White and Case who take on 77 trainees and pay NQ at £59k and 59 trainees at £72k for NQ respectively.
    Prospective trainees should think about their long term career and likelihood of becoming an NQ. There seem to be quite a few redundant US NQ's on the forums these days. Think the MC would be a better place to start out with the option of switching over at a later stage once worth the £££.

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  • "Prospective trainees should think about their long term career and likelihood of becoming an NQ. There seem to be quite a few redundant US NQ's on the forums these days."

    - Statistics from the US-proper firms would suggest otherwise. Cleary, Skadden and Weil and Latham managed to retain 100%, 100% and 88% and 80% of its solicitors respectively in 2009. Compare this with Freshfields, Herbert Smith, A&O, Clifford Chance which managed 71%, 74%, 70% and 70% respectively.

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  • Good luck to these trainees I say, if that's what they want and enjoy. I also agree that £100k is not a vast sum these days anyway for a London job. A lot of my banking mates earn (many) multiples of that. Good luck to them too.

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  • "Anonymous | 16-Feb-2010 1:49 pm
    Re: Anonymous | 15-Feb-2010 5:52 pm
    Are your chums footballers by any chance?"
    Just a guess here - someone who uses the word "chums" does not have any "chums" who are footballers.
    Presumably he means bankers - and we all know that 24 year old bankers are really worth the money.
    100K is a pathetic salary in London these days? What planet are you on?

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  • If you pay 4 trainees £100k pa, I suppose there's more chance that they'll get billable work at the outset instead of James Roome's photocopying.....

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  • Freakonomics asseesment: you have to pay £100,000 pounds to attract trainees because the training is of low quality and other negatives.

    And to the puking partner, does your managing partner puke when you talk to him about money? How childish.

    And now we bring you the band you have heard of all these years: Bingham and the Puking Partners.

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  • “It’s ridiculous,” said the partner. “Whenever a candidate mentions pay during an interview it makes me want to puke.
    “Salary isn’t really an influential factor for the really good candidates, who are after the best-quality training.”
    Please tell me this guy isn't representative of most graduate recruitment partners. How delusional can you be?!

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  • "In London that's a pathetic salary these days. Chums of mine younger than 24 are earning two and three times that much."

    No they're not. Which profession is routinely paying 23-year-olds £300,000? There aren't any. This is always as ridiculous as that partner who thinks his best applicants aren't in it for the money. Ha ha ha.

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  • Isn't partners' every waking minute devoted to thinking about how they can increase PEP? What are we supposed to conclude from this - that it is perfectly OK (and indeed desirable) for partners to try and maximise their take, but if any assistant wants to do the same, that's grounds for puking?

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  • I understand the cynicism of eg GBone but it is misplaced . I took a trainee position as a step on the career ladder and not because of the money which never came into it , That will come if you are good and anyway all salaries , certainly in the City , are high compared to many other jobs. Training and prospects and enjoying the work you are going to be doing for a long time ( you hope ) will always be more important than money . When starting off you simply need enough to get by and job fulfillment.

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  • Why doesn't anyone report on the massive cost of living allowances that some US firms pay out to their US associates. Firms like Cravath, Simpson Thacher and Sullivan and Cromwell pay £40,000 a year COLA. This is on top of the $160,000 (converted) that they pay as salary. A NQ US associate can get paid as much as £140,000.

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  • LawyerNot2b: surely a NQ doctor is NOT "saving people's lives"... perhaps some stitches on a child's elbow?
    No firm gives away any monies for free. If Bingham pays this to its NQ it must think it pairs to the value they add (or rather, the valuke it can extract from them) for its clients.

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  • As a 15 PQE solicitor in the provinces with 4 years of Magic Circle mid-level experience and earning less than a Bingham NQ all I can say is "gizzajob".

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  • Bingham know something the profession is yet to grasp, it puts a high worth on people and there is a paradoxical principle;
    The more you give the more you get;
    Watch this space;
    Bingham to borrow a phrase"gizzajob.

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  • Just reading the above makes me so glad I no longer work in a large London firm. The main reason I left was their sick obsession with money and their perceived status.
    I have never come across such a greedy, self-serving bunch of excuses for humanity, and many of the above posters seem to be of the same species.
    And to the moron who twitters about his 24 year old chums earning multiples of £100k I would apply the soubriquet "A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing".
    Pathetic. No wonder the general public detests lawyers.

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  • your doctor nephew did five years of multiple choice exams to earn 35k. Try doing a three year law degree with intense 3 hour long exams.Then a year of law school with around 15 exams. Then a two year training contract during which you work long hours and do demeaning work. You simply cannot compare a mere doctor to a lawyer.

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  • How can people say this is unsustainable? At £250 per hour the NQ only needs to work 400 hours a year I justify there sart, and not only will they be working more than that, the charge out rate will no doubt be more - bizarre comments on here

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