Categories:Europe,London

UK firms remain wary despite elevated recruitment figures

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  • This has been a terrible year for law firms, and many former associates and partners may never find another job in a large firm. But come on - auditing requirements? legal protection for prospetive employees? the SRA overseeing hiring and firing practices?

    Some people need to get real.

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  • Andre - I completely agree with you....

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  • "Magic Cirlce Partner" your arrogance is staggering. An oxbridge 1st commits to working for an MC firm where he/she may have many other options, he/she deserves an open and honest account of hiring and firing policies to assess long term prospects. If the candidate is put into a capital market practice which is cyclical he should have some confidence that his skills can be transferred into say litigation not dumped at the first sign of a downturn.
    The fact is that MC candidates once having practiced for a few years in a cyclical practice are not actually employable outside the MC, so you see the 1st from Oxbridge has been misled.
    Definately more tranpsarency and better career managment practices are needed unless you are prepared to pay such huge salaries so that people can retire early.

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  • As a redundant lawyer mysteriously omitted from the redundancy numbers at my former firm, I would have to say that I would like to see some more journalistic investigation of the above by The Lawyer. While I agree that auditing, etc is overkill, people should be able to make a valid choice how firms treat their staff and the above figures are inaccurate. Surely it should be for the legal press to at least investigate the true position.

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  • To Magic Circle Partner
    1. Auditing Requirements... If the law firms can't be trusted to disclose accurate statistics why shoudl Joe Public be expected to swallow the lies.... haven't we had enough of that already? Or maybe there is something to hide... which only strengthens the argument for auditing.
    2. SRA regulating hiring and firing - I don't think that was mentioned explicitly. At present, like it or not, training contracts are already regulated. I dare say that may have had something to do with the fact that few if any trainees were fired (not to mention the bad publicity and the fact that they are cheap labour)
    3. Legal Protection for prospective employees
    As law firms don't register the contracts for trainees until they start this has meant that law firms have been able to defer but given law firm's treatment of its employees it might be no harm to have some kind of regulation in place to preclude another bloodbath.
    Maybe magic circle partner, it might be worth having a look in the mirror and sparing a taught for the ones you so hastily got rid of.

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  • I am the lawyer trained with MC with 1st class from oxbridge. i actually stayed with my firm just short of 2 years until i was managed out by negative performance appraisals which were totally ridiculous since before the appraisals all i got was rave reviews. I also heard many lawyers in all MCs had their pay frozen even though they were still being charged out at same rate. at the time i was managed out no less than 6 juniors left mysteriously not even giving their notice. this is way before the redundancy. since then i have found that my pqe doesnt matter as i dont have more than 2 years pqe, am being treated as an NQ ! also my experience is so specialised that i am told i dont have transferable skills. may be i should have done what the more savvy lawyer in my department did- slept with a senior partner. that sure worked for her.

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  • To MC with 1st class from oxbridge
    I think recruitment consultants will tell you anything so as not to get your hopes up - 2 years PQE is 2 years PQE fact. Yes it's a problem that you have specialised early but I can't believe that makes you unemployable nor that the 2 years PQE should count for nothing.
    Amazing how firms manage people out with these ridiculuous negative appraisals - there should be rules in place to regulate genuine objectivity where a negative appraisal is made. Who is overseeing the appraisal process to ensure that such systemic flaws are not allowed to happen? It seems like an everyday abuse by law firms of their "trusted" employees - no wonder law firms don't want their dirty laundry audited or regulated! And then they have you by the unmentionables as you need a reference. It's galling!
    I draw the line at sleeping with a partner - you owe yourself more respect than that! Stick to your guns, keep trying and at least you know in your heart of hearts that what you achieved what you acheived through tenacity and hard work.

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  • Sod's Law...don't ever change! You truly are a breath of fresh air.

    The pathetic spectacle of academic genius hurling itself at City Firms is car crash tv at its very worst; like watching religious fanatics throwing themselves off mountains to show their devotion in the vain hope of advancement.

    There is genuine talent in the City (and we as a nation ought to be proud of that internationally recognised talent) but, for the most part, your future at a City Firm depends on:

    - whether you were born with a chin; and/or
    - whether you can morph into a person with no chin because your sperm and egg donors sent you to school with chinless wonders; and/or
    - whether you are related (by blood, backstairs association or failed pregnancy test) to an equity partner; and/or
    - whether you win the coin toss over whether to buy another ivory back scratcher or to make you redundant because room needs to be being made for one of the above

    Start your own firm and start the trend that will sweep this garbage away once and for all (and as for the body of City lawyers targeted... well, like a cartoon villain, you can always delude yourselves that one man/woman cannot make a difference)

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  • The idea more regulation and red tape is a solution to anything is a joke. If you don't like the way your firm is run, then go somewhere else or start your own firm.

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  • To "magic circle partner" for once I agree with you. I'm not advocating red tape or more regulation but more transparency - there is a difference. Also I couldn't agree more lawyers need to be more entrepeneurial and not be afraid of striking out on their own. I know a few who have and make bucket loads more than these so called precious top of equity magic circle partners. Go for it you might surprise yourself.

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  • KRUSTY THE KLOWN you really are a malevolent, bitter old thing. And jealous. You should save your failed high street vitriol for your similarly minded colleagues: I have read many of your posts and they are most tiresome.

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  • To Magic Circle Partner
    Please support your arguments rather than being dismissive of someone who doesn't share your view.
    LIke it or not - in the wake of the crisis there is going to be more regulation in every sphere and quite right too - the legal profession should be no different.
    Law firms should issue accurate figures about comings and goings - seemingly they haven't.done so.
    Law firms should have treated their juniors with a little more dignity and respect - they haven't done so.
    Both are abuses in their own right.....
    If you dont like the firm go to another one - have a look around - go where? - no jobs
    Start your own firm?... I think you know that you need 3 years PQ to start a firm and it's unlikely we get the big cleints of a CIty firm.
    Extraordinary comments from one of such privilege!

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