The Lawyer HR Survey: The human condition

For The Lawyer’s first-ever HR survey we asked the top 100 firms and a selection of smaller firms to respond to an in-depth questionnaire. A significant number balked at the request. The reasons varied, from the familiar “we never talk about figures” (despite there being only one question relating to salaries) to the frankly astounding refusal to give information on training policies.

We are grateful to the firms that did respond, most of which did so in great detail. The following is an edited version of the comments made by a selection of the firms that responded. For any assistant looking to move, there is a goldmine of material here to help you make an informed choice.

Addleshaw Goddard
Barlow Lyde Gilbert
Beachcroft Wansbroughs
Berwin Leighton Paisner
Bevan Ashford
Blake Lapthorn Linnell
Bond Pearce
Browne Jacobson
Burges Salmon
Charles Russell
CMS Cameron McKenna
Cripps Harries Hall
Dickinson Dees
Dundas & Wilson
Field Fisher Waterhouse
Fladgate Fielder
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Gateley Wareing
Herbert Smith
Lewis Silkin
Mills & Reeve
Morton Fraser
Nabarro Nathanson
Pannone & Partners
Richards Butler
SJ Berwin
Taylor Wessing
Tods Murray LLP
Trowers & Hamlins
Watson Farley & Williams
Wragge & Co

Clarification of terms

‘Salary range’ refers to newly-qualified to the highest available band set by a particular firm. For many firms the merit element of remuneration that is introduced for associates meant they felt unable to offer a top band and we respected that.

A feature of assistant monitoring that many firms are considering currently is the 360° review. Pioneered in the legal market by Herbert Smith HR head John Lucy, it involves one-to-one coaching and feedback on an individual from all levels within the firm, leading to a tailored personal development plan.

‘Home-grown’ partners, for the purposes of this survey, are those who either trained at the firm or joined on qualification.

‘Youngest partner’ is the age of the youngest fee-earner ever to make partner.