City bigwigs find £700,000 salary too difficult to resist

Several partners from big City law firms have applied to an advertisement for a £700,000 a year job which caused a storm of publicity last week.

The salary, the highest ever advertised for a partner, was placed by New York firm Chadbourne & Parke in its search for three project finance partners for its London office.

Recruitment consultant Joe Macrae of Zarak Macrae Brenner who is fielding the applications said he had received a barrage of enquiries. He said a few high calibre solicitors from the large City firms were already being considered.

Allen & Overy partner Graham Vinter, an obvious candidate for the job, has warded off suggestions that he should apply and said he did not think other top City partners would be tempted by the offer.

He said: “The performance pressure would be enormous and the cultural differences of working for a US firm would be a drawback. US firms cannot produce the same standard as UK law firms because they do not have the back up.”

Nick Bliss, project finance partner at Freshfields thought the advertisement was designed to cause a splash and said he had enough pressure in his current job to think about taking on more responsibilities.

The previous highest advertised salary for a British lawyer was £450,000, for an unidentified American firm. Earlier this year Maurice Allen moved to Weil Gotshal & Manges for a rumoured £500,000 a year.