Revealed: the reasons why UK associates join US firms – and it’s not just for money

Nearly twice as many men as women join US firms to improve their chances of making partner, a survey by The Lawyer reveals today.

The survey, which was sent to thousands of UK associates at US firms between 15 and 29 March this year, asked respondents what their main motivators were for joining a US firm.

While 23 per cent of the total respondents said that they made the move for money, six per cent of male respondents said they joined a US firm as they believed it would improve their partnership chances. In contrast, just three per cent of female associates said making partner was their prime motivator.

For the female respondents increased access to clients and more responsibility ranked far more highly. A total of 13 per cent of women said that was why they made the move while for men the proportion was six per cent.

In a separate but related survey, which was sent to associates at UK firms, more respondents would consider working at embattled New York firm Dewey & LeBoeuf than Wall Street titan Skadden.

The aim of the survey was to find the answer to a simple question: which US law firm would you join if you were considering moving?

Nearly 20 per cent of respondents said Baker & McKenzie, putting the firm in the number one slot. Hogan Lovells, DLA Piper and Latham & Watkins were second, third and fourth most popular respectively.

Bakers HR director Martin Blackburn said a likely reason for his firm ranking so highly is the firm’s inclusive and cohesive culture.

“Our culture recognises not only the importance of having a diverse group of people in our business, but also the commercial need to ensure an environment where our people feel able to thrive,” he said.

For more, see feature.