All you need to know about Slaughter and May: training contracts, latest news, deals, cases, salaries, retention rates and more.

Slaughter and May in brief

UK 200 rank: 11

Revenue: £466m

Usually defined as one of the UK’s magic circle firms, but in fact Slaughter and May looks very different to the other four in that group, Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters. It is smaller, and has not pursued a strategy of opening offices all around the world. In many ways it is more similar to the ‘silver circle’ firms of Macfarlanes and Travers Smith.

Slaughter and May (never write it Slaughter & May – they are sniffy about using an ampersand) has a reputation for an old-school attitude. That doesn’t stop it from working at the cutting edge of the legal profession on some of the most important and high-profile matters. It has the highest profits of any UK firm but remains relatively secretive about its internal workings – giving it an aura of mystery and exclusivity from the outside. However, it seems to have realised that this is off-putting for many students and has made efforts in recent years to be a bit more ‘approachable’.

Talking points

February 2017: A huge move for Slaughter and May as it made its first ever lateral hire in London, taking on Herbert Smith Freehills head of pensions Daniel Schaffer. It was only the second-ever lateral hire in Slaughters’ history, after hiring Morrison & Foerster’s (MoFo) co-head of China capital markets John Moore in 2014.

December 2016: The firm introduces sabbaticals and flexible working options for its associates as part of a major review of the firm’s employee benefits. The changes mean associates will be able to take a four week paid sabbatical when they reach three years’ post-qualified experience (PQE).

Inside the practice: Slaughter and May’s Africa Group

Client list

  • Asda
  • Aviva
  • British Airways
  • British American Tobacco
  • Drax Group
  • General Electric
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • John Lewis
  • Kettle Foods
  • Ladbrokes-Coral Group
  • Ocado
  • Premier Foods
  • Prudential
  • Royal Mail
  • Santander
  • UK Goverment
  • Unilever
  • Vodafone

Recent deals involving Slaughter and May 

July 2017: Advised fashion brand Michael Kors as it bought Jimmy Choo for £896m.

February 2017: Advised Tata Steel on the sale of its South Yorkshire steelworks business for £100m to Liberty House in a deal that could save 1,700 jobs.

Recent cases involving Slaughter and May

August 2017: Advising British American Tobacco as it faces an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office over “suspicions of corruption”.

The Slaughter and May training contract

Number of trainees: 125

Seats: Corporate/commercial; competition; dispute resolution; financing; financial regulation; IP/IT; pensions & employment; real estate; tax

Overseas secondments: Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York, Oslo, Paris, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Stockholm, Tokyo, Toronto

First year salary: £43,000

Second year salary: 

NQ salary: £71,500

Retention rates

Similar firms…

  • Allen & Overy
  • Clifford Chance
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Linklaters
  • Macfarlanes

Pronunciation guide