Lawyer Pay

'Golden Handcuffs' Chain Attys to Desks

If they could afford to, they’d leave the legal profession. That’s what one in five law firm partners and nearly one in three associates surveyed by a British legal publication recently said.

Flush with profits from a booming market in mergers and acquisitions, some of London’s biggest and most highly regarded law firms raised lawyer pay by 15 to 20 percent within the past year or so. But rather than being grateful for the largesse, many British lawyers say so-called golden handcuffs keep them at their desks, according to a Financial Times article. It cites a survey of more than 2,500 practitioners performed for the Lawyer as one source of information about practitioner dissatisfaction.

“Salaries have never been higher, profits have never been higher,” Catrin Griffiths, the Lawyer’s editor, tells the Financial Times. “But there is a fundamental malaise affecting the legal profession. Some might call it affluenza.”

In its own article today about the survey, the Lawyer says the findings points to a “recruitment and retention crisis facing City law firms struggling to cope with the pressures of the M&A boom.”

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