By DebbieH 13 Feb 2013 5 min read

Kirkland Ellis best for pay in Roll On Friday’s Firm of the Year Survey

US law firms dominate the top of the table for pay in Roll On Friday’s Firm of the Year 2013. At the top of the list for pay, scoring 100% is US big-hitter Kirkland & Ellis, which last year bumped its NQ pay up to £97k. Not surprisingly respondents cited the pay as the best thing about working at the firm, with lawyers saying this makes up for the long hours culture there. Shearman & Sterling which is the second best for salary, generated positive comments such as “friendly and inclusive environment” and a “great support network”.

Roll On Friday’s Firm of the Year survey rates employee satisfaction, including categories for staff pay, work-life balance, management openness and career prospects.

Firms such as Ince & Co (90%) and Burges Salmon (76%), fourth and eleventh respectively, also scored highly for satisfaction with pay. And while their salaries are nowhere near those offered by the US firms, both firms did considerably better for work life balance.

Ince & Co received an 87% overall score, rating top in the UK. James Wilson, senior partner, was quoted on Roll On Friday saying: “It’s terrific news that Ince & Co has been named UK Firm of the Year for the second year running. It’s a tribute to everyone right across the firm – they all contribute to the strong sense of teamwork and the positive atmosphere in the office which is particularly important in these uncertain economic times.”

The Magic Circle fared well in this year’s Firm of the Year survey, with three of the five bettering their 2012 overall satisfaction scores and beating the average overall score for all firms which is 65%. Of the Magic Circle firms Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer took the top spot with an overall score of 71% (up from last year’s 65%), placing it 13th overall. Freshfields received particular praise for pay (87%) and career prospects (75%).

But despite rising scores overall, the Magic Circle firms are still very much under-performing in comparison to their US rivals.

Top Ten Firms for Pay

  1. Kirkland Ellis
  2. Shearman & Sterling
  3. Jones Day
  4. Ince & Co
  5. Freshfields
  6. Mayer Brown
  7. Latham & Watkins
  8. White & Case
  9. Baker & McKenzie
  10. Bird & Bird

Top 10 UK Law Firms Firm and overall score.

Ince & Co 87.0%
Kirkland Ellis 83.0%
Shearman & Sterling 83.0%
Bird & Bird 80.0%
Jones Day 78.0%
Mayer Brown 78.0%
Burges Salmon 75.0%
Reynolds Porter Chamberlain 73.0%
Baker & McKenzie 73.0%
Latham & Watkins 73.0%

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