Built on sand

It is supposedly easier to compete for new graduates on the basis of salary. More than 80 commercial law firms are currently wooing career entrants with fixed salaries of €100,000 or more. When Hengeler Mueller heralded a new round in summer 2016, more than 50 firms raised their starting salaries. The standard for the Magic Circle firms and their closest competitors is no longer €100,000, but around the €120,000 mark. Leading the way is Sullivan & Cromwell with more than €140,000 plus bonus.

But there are two things that firms are not heeding here: firstly, clients want to pay less and less for new graduates. In Germany, there are some companies that are striking first-year lawyers from the bill. In the US, this is even quite common practice. In London, on the other hand, Deutsche Bank caused an outcry with a similar suggestion a few months ago. But as head general counsel everywhere prefer to invest in their own teams rather than law firms, the outcry is likely to become a quiet murmur in the years to come.

Secondly, firms are also failing to notice that the long-term satisfaction of their associates has little to do with the amount of their salary – as the azur surveys have shown for years – but rather with shorter working hours. And it is in this area that in-house departments regularly score higher than law firms. Although this may be the only asset in their arsenal, it is a weighty one. When it comes to money, companies lost the race a long time ago, as they almost never pay a six-figure sum.

Read about the effects of the fight over salaries

Seiten: 1234

  • Teilen