Does anyone mind telling me what a new fixed-share partner in a City law firm earns?

(155 Posts)
AmongTheNarcissi Mon 10-Feb-14 11:11:45

Not really AIBU (although maybe a bit unreasonable to ask friends and relations...)

I am a senior associate in a mid-tier City firm. 7 years PQE, IP specialism. Currently earn £102 000. Pay for associates in my firm is generally thought to be on the low side. I am going through the partner selection process at the moment and am hopeful of being offered fixed-share partnership soon. At which point I will have to negotiate my renumeration package from what I feel is a position of weakness as I have no idea of the norm. I have no good friends who are partners yet and can't ask colleagues (or at least they can't tell me). Online salary surveys are hopelessly vague.

If anyone is able to share their experiences of salary negotiation and what a reasonable sum might be, I would be very grateful!

mummymeister Mon 10-Feb-14 12:34:16

Hmm £102K a year and you post on aibu. would suggest you move this to chat. there will be quite a few people on here who wonder why you would share this, me included.

akachan Mon 10-Feb-14 12:36:13

Go and ask on rollonfriday

LessMissAbs Mon 10-Feb-14 12:37:43

Hmm £102K a year and you post on aibu. would suggest you move this to chat. there will be quite a few people on here who wonder why you would share this, me included

Why should women who work hard and have well paid jobs not be supported?

Sorry OP, I have no idea but I know it can be hard to find a genuine comparison of these things, and I think putting the issue out there is a good way to find out..

Swanbridge Mon 10-Feb-14 12:39:19

Rollonfriday, or speak to a recruitment consultant who knows the market.

maillotjaune Mon 10-Feb-14 12:42:47

Do the Law Society or whatever not have any information?

Greythorne Mon 10-Feb-14 12:44:29

Mummymeister
What a ridiculous post.

JeanSeberg Mon 10-Feb-14 12:45:28

Why shouldn't she ask? The more transparency there is about salaries in all industries the better. Especially where female employees are considered as they'll invariably get shafted anyway.

Sorry I can't give any practical advice OP.

MrsDe Mon 10-Feb-14 12:48:21

I would think about 150k. I work for a mid tier city law firm and think it's about that but have nothing to substantiate it though (sadly).

NellysKnickers Mon 10-Feb-14 12:48:27

It can vary. I too find it odd you are asking on a parenting forum.

Funny, DH and I were wondering about this last night, in the context of 'who the hell can afford to buy all these £squillion houses in nice parts of London?' chat. He has a friend who is a partner in a well respected London law firm, works in a specialist area (music) rather than corporate finance or similar - I think he has been a partner for 2-3 years and DH knows he is earning about £300k with bonuses (so not one of those buying said houses wink). HTH

Hubb Mon 10-Feb-14 12:51:53

But we never only talk about parenting issues. I think its fine to ask. Sorry have no idea though OP

Nelly - whilst AIBU might not have been the wisest choice of topics, there are plenty of other subjects discussed on MN that have nothing whatsoever to do with parenting thank god. Would you get rid of those too hmm?

JeanSeberg Mon 10-Feb-14 12:55:07

Are you new to the site Nelly? Genuine question as if you look through the list of Topics you'll see there's dozens of them that are unrelated to parenting.

I've started several threads, hardly any of them to do with kids.

Would everyone be saying the same if she was asking what a reasonable amount of pay for a Customer Service Advisor/car park attendant/cleaner was?

wordfactory Mon 10-Feb-14 12:55:21

Op I assume you mean a salaried partner. In which case you'd be looking at 120-150 depending on how profitable you are.

squoosh Mon 10-Feb-14 12:59:10

I never understand why people get arsey with posters who share, in a non bragging fashion, the information that they earn a salary significantly higher than the national average.

Other than that I have no helpful info to give OP!

minibmw2010 Mon 10-Feb-14 13:00:29

Have worked in several law firms. Junior Salaried partners would be around £150k or so (though my last form was American and partner heavy so not overly generous). Equity partners were closer to £200/250 but you usually had to have laid down at least £50k of your own for that. Good luck with it all.

MaryWestmacott Mon 10-Feb-14 13:06:57

op - call a recruitment consultant who covers your area and ask. (They are often helpful in exchange for knowing you owe them a favour so will be happy to be 'sourced')

WingDefence Mon 10-Feb-14 13:07:27

OP could you ask in the Legal area of MN as more existing lawyers may be able to answer your question over there?

ILoveWooly Mon 10-Feb-14 14:25:32

DSIL works for an American firm in London. She is an equity partner so perhaps not what you are looking for. She had to invest 75k but gets a wage of 300k plus bonuses.

mummymeister Mon 10-Feb-14 14:28:54

I don't understand why anyone legal exec, director, cleaner, post person whatever posts on AIBU to ask what others are earning doing a similar job. either you think it is the right rate for the job taking everything into account or you don't. that depends on where you live, what your lifestyle and fixed costs are, whether you want a job in a certain area and a whole host of other things. £102K in the arse end of nowhere where housing is cheap might be fantastic. in central London if the job requires you to work stupid hours it might not be. job satisfaction - not even mentioned. that's why online salary comparisons are useless because there are just too many variables.

JeanSeberg Mon 10-Feb-14 14:31:28

So if she accepted the �102K and then found out all the male partners were earning �150K, that would be OK would it?

mummymeister Mon 10-Feb-14 14:35:27

jean - if she accepted 102k and thought that was the right rate for the job all things considered and others were being paid more she would be entitled to ask why. do the others have more experience, have they been there longer, made a greater investment etc. if they are paying all the men of the same experience that much more then isn't that a whole different question/thread?

LessMissAbs Mon 10-Feb-14 14:36:10

Because its impossible to find out any other way mummymeister and there is a problem with equal pay for like work between men and women, one of the things that has been repeatedly in the news about inequality recently. Do you not read the same news articles as everyone else? Why would someone work to get to that level without exercising attention to detail over what they are paid? Or do you think women should just feel grateful to have a job at all?

If the OP wanted to ask about job satisfaction, she would have done.

WilsonFrickett Mon 10-Feb-14 14:39:45

Are there any headhunters or similar in your area that you could talk to? And have you posted on legal - it's not a board I go onto much but I'm guessing lawyers pop up there? I hate the culture of not talking about salaries, it makes negotiations very difficult.

mummymeister Mon 10-Feb-14 14:40:06

so if this is a post about ensuring equality of pay between men and women in the workplace why isn't that in the thread. of course I read the news lessmissabs, I just assume that if someone asks a straight question they get a straight answer.

PETRONELLAS Mon 10-Feb-14 14:43:38

If the selection process is being run in house then ask the HR Director or a senior member of the team - or the Finance Director. I would phrase it along the lines of 'I'm about to look into buying a house/any idea of rough earnings'. It should be more than £130k I imagine. Doesn't the Lawyer publish figures for full equity partners and often shows the range for fixed share (from old memory). In my experience they arrange it all so you don't actually have to put in any money but it's taken from the monthly draw. The final figure will prob be/have been agreed at the end of the financial financial year. Good luck!

JeanSeberg Mon 10-Feb-14 14:44:50

Does anyone mind telling me what a new fixed-share partner in a City law firm earns

I can't see how she could have phrased the question any straighter than that.

Are you just here to disrupt the thread MM?

Dontwanttooutmyself Mon 10-Feb-14 14:45:12

Another tactic would be to refresh your memory of law firm economics- as part of your negotiation will be to justify what you're asking for. How much do you bring in? If it's on the low side, with an expectation that you'll build a client base, your negotiation on salary will be based on averages, and what you could get if you jumped ship. If, on the other hand, you have an established following and are bringing in enough to justify your partnership, then go armed with the figures....

noviceoftheday Mon 10-Feb-14 14:57:17

Wow, there are some right dicks around today.hmm

OP, the range is £120k to £170k but it depends which firm. Call a recruitment firm tell them that you are partner track but aren't feeling the love so want to know what alternatives are. Meet with said person and they will sing like a canary on what entry earnings point is at your firm. You might have to do this a couple of times but it's well worth it, because out of it, you will have made some good contacts.

By the way, whatever the number is please go in at the top of the range. Women generally tend to undervalue themselves and go in at the bottom end of the range, men tend to overestimate value and go in at the top. This is one of the reasons men tend to get paid more. Don't lose your nerve. They want you. Remember that first. Good luck!

Birdinthebush Mon 10-Feb-14 15:28:32

Have a look at the websites of the trade papers, as they have job ads.My firm receives The Lawyer, Legal Week and Legal business.

FoxesRevenge Mon 10-Feb-14 15:34:16

Another one here that feels it's important to raise these issues on a predominantly female website. Women are still fighting for equal pay and the more info we can share with each other the better.

AJH2007 Mon 10-Feb-14 15:35:06

Another vote for talking to a headhunter or two on the pretext of looking around.

Cuddlydragon Mon 10-Feb-14 15:41:00

OP there are some quite odd posts. Good luck with the promotion prospects. As others said the range is circa £120 to £170 but. HMRC are hammering fixed share salaried partners in LLPs at the moment as hidden employees. The best tax advice is affecting promotion to this level without significant equity investment and looking to recoup ni and income tax payments from LLPs. Have a look on line at this and that might give you some thoughts on how your firm might treat you.

Laquitar Mon 10-Feb-14 15:55:10

Erm yes it is a parenting forum which means that many of the members are mums who are thinking of a new career, or going back to old career, or mums with older dcs who are thinking of a Law career. It will not harm us to know what other people earn.
Sorry OP i have no idea but i hope you find answers.

handcream Mon 10-Feb-14 16:00:27

There are clearly some jealous people on this thread. Dont these people realise that earning in excess of �100k means you pay considerably more tax than they do (and they still knock you!)

JeanSeberg Mon 10-Feb-14 16:02:13

Agreed. Women have a hard enough time career-wise from men without women wading in as well.

AmongTheNarcissi Mon 10-Feb-14 16:03:05

Thanks for the responses. I am sorry if I offended people by asking about money, but in a professional environment where there is a culture of total opaqueness on pay, it's nice to have a place to be able to talk about it (even if it is a 'parenting forum'). And other posters are right, that the lack of openness does not benefit women one bit, especially as they tend to sell themselves short.

I mentioned this to a friend. While I was worried I would name a sum and they would think I was taking the p*ss, she thought it was much more likely I would name a sum and they would think they'd got a bargain....

I like the idea about meeting with a recruitment consultant, although not so much the bit about owing them a favour!

Thanks again.

handcream Mon 10-Feb-14 16:06:05

Aim high. Do remember what the GP's did many years ago. They aimed high and asked for loads - and the government agreed. So, we ended up with UK GPs being one of the highest paid groups of people in the world

Collaborate Mon 10-Feb-14 16:06:51

Recent HMRC rules mean that if you're fixed share you have to put in at least 25% of your maximum package (ie incl 100% of max bonus) otherwise they'll still treat you as employed.

Woebegone Mon 10-Feb-14 16:07:33

I am slightly surprised at canvassing on MN for this - surely you can get more assistance from friends or the Roffers or even recruitment agents - there is no real way you can not know what a salaried partner earns in your firm. This is disingenuous.

As you very well know, it depends what sort of firm we are talking about. You have explained that this is a mid-tier firm and that you are not talking equity partnership. I have no experience of mid-tier firms, but £102k in the City feels ridiculous for someone on partner track. Ridiculous and really somewhat implausible.

If this is a genuine query I would suggest that you look at £250k plus. But again, you will get better advice from friends/roffers/agents.

noviceoftheday Mon 10-Feb-14 16:13:19

I think your friend is right, so good on you for asking.

I also totally agree with Cuddly on LLPs. Make sure you find out what your firm are doing to ensure you won't suddenly be treated as an employee when the partnership legislation changes. It's likely that you will be asked to contribute a lot more capital than your predecessors and in all likelihood 25% of your remuneration.

Everysilverlining Mon 10-Feb-14 16:29:12

It really really depends on which firm, and where they place in the market, along with you personal billings and following. I have worked in two top 50 firms and in both the bottom of the fixed share for new partners was £100 ish. The top £250,000 ish but the top was for those who are close to equity. Also it depends on how the split is between the fixed element of the remuneration and the variable element. I started on £108k in 2007, left one firm on £118k in 2011. But on top of those fixed shares had variable sums based on points which took the remuneration to £130,00- £150,000. I'm not in ip though and probably my field is less demanding.

Both firms are mid tier, non US and have a quality of life.

I have circa £400,000 - £600, 000 client billings.

haveyourselfashandy Mon 10-Feb-14 16:35:22

Definetely ask in legal and research!If you go in confident with facts behind you they are less likely to give you a hard time bargaining.I know nothing about the field you work in by the way but good luck!

EasterHoliday Mon 10-Feb-14 16:35:33

well Michael Page gives the salaried partner range in the city from £170k - £200k which seems about right. Whether you're hard or soft IP and what sort of practice you're in will make a difference of course. I can happily call BS on whoever reckons a salaried partner of 2 yrs in a niche music practice is on £300k plus bonus though...!

Everysilverlining Mon 10-Feb-14 16:39:26

I also know what the fixed share partners earn where I am as it's in the accounts. And very few earn £170,000 or even close.

EasterHoliday Mon 10-Feb-14 16:44:53

what sort of firm? I've just gone to look on Rollonfriday which gives NQ and annual to 3pqe salaries. Given that the range of salaries on city firms is £70 - £120k at 3yrs PQE (ex-US), can it really stagnate that much over the following 5 yrs? just as billings and followings come into their swing? (I'm in house so what do I know etc)

AmongTheNarcissi Mon 10-Feb-14 16:44:56

Thanks again. Helpful advice from Everysilverlining, EasterHoliday and (almost) everyone else. 170-200k seems quite high, and a big jump from my present wage, but a useful guideline. I hope to bill 550-600k.

I am surprised that someone thought it disingenuous that I should not know what a fixed-share partner in my firm should earn. How would I know that? And as I've said before, I don't have any friends who do what I do, so can't ask them- that's why I asked on Mumsnet!

EasterHoliday Mon 10-Feb-14 16:48:53

actually - have a look at M Page - the rate of increase really does slow down massively at c4pqe (just as you become useful) - www.michaelpage.co.uk/salary-survey/legal.htm?reg=Greater%20London
I also appear to have misread it - it's 150k - 200k with avg of 170k. But they're throwing all the Herbies litigators / Jones Day corp fin people into one big pot with the Withers gentlemen Charities and Trusts people.

scantilymad Mon 10-Feb-14 16:49:34

IME mid tier City associate entry £137k plus bonus billing £315k to £400k.

Equity partner £232k billing £400k minimum.

Commercial propery thought not IP. Good luck.

Woebegone Mon 10-Feb-14 16:50:53

I am sorry if my ideas are skewed and I really have no idea about mid tier firms BUT

You cannot be billing only £600k. That is absurd. Surely to goodness you are required to be billing a minimum of three times that.

You cannot only be earning £150k. You need to be earning around £220k to £250k.

Or is that just my firm? Good golly you would be earning more as an accountant!

itwillgetbettersoon Mon 10-Feb-14 16:56:15

Well done OP.

Although this is a parenting site there are lots if areas that have nothing to do with being a parent! Also if a woman cannot ask other woman about a salary then who does she ask???

By the way £100k sounds a lot but when you are looking at £300k for a tiny flat in London it isn't huge.

Let's all try and support other women .

EasterHoliday Mon 10-Feb-14 16:56:38

and that's the sort of response you'll get on RollonFriday as well... "you NEED to be earning"... yup... "good golly" indeed. Obviously I'd like to hope Woebegone is one of the people I drop really crappy instructions on at 6pm on a Friday, rush job for LA waking up Saturday... but I tend to instruct people with a realistic sense of commercial evaluation.

scantilymad Mon 10-Feb-14 17:03:17

Woebegone is that meant to be insulting to accountants? I find it quite offensive on behalf of the OP (and any other professional woman actually) that your post was so snotty about salaries.

Woebegone Mon 10-Feb-14 17:04:44

But I am realistic, Easter. I do not understand how someone with (salaried) partner aspirations can be billing only £600k. That is PRETTY unusual, as I am sure you will agree. Not interested in your crappy instructions mate. My charge-out rate makes even me feel queasy so someone who thinks I don't have a realistic sense of commercial evaluation will be gasping. Like a fish out of water. Oh wait ...

EasterHoliday Mon 10-Feb-14 17:15:13

yup. And my dad's bigger than your dad. How come you're arsing around on here all afternoon if you need to pull in £2.4m on your four digit charge out rate, out of interest?

MrsDe Mon 10-Feb-14 17:16:17

I don't think that is unusual at all Woebegone. Also think that �150k for entry as salaried partner in mid tier city firm is about right having seen the replies on this thread.

AmongTheNarcissi Mon 10-Feb-14 17:20:10

Woebegone thanks for your thoughts on my disaster of a career, but if you would mind not turning this thread into the female version of willy-wanging, it would be greatly appreciated. smile

I know what top accountants earn, and you are quite right, it's way more than I do.

Thanks again everyone for the input, it really is greatly appreciated and generally much a more positive and enjoyable experience than RoF!

Everysilverlining Mon 10-Feb-14 17:27:37

I go back to it depends on which firm. What do we mean by mic tier city firm? Do we mean BLP, Olswang, Taylor Wessing, or do we mean Eversheds, Withers, Farrers etc. both sorts firms would probably call themselves mid tier but they all have very different cultures and expectations.

also OP aim high, but bear in mind that if you are paid £150-£175k the firm will expect more than if you are paid £120k. You may prefer that, and the pressure and thrill which comes with it. Or you may not, some people thrive on partnership. Many hate it. You only have to read the threads on here from lawyers who left the city or the law to understand that. If you get £175k you'll earn it....

Caitlin17 Mon 10-Feb-14 17:33:13

Lord knows where Woebegone is but outside London billing of £600,000 per partner in the provinces,and by that I include Scotland, would be unheard of, let alone 3 times that amount.

I've no idea what the going rates are in London top tier firms but they bear no relation to rates outside of London.

Apatite1 Mon 10-Feb-14 17:38:38

Good on you for asking OP, the more transparency about wages we can have in every industry, the stronger our position. Good luck with your negotiations!

Everysilverlining Mon 10-Feb-14 17:39:37

Oh and woebegone I would just say that I do not want to work in those kind of firms with those kinds of targets. I left one of them post qualification as it wasn't for me. I accept it is for others but that doesn't fundamentally change the "value" of what we do. If you believe otherwise you are naive. I am happy as I do I job I love and earning 100k plus makes me wealthy compared to 95 % of the population, and objectively speaking I do not believe I am worth squillions. I am just lucky to do a job which pays well.

thesaurusgirl Mon 10-Feb-14 17:42:52

As a headhunter I'm vehemently in support of transparency over remumeration and it pisses me off that women are not paid as much as men for the same roles, 9 times out of 10 because they're too ignorant about the going rate and simply do not ask.

Ignore the haters on Mumsnet, very few of them are net contributors to the economy, just remind them who's paying for their childcare vouchers and tax credits.

If you are MC or premier, PM me and I'll be able to give you a very accurate idea, but the range will be between £125k and £175k.

thesaurusgirl Mon 10-Feb-14 17:46:29

How come you're arsing around on here all afternoon if you need to pull in £2.4m

Because if you're senior enough to have your own office there's an awful lot of dead time you can devote to MN and Angry Birds wink.

littleolewinedrinkerme Mon 10-Feb-14 17:47:00

Top 30 city practice here - 150-170k as a fixed share plus performance related bonus. Target is around 4-500k billings initially (for woebegone). I am a few years ahead of you but at about the same stage - 3 lots of maternity leave haven't helped (depsite only taking 6mths and 4.5mths the last time sigh). I would recommend a good chst with your sponsoring partner - they should be willing to give you a steer. Equity about 350k starting. Obviously MC and SC firms a lot more - I was at an MC firm and salaried partners were starting around 250k but with billings near 1m and I am guessing US firms are in a different league again.

littleolewinedrinkerme Mon 10-Feb-14 17:48:42

Sorry - typos - phones and trains. Not a good mix

thesaurusgirl Mon 10-Feb-14 17:50:22

Bonuses even in the MC are nothing like you'd expect in the City for FS. Top bonuses last year were 10% of basic.

OP there is an interesting thread in (I think) Employment Issues for high earning mums / women that you might be interested in.

I don't quite qualify any more grin

Oh and I'm one of those pesky accountants grin

AmongTheNarcissi Mon 10-Feb-14 17:52:57

Thanks thesaurusgirl, I'll send you a message.

Not MC or Premier firm- top 30.

littleolewinedrinkerme that's exactly what I was looking for- thanks. I am hoping to go for a performance related bonus, as I envisage (because of various departmental/client issues) billing more than my target billings. Did you negotiate the conditions of the bonus element separately or was that part of the package on offer?

thesaurusgirl Mon 10-Feb-14 17:53:17

Yes, accountants do earn more.

I'm earning more than either the accountants or the lawyers my firm places, but it goes nowhere in London. I live in a shitty second floor flat in Zone 3.

littleredsquirrel Mon 10-Feb-14 18:01:26

I would again agree that it really depends on the firm. My last firm was a very large well known national with a London office. 25 percent earning potential (bonus) on top of base salary. FS Partnership in the regions was 90-125k, in London generally 120-160.

One of my friends became a partner at said firm and was significantly worse off than as a senior associate due to the fact that she became self employed and didn't get pension etc.

I agree though that 600k is very low for partnership and so I would expect it to be towards the lower end until you can increase your billing. At my firm for partnership you needed to show billing of £1m minimum.

littleredsquirrel Mon 10-Feb-14 18:02:55

That is that you need to show responsibility for £1m not that you need to bill that on your own.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 10-Feb-14 18:06:57

As others have said, it means salaried rather than equity partner.

Good luck!

littleredsquirrel Mon 10-Feb-14 18:09:43

I thought she said Fixed Share. I was a fixed share partner. I was equity with a fixed equity stake. Wouldn't she have said salaried otherwise?

wandymum Mon 10-Feb-14 18:13:25

Mid-tier city firm. £180k plus bonus first year as salaried partner in debt finance. Target billings £1.1 mil and that target is the same for new partners regardless of department.

All firms are different but there was no negotiation about salary in partnership process. You get what they offer and you are grateful as it keeps you in the running for the big prize of equity (£4-600k to start with) in a couple of years' time.

Are you city or west end? Makes a big difference. Friend in west end started on £90k.

AmongTheNarcissi Mon 10-Feb-14 18:13:44

littleredsquirrel 600k is my projection for personal billings. Responsible for about 950k.

I did say fixed share partnership. I have heard it is possible to be worse off, that quite worries me.

AmongTheNarcissi Mon 10-Feb-14 18:17:35

wandymum I am in the city but have been approached for jobs in West End firms starting on 120k in my field.

wandymum Mon 10-Feb-14 18:17:43

Lots of firms call salaried partners fixed share partners to get them out of PAYE system. Share is then expressed to be something tiny (say 0.5%) with the caveat that they will however receive a minimum annual payment. Gets you off PAYE and into self-employment regime.

littleredsquirrel Mon 10-Feb-14 18:20:37

I think you have to keep in mind the longer term. Your earning potential as an associate will stagnate, the only way to keep going up is partnership.

As others have said though I wouldn't expect the salary to be negotiable. I think you're supposed to clean your senior partner's shoes with your tears of gratitude whatever you're offered.

AmongTheNarcissi Mon 10-Feb-14 18:24:55

Thanks littleredsquirrel I'll look forward to that!

Mintyy Mon 10-Feb-14 18:32:34

Oh we've had loads of posters flashing their cash around on Mumsnet lately. I find it quite tiresome too. Also, I hate it that people park everything in aibu, but I do have a long history of whingeing and moaning about that.

thesaurusgirl Mon 10-Feb-14 18:33:32

Ladies, salary is always negotiable. Particularly if you are underpaid relative to your male colleagues, or because you came in from a provincial firm or branch.

With partnership, the money you're 'required' to put into the partnership is often an accountancy sleight of hand, so it's unlikely you will be poorer though mis-reading your first earnings statement may lead you to think so.

I wouldn't quite agree with Squirrel that it's always up or out, because firms like the Mummy Track too. Experienced, loyal and cheap, who could ask for more? wink.

HandMini Mon 10-Feb-14 18:35:32

Thesaurus - tell me more about the Mummy Track. I think I might be on it.... MC firm.

thesaurusgirl Mon 10-Feb-14 18:38:22

Why "tiresome", Minty?

MN is a vast cross-section of society; the OP has had 86 replies and at least a dozen of those are clearly very well-informed about her situation.

I'd say she did the right thing by posting here for advice and what's more, an awful lot of the daughters of low earning mums still at school will learn something too. The City and the professions are not closed shops and demystifying them helps everyone.

thesaurusgirl Mon 10-Feb-14 18:39:56

HandMini How many kids and how old?

Mrsmorton Mon 10-Feb-14 18:43:46

It's not the done thing to do well in this country OP, did you not get the memo? It's ok to be on the minimum wage and make sure you're getting what you're entitled to but anything above that and you're just not playing the game hmm

This is a very interesting thread, reminds me to try to see someone about that LPC I've been meaning to find out about.

wandymum Mon 10-Feb-14 18:44:39

In that case, if you get the chance to negotiate it, I'd start at 144k tell them you've been offered 120k in the west end where you would have a considerably easier life and so you think an uplift of 20% on that is fair given extra demands they'll place on you.

I would double check whether they actually expext it to be a negotiation though. Definitely wouldn't be the done thing here. So much so it woyld probably be taken as a sign you aren't the right type of person for partnership in the first place (ridiculous I know).

Easter, I probably wasn't clear! DH's friend is equity partner and the £300k includes bonuses.

Squigglypig Mon 10-Feb-14 18:49:47

God I'm so on the mummy track (sobs). Interesting to see what people are earning though (much more than me) but I think that's my chosen field rather than anything else even if I do geographically work in the city.

thesaurusgirl Mon 10-Feb-14 18:50:43

I can see I'm going to have to run classes on salary negotiation grin.

You don't negotiate remuneration during the interview or the selection process. You "have a coffee" with your sponsor in this case. If you're moving, you ask your headhunter to do it for you. if you are ready to play dirty, you go flirting elsewhere and then you put a case together.

By the time of the final interviews it's too late.

Pumpkinnose Mon 10-Feb-14 18:52:01

Used to work in private practice - rumours were junior partners on about 120k so other posters sound about right.

HandMini Mon 10-Feb-14 18:54:24

Will PM you ThesaurusGirl. Thanks for the info - I think I get so busy with work that I forget to ocassionally survey the wider scene and re-evaluate where I'm sitting in the legal market.

thesaurusgirl Mon 10-Feb-14 18:55:15

The Mummy Track is not a permanent state if you don't want it to be. When your kids are all at school full-time and you are free to travel or do all-nighters now and then, you'll be fine.

The big problem with the Mummy Track is that it suits people well and the daddies want to be on it too. Except the mummies guard their jobs fiercely, so the daddies come to us and ask us to find them in-house roles and then they realise how much they pay and how few of those roles there are hmm.

thesaurusgirl Mon 10-Feb-14 18:56:44

Happy to respond to PMs but should say that I don't personally place legal eagles. But I do know a man who does...

HandMini Mon 10-Feb-14 18:58:22

Thanks Thesaurus. What are do you place in? You certainly know a lot about the legal market.

thesaurusgirl Mon 10-Feb-14 19:01:43

PM me, I give away a lot of private stuff on here and would rather not be identified.

Takingthemickey Mon 10-Feb-14 19:21:54

Good luck OP with the negotiations. Can I be cheeky and ask that you let us know what the final offer is. Will help to make opaque pay scales clearer.

AmongTheNarcissi Mon 10-Feb-14 19:27:07

takingthemickey I will let you all know what I haggle- judging from the advice this afternoon it will be somewhere between a bag of beans and enough for a super yacht!

littleolewinedrinkerme Mon 10-Feb-14 19:30:09

Sorry op - was putting kids to bed before starting night shift. I negotiated bonus. Salary was fixed but I expected to be bringing in over target so got bonus pegged to that. I think iy is worth pointing out that 400k is not the billing target for the year - it is the amount of new business a junior partner is expected to bring in. I'd be expected to achieve total billings around £1m per annum.

wandymum Mon 10-Feb-14 19:32:20

Interesting, Thesaurusgirl but I'm still not sure you are right.

If you are in one of the firms at the top end of the scale for equity partner earnings it is all about that, rather than what you get in the couple of years you are salaried, and they know it.

We all get calls from headhunters, higher offers from elsewhere once we get to that level of our career anyway and firms know that too but when you are talking about partnership you don't look at it that narrowly.

Salaried/fixed share partnership is the stepping stone to equity and that is when the real money kicks in and you get to negotiate based on how you've done while you were salaried.

DrMaybe Mon 10-Feb-14 19:34:46

Crikey, no wonder women are routinely paid less than men when a perfectly straightforward question about salary is met with an accusation of 'flashing the cash'. Inverse snobbery at its best - I suspect that had the OP posted about being paid less than the minimum wage the reception would have been quite different. I earn a quarter of what the OP does - would I like her salary? Bloody right I would! But I suspect there are some very lengthy hours attached to earning it, not to mention the years of study and specialised knowledge.

If there were greater openness and transparency about what we earn, then there would be far less of a disparity between male and female pay. But the societal reticence that We Do Not Discuss What We Earn means that people can be easily exploited and the pay gap maintained.

OP - I don't know a thing about the recommended pay in your field, I'm afraid. But I hope that your salary negotiations are successful.

Mimishimi Mon 10-Feb-14 19:35:26

I also don't see what the problem is with the OP posting here. Quite a few mums might be in similar positions, their spouses might be or perhaps they know what the going rate for those roles are.

SoulJacker Mon 10-Feb-14 19:35:38

I recently went for interview and was offered the position. It's a short term contract and I wasn't really that keen so I asked for the max salary they stated, said I'd only work 4 days a week and a couple of other things and they agreed to it all. It was a revelation grin. Now I just have to see if I have the balls to do it for a job I actually want!

AmongTheNarcissi Mon 10-Feb-14 19:38:09

littleolewimedrinkerme - that sounds similar to my billings- 600k/950k.
Interesting that you negotiated a bonus pegged to billings. I should be able to exceed my billings target so it would be in my interests to do something similar.

thesaurusgirl you are onto something with the salary negotiation classes- I can't be the only one who find the whole process excruciating !

43percentburnt Mon 10-Feb-14 19:40:10

Can't help you but good luck with the process!

AmongTheNarcissi Mon 10-Feb-14 19:44:58

DrMaybe you are quite right. How are we going to achieve fair and equal pay when the only people who know the 'going rate' are those doing the job already and who probably don't expect those of us in skirts to command that rate anyway?

It can't just be an issue in the law or the City. I bet women in all professions come across this at some point. My sister works in the public sector and once discovered a guy with the same (extensive) professional qualifications and experience to her was paid 2 points higher up on the salary scale- just because he'd asked to be!

DrMaybe Mon 10-Feb-14 19:56:06

Yup - and I suspect Thesaurusgirl probably has some similar tales to tell. IME a large part of the reason why women don't tend to be so well paid (on a like for like basis) is because we don't ask. It's 'unfeminine' and 'ball breaking' to actively negotiate your salary or bonus payment.

Well fuck that for a game of soliders - I don't give a hoot if someone thinks I'm unfeminine. I work bloody hard and I'm damned if someone else - male or female - is going to earn more than me when they do the same job!

thesaurusgirl Mon 10-Feb-14 20:02:01

WandyMum No-one is salaried/FS partner for a couple of years. That's not how it works any more, these days you're looking at five if you're exceptional and never if you're on the Mummy Track.

During that time of course you have to negotiate, otherwise each year that your salary stalls and inflation rises you're accepting a pay cut in real terms despite increased experience and, hopefully, seniority.

I've just sent a lengthy PM reply to someone but it's worth restating that the unspoken 'rules' are different for women and you can coast for a little while if you have young children, provided you play the game in other ways. It's not so easy for men.

Equity is a whole different game but it's a really poisonous one. By that time you may be taking home a normal person's lifetime earnings annually, but you'll deserve them. It's not an inexorable process, it's a proper achievement.

thesaurusgirl Mon 10-Feb-14 20:10:25

The other thing worth mentioning is that the OP has done spectacularly well even to be a contender for FS partner.

Many firms have stopped making people up entirely, and others are letting the equity numbers deflate by waiting for senior partners to retire, except they're not doing so because their pensions have suffered in the recession.

There's a significant backlog of lawyers who would have been made up no problem seven years ago who are still slogging away as associates despite eight figure billings.

wandymum Mon 10-Feb-14 20:14:26

thesaurusgirl - I'd be wary of such generalisations.

It varies wildly from firm to firm depending on the nature of the partnership, its values, profitability etc... The process of shifting up the ranks to equity is even more secretive than getting salaried partnership and of course equity partners move less regularly so it is almost impossible to generalise these days.

I know from personal experience that you are wrong (sorry)

BobFlemming Mon 10-Feb-14 20:14:47

Mintyy, people like you who accuse posters of "flashing their cash" are exactly why women are routinely paid less than men. You might not understand why, but your attitude is one that you should be ashamed of.

OP good luck.

Mintyy Mon 10-Feb-14 20:16:35

Am I? Care to explain why?

wandymum Mon 10-Feb-14 20:17:40

Sorry, that wasn't as clear as I intended. The point about equity partner moves being rare is that they come into contact with the recruitment industry less often which, coupled with firms secretiveness, means it is very difficult to get an overview of procedures across the firms.

BobFlemming Mon 10-Feb-14 20:18:29

Read DrMaybe's post at the top of this page.

DrMaybe Mon 10-Feb-14 20:19:23

Mintyy - just out of interest, why do you feel that OP is 'flashing the cash'? I honestly read the OP as a genuine enquiry about salary levels.

Mintyy Mon 10-Feb-14 20:19:58

Neither you or DrMaybe know a thing about me, so I find your accusations laughable.

thesaurusgirl Mon 10-Feb-14 20:20:15

Souljacker Congrats! You've played it just right. Most women don't ask so they don't get.

I've placed several people in exec jobs which are only 4 days a week, and in some cases those people don't even have kids. They just refused to accept anything other than the terms they wanted, and happened to have a sought-after skill. Employers think they'll get the same number of hours for 20% less money so they say yes more often than they say no. Yet how many women complain that there are no part-time senior roles?

PopMusic Mon 10-Feb-14 20:20:29

Wow, it's like a whole other language here!

I have nothing to add except to say, fantastic on you OP for wanting to be better informed and be paid what you are worth. Don't undersell yourself. Good luck with the negotiations. I am all for transparency with wages as otherwise it disadvantages women. Remember to come back and let us know what you end up earning (for transparency's sake, of course). grin

DrMaybe Mon 10-Feb-14 20:21:25

Mintyy - I haven't accused you of anything, nor have a I claimed to know anything about you confused

thesaurusgirl Mon 10-Feb-14 20:23:28

As you work in the industry Wandy, of course you will know more than I do.

But I've not met a lawyer in literally years who has spent just a "couple of years" in FS - at any firm, not just the notorious ones.

I do agree that it's impossible to compare across firms and sectors, but the OP was referring specifically to MC firms, all of which my colleagues deal with on a daily basis.

thesaurusgirl Mon 10-Feb-14 20:25:40

Actually Op was referring to her "mid-tier" firm, I have her confused with another poster.

LoveBeingCantThinkOfAName Mon 10-Feb-14 20:26:15

Yabu for posting in aibu without a aibu!

Re salary, always take what you think and add some

Woebegone Mon 10-Feb-14 20:27:21

How much you are paid is directly proportionate to the amount you are billing IME.

So, you might be sponsored well - ie have a heavy duty sponsor or rainmaker giving you a load of billings - but it is still a load of billings (and billings means bunce - this is how things work tbh)

Or you might be an absolute star and rainmaker in your own right - ie have those billings because you have clients who are loyal to you and only you.

In the absence of either of the above you will find life an awful lot harder.

I would also say that people aim for promotion without thinking. It's just the next stage in their minds. But actually, with each promotion and each payrise comes an additional level of risk. I have just been trying to explain this to my No2. He has just had a super promotion and a super payrise. I have been trying to explain to him that this is brilliant but it comes with strings and additional performance measures. If I don't get that message through to him properly he will be out of the firm within 12 months.

JustMarriedBecca Mon 10-Feb-14 20:28:51

I think it's about 150-180k based on information we were given at a recent training session on running a law firm. But am lowly dredge so unsure for definite.

Well done you though. Hope interviews etc go well

BobFlemming Mon 10-Feb-14 20:31:55

Why is talking about salary "flashing the cash" Mintyy?

thesaurusgirl Mon 10-Feb-14 20:35:44

I'm heading home now but something everyone should know: a headhunter will charge 10%-15% of your annual salary to replace you with an external candidate. Anything you ask by way of pay rise will be cheap by comparison.

Suzietwo Mon 10-Feb-14 20:39:48

I'd be surprised if mid tier were paying more than 150k. Also consider whether salaried partner actually does anything for you. Eg what rights will you be giving up (mat leave). I'd expect you to be offered around 130?

Rof won't help you at all. One meeeeelion dolla netnet

eurochick Mon 10-Feb-14 20:41:14

OP, at my firm (US) I believe the junior partners get around 200k, but they are rather more senior than you (probably around 15 pqe). You are doing very well to be looking at partnership at all at 7 years out. I reckon the 120-170k range sounds about right.

There was a partner salary survey that rollonfriday did doing the rounds a year or so ago - it might be worth trying to track that down?

I believe transparency on salaries is a good thing. In a massive data protection fuck up, a load of salary info was wildly circulated at my place a while ago. It told me that a guy who used to be my trainee and was billing about half what I was, was paid just 2k less. I was livid. I had no idea. The penis premium can be high and we have no idea unless women talk more openly about salaries.

Good luck with your negotiations.

wandymum Mon 10-Feb-14 20:41:46

ThesaurusGirl - really surprised by that and certainly not my experience. I suppose it depends very much on the firm - I'm not MC but certainly in the tier immediately below it. And of course, you won't have come across people who've progressed easily from salary to equity because they probably don't want to change jobs wink.

Woebegone - agree that to some extent this discussion is missing the point. Becoming a partner is becoming an owner of the business and you should look at it that way even if you are only talking about salaried partnership (certainly the firm will be looking for that when deciding whether to make you up to equity). It is almost like taking on an extra job- managing staff, setting financial targets and budgets, loads more marketing and business development .....plus doing actual law.

noviceoftheday Mon 10-Feb-14 20:47:18

Eurochick, I am not surprised you were livid. Do they publish bands at all?

Just to support you in posting the question. We should as women be able to discuss money and ask questions like this. Good luck to you. I'd love to know if you get what you ask for. I'm hoping so. X

If you can't take it, or wish to sneer then I for one think you are probably a fool.

thesaurusgirl Mon 10-Feb-14 20:57:09

If I had candidates who progressed easily from salaried to equity I wouldn't be living in Zone 3, that's for sure grin. Yes, my experiece is skewed towards candidates on edge, but half my job is courting the employers, and times are tough. Making a case for equity just now is almost impossible - from where do you find the new business for a start?

Euro The reason I'm a headhunter is because, in my first job, my deskmate who was hired on the same day as me negotiated a 25% pay rise after 4 months. I only found out because I started dating him. I was such a silly little girl I thought you had to be working for a year before you could even ask for a fraction of that. The working and the personal relationship ended, but I learned my lesson aged 22!

Shit, I have to go home. Presentee-ism taken to a ridiculous extreme on MN tonight wink.

DrMaybe Mon 10-Feb-14 21:12:16

'Penis premium' - I've never heard it referred to that way, but i shall remember that!

bearleftmonkeyright Mon 10-Feb-14 21:51:48

"Ignore the haters on Mumsnet, very few of them are net contributors to the economy, just remind them who's paying for their childcare vouchers and tax credits."

This comment has pissed me off immeasurably. I have no problem with anybody asking anything, but previous posters questioning why were not hating, just asking why you wouldn't ask on a more specialized forum? Anyway, as you were, <doffs cap to thesaurusgirl for paying my tax credits>hmm

NotPrincessAnne Mon 10-Feb-14 21:58:59

I'd actually like to thank the OP for starting a frank discussion about this, as others have said it's such an opaque area. I left the partnership track at a MC firm a few years ago as part of a plan to start a family and, two children later, have been thinking about whether I should return to private practice (I moved to a City-relevant in-house role). It's been very useful learning that I'd probably not end up a greater deal better off for what would be a massive switch in my work-life balance - I may stay put for a bit longer!

eurochick Mon 10-Feb-14 22:14:24

novice they publish no salary info at all. On purpose at least.

I had a similar situation earlier on in my career thesaurus - the chap who joined just after me negotiated a 5k pay hike shortly afterwards. It had never occurred to me to do something like that.

bluebirdlady Mon 10-Feb-14 23:14:28

At my firm (top 50, not London), you would be on about £130k. I would imagine one would earn more in the City.

However OP, considering you can't spell remuneration (the n and m is unlikely to be a typo IMHO) , and you have no friends who are partners (how long have you worked there?!) you're unlikely to be successful.

OP well done for asking the question and being prepared to display ambition openly.

I often think that MN reacts badly to discussions with/about female high earners and that this both reflects and perpetuates society's discomfort with ambitious women in positions of power.

The more we talk about money, unseemly though it is hmm the more awareness there will be of these opportunities. Transparency has to be a good thing, no?

New salaried partners at my mid-city firm are on IIRC about £110-120k plus bonuses.

bearleftmonkeyright Tue 11-Feb-14 00:10:19

It is one thing to show ambition, I have no problem with op. It is another to sneer at those who do not have such earning potential and rely on tax credits. But who am I to get in the way of all the self congratulatory back slapping on this thread?

HuntingforBunting Tue 11-Feb-14 00:32:50

Transparency is only a good thing. Good luck op, let us know how it goes.

Dolcelatte Tue 11-Feb-14 05:51:18

I would expect the firm to publish its accounts to all partners, including fixed share/salaried, including partner distributions and current accounts. Why don't you ask them for the previous years accounts, particularly if you are being asked to invest money in the business.

And as one poster has said, there is likely to be a lot more required of you for the extra wedge. Law, like other sectors, is now much more demanding generally and less well remunerated than previously. It is also risky in a way that it didn't used to be and there have been a number of firms going into administration over the last few years - most recently, Linder Myers. The US firms and the MC firms are still doing fine but the mid tier firms and some of the smaller ones are struggling, as you will be aware. If you go onto Legal Week, the Lawyer or Roll on Friday, there is a lot of information which may be useful, including details of average profits earned per equity partner (PEP).

However, the PEP info does have to be treated with a bit of caution; they are a bit like OFSTEAD tables, in that they can be manipulated. After I left my previous firm and received my last share of profits, I concluded that it had been an especially bad year, as the profits were down about 20-25% against budget and I didn't even receive my return on capital invested in the business. I later queried the figures after reading in the PEP league tables that the figures were considerably higher, but was advised that this was for end of year financial adjustments after the accounts had been finalised....! Also, members are now required to invest £500k in the business, which amounts to a fair amount of risk, especially at an average return of £200-£275k for a London equity member in a large national firm, before payment of interest on loans, expenses and higher rate tax.

So OP, congrats on your progress, but you are right to query the financial position and to go into it with your eyes open!

AmongTheNarcissi Tue 11-Feb-14 05:54:30

bluebirdlady I can't spell renumeration not because I am thick or an incompetent lawyer but because I am a bit dyslexic- it has never held me back but thanks for your thoughtful insight.
I have worked there since I qualified, 7 years, have many friends there and understand that I am very likely to be successful.

Thanks for all the positive messages on this thread I am off to work!

bearleft I agree with you about that comment. My observation was aimed at the other posters who had commented on the OP negatively.

But then again bearleft, that was one comment, in one post by one poster. You describe the whole thread as "self-congratulatory"; clearly, there is a broader issue.

I do not think that we should be ashamed of congratulating the OP for achieving a significant career success at a relatively low PQE, in an environment largely controlled by men. She has done well.

littleredsquirrel Tue 11-Feb-14 08:33:08

PEP figures are practically useless since as another has said you simply don't know what the equity investment was. I was an equity partner (fixed share) DH is a full equity partner. My best friend is also an equity partner. All three firms paid completely differently and all required different stakes. I was quite happy with my little stake since with both of us being equity we didn't want to carry the extra risk. DH's stake is just at the level I'm comfortable with. We wouldn't be homeless if it all went pear shaped. Best friend is now in for considerably more than the value of her nice four bed house which is scary since her drawings are comparable to DHs.

You don't want equity unless you are very comfortable with the financial position of your firm and the level of risk you are taking on. One firm locally to me is giving away equity stakes left right and centre simply to bring in the cash.

bearleftmonkeyright Tue 11-Feb-14 08:34:48

Yes Mrs Noodlehead, but I counted two other posters who questioned the validity of posting here. They hardly dominated the thread also. Thesaurusgirls clearly informed posts dominated much of the discussion but you are the only poster to have denounced what she said. If you are a business owner at the top your game professionally you will have people working for you who claim tax credits. That is a fact and they contribute to the success of your business and deserve as much respect as anyone else.

theincrediblealfonso Tue 11-Feb-14 08:40:25

OP, I only clicked onto this thread to ooh and ahh about the wages that would be mentioned grin! Was surprised to see some people being needlessly nasty, no idea what that's about. Just wanted to wish you good luck with it all.

LittleBearPad Tue 11-Feb-14 08:44:58

And the OP has not said anything about tax credits whatsoever.

There were snarky comments about this not being a parenting issue or not suitable for mumsnet. Why not, most topics aren't anything to do with parenting on this site. There are all sorts of people posting here.

FanjoForTheMammaries Tue 11-Feb-14 08:46:13

I cant help. .but ignore the obviously jealous people.

wordfactory Tue 11-Feb-14 08:46:37

dolce whilst a firm would usually let all partners know what other partners earned, the OP isn't yet of course a partner.

And I think partners may be uncomfortable with those outside the partnership knowing what's what.

It might also be that salaried partners are treated similarly to senior associates with regard to comp and information and general involvement in the ownership/running of the firm.. Given the OP is only 7 ypqe, I'm suspecting that might be the case.

DH's firm has always treated salaried partnership as the first step. And these partners, though taking no risk, are still expected to play a proper role. However, they recently took over a mid tier firm who had salaried partners coming out of their ears. Clearly most were glorified senior associates and treated no differently.

wordfactory Tue 11-Feb-14 08:47:21

I should add that my DH was very loath to allow those new salaried partners to have access to the firm's financial deets.

bearleftmonkeyright Tue 11-Feb-14 08:49:27

Of course!! Anyone can post here, I really do wish the op every success. But you are going to get varying opinions and this happens in every thread on aibu? There are always the odd snarky comment. I think the point I am making is being completely missed so I am going to bow out now.

Dolcelatte Tue 11-Feb-14 11:13:58

Word, I think you are right that it all varies so much from firm to firm and depending what area of specialism you have. Labels don't really mean much. In some of the US firms, six figure salaries are the norm soon after qualification, whereas in firms that do the more bread and butter stuff, they just can't afford to remunerate people in the same way, even after many more years PQE.

I would expect a fixed share or salaried partner to be provided with basic financial information about the firm, as they are being held out to the clients as partners in the business. If it is the sort of firm which is not open in this way, demands a partner's commitment, but only pays a bit more than Associate salary, then the OP might be better to look elsewhere, if not now, then shortly after promotion.

However, it is impossible to give any firm advice without having a bit more detail. I think it is also important to weigh up things like work/life balance (ie is there one?), prospects and whether or not you actually like the people you work with.

stopgap Tue 11-Feb-14 12:09:02

My husband is an equity partner at a US law firm in NYC. PPP figures are widely available and discussed, and everyone seems to know how much these figures vary not just from firm to firm, but from managing partner to junior partner. Are things simply more opaque with UK firms?

Btw, well done, OP. It is such an achievement to make partner these days. The ratio of men to women partners in law firms has to be one of the most uneven ratios of any industry.

eurochick Tue 11-Feb-14 13:30:28

PEP (as it is known here) is completely different to what the OP is asking about.

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