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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 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) -
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.

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