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London Law Firm Assistants - Salary and Bonus Trends and Predictions 2011/2012

Headlines 2011 to February 2012 


  • Below inflation salary rises for assistants at UK headquartered law firms for the third year running in 2011.
  • A fall in the bonus % payments (in proportion to base salaries) at UK headquartered law firms.
  • Base salary rises of up to 10% and surprise additional "spring bonuses" paid in March/April 2011 at a small minority of US law firms in London.
  • Frozen annual bonus payments at US law firms paying "New York Rates" in January 2012 (this is the fourth year running that annual bonus payments have been either reduced or frozen).
  • Delayed base salary announcements at a number of US law firms paying "New York Rates" but strong likelihood that associate compensation will continue to remain frozen, for the fifth year running, at 2008 levels.
  • A sharply improved recruitment market throughout 2011 and a strong start to 2012 but an unsettled outlook for 2012.
  • Projected fourth year in a row of below inflation salary increases for assitants at UK headquartered law firms in 2012.

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