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Exclusive: Linklaters hikes pay and holiday for all
11 March 2016
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Linklaters has just completed a lengthy consultation into associate pay and work life balance. And RollOnFriday has the heads up on it.

The firm will publish externally the total remuneration (salary and bonus) that its associates should expect to pull in. It has broken this down to "median salary + median bonus for median performers", and "median salary + median bonus for high performers". A spokesman said that low performers will not get a bonus, but "we would expect almost everyone to fall between the median and top performer levels".

From 1st May they will be as follows:

PQE
Median salary + median bonus, median performer
Median salay + median bonus, high performer
NQ  £81,000 £91,000
1PQE  £90,000 £101,000
2PQE  £100,000 £119,000
3PQE  £111,000 £130,000

£91,000 for a beasted NQ? That's heading for US levels of pay, and up on the £68,500 basic salary currently on offer.

A spokesman said that bonuses would reflect "our people’s overall contribution beyond utilisation levels, for example in knowledge & learning, client and business development and business management". So in theory at least it shouldn't be just about putting in the hours (although in practice surely that will have the greatest bearing). He also said that all staff would see their annual holiday entitlement rise from 25 days to 27, and they'd also receive a day off for their birthday.

All associates will continue to be able to buy some more holiday should they wish, and four week sabbaticals will be introduced at "particular career stages" comprising two weeks of paid leave and two weeks of unpaid leave. The cost of the unpaid leave may be spread over six months.

And finally, working from home one day a week will be made available to all fee earners (except for trainees) across all practice groups.

Business services at the firm have been subject to separate salary, bonus and work/life balance reviews which have yet to be announced.

 
  The Links effect

The extent to which staff really will get to work from home, take their increased holiday and see a hefty rise in their remuneration clearly remains to be seen. But any way you cut it, it's more cash and more time out of the office. It follows on from Allen & Overy increasing its pay last year (although on the face of it not to these levels). Expect the rest of the Magic Circle to follow suit in pretty short order.

Satindar Dogra, London Remco partner and head of the firm’s London dispute resolution practice, said that the changes would provide "a strong and positive message to our people while standing out within the market as an extremely competitive and well rounded proposition”.

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anonymous user
11/03/2016 09:33
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How can they expect "almost everyone to fall between the median and top performer levels"?
anonymous user
11/03/2016 09:44
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David Bickerton, I hope you're reading this.
anonymous user
11/03/2016 10:33
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There appears to be a misuse or misunderstanding of the term median if their spokesman is correct in saying that, "we would expect almost everyone to fall between the median and top performer levels".
anonymous user
11/03/2016 10:40
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"we would expect almost everyone to fall between the median and top performer levels" - please can someone at Links teach the spokesman the meaning of "median"
anonymous user
11/03/2016 11:10
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"we would expect almost everyone to fall between the median and top performer levels"

Unless that's a revolutionary new meaning of "median", how does that work?

anonymous user
11/03/2016 12:15
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Jesus - someone give these people some GCSE maths tuition. "We would expect almost everyone to fall between the median and top performer levels"? Given that 50% will always be below the median (the median is the 50th percentile - for the hard of thinking), that's hardly likely is it?
anonymous user
11/03/2016 12:18
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Wow
anonymous user
11/03/2016 12:30
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Somebody failed their GCSE maths: 'we would expect almost everyone to fall between the median and top performer levels'. Given that the median is the 50th percentile, 50% of the cohort will fall below the median (however well they perform), so that's rather improbable in the current universe, isn't it?
anonymous user
11/03/2016 14:07
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Uuummm, not sure you guys commenting completely understand how the median works.

If Associates are say graded 1-5 (1 being lowest, 5 being highest) and the distribution is say: 1233333445, then it is very easy for more than 50% to fall between median and top performer levels.
anonymous user
11/03/2016 16:31
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Note that this includes bonus. So NQ salary is still going to be somewhere between 70 and 75 as median bonus will be around 6-10k for medium and between 10 and 20k for high performers. Whatever people want to believe, there are many who won't get near any significant bonus and will get the basic firmwide plus knowledge and learning.

This is clever marketing speak for not that big an increase. Because, Links
anonymous user
11/03/2016 20:12
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It's official then. Major downturn here we come. Big pay hikes for associates in big law is an almost perfect indicator. I was scared last year when A&O went but this makes it almost certain.
anonymous user
15/03/2016 23:03
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Bickerton will give you a giant pay cut, because all you bitches still will show up the next day. Who Dunn it, ey matt?