Lawyers turning to US firms for higher pay and career prospects

Elizabeth Fournier

UALIFIED lawyers have cited higher salaries and better career prospects as the key drivers for joining US firms, according to a survey out yesterday.

Despite expecting to work longer hours when working for an American firm, more than 23 per cent of associates surveyed by The Lawyer magazine said they joined the London offices of US firms to make more money – the largest single group among respondents, closely followed by those who said they moved for career prospects.

The associates surveyed also felt they would have more responsibilities at a US outfit.

As part of its research, The Lawyer published details of the top 30 international firms in London by UK revenue, with DLA Piper and Hogan Lovells moving to the top of the table after both completed transatlantic mergers last year that mean they qualify for the global rankings.

DLA now brings in more than three-quarters of its revenue from outside the UK, while Hogan Lovells derives more than two-thirds of revenues from overseas operations.

Baker & McKenzie took the top spot for the US firm that UK associates would most want to join if they were considering moving, with almost 20 per cent of respondents naming it as their first choice. One of the longest serving US players operating in the UK market, its London office employs 10 per cent of the firm’s total headcount.