Magic Circle Silver Circle Law Firms

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With more than 1600 partners, Ashurst has 25 offices worldwide. To name a few, their businesses are located in Abu Dhabi, Brisbane, Madrid and New York. We`ve already defined Magic Circle companies by their size. This is also reflected in the trainees` experience: newcomers often work in large teams with at least three qualified lawyers and often more. A hierarchy is clearly there – these companies are “not the kind of place where you would just walk around a partner`s office and start talking about the weather.” The workplace is demanding and it can be hard to escape: as in other law firms in the city, Magic Circle outfits can have “sleeping capsules” for overnight stays. Facilities such as a gym, restaurant, café, bar, hairdresser, dentist, and dry cleaning can give another feeling that bosses don`t want you to leave the office too much. One interviewee told us that the highlight of a particularly stressful month was the opportunity to visit their local Tesco. So what sets the five Magic Circle companies apart? Let`s start with work. Historically, Slaughter and May, Freshfields and Linklaters have been the most widely regarded for their corporate work, and Allen & Overy, Clifford Opportunity for Finance (i.e. banks and financial markets). This distinction is now widely contested, as the corporate and financial practices of the five companies dwarf those of all but a few of their competitors. But the distinction between business and finance within the circle still shines through in the Chambers UK ranking: revenue doubled when the companies came together, but revenue immediately fell 14% in two years, from £586 million to £505 million. PEP fell nearly 25%, from £801,000 to £603,000 in 2016, the lowest figure the company has recorded in more than a decade.

Worse still, Ashurst`s stock rally has fallen below £1 million this year, a benchmark set by each of its rival companies in the UK`s TOP 10. Although the PEP has recovered somewhat, it is no longer at the level of the silver circle. Large independent London companies in the form of Macfarlanes are rare. So, is there a future for this model? Magic Circle companies are known for their long working hours, clear sense of hierarchy and high professional demands. For those who can meet these demands, it pays off in the form of generous salaries, state-of-the-art work environments, and the opportunity to work on some of the industry`s most important and important cases. Silver Circle companies are historically registered as follows: Ashurst, Herbert Smith Freehills, SJ Berwin (which has now been dissolved), Macfarlanes and Travers Smith. However, many of these companies no longer meet the criteria listed above. The currently included list of the Silver Circle is: Macfarlanes, Travers Smith, Slaughter and May and Mishcon de Reya. Magic Circle companies are pioneers in franchising English law and set up franchises in non-English-speaking countries. U.S. companies are also in the market for the same caliber of graduates, seducing them with higher salaries.

The differences aren`t as obvious at the intern level: Magic Circle`s first-year students can expect to earn around £43,000, while their colleagues at top-paid US companies can get anything, from around £45,000 (at Paul Hastings) to £50,000 (at Davis Polk). It`s only after qualification that the gap really starts to widen: while magic circle companies have recently started paying NQ salaries in response to some US companies that have raised their salaries to £(over) £100,000, the salary packages for the latter still far exceed those of the former. Among the county`s magical businesses, Slaughter and May distribute NQ`s lowest salary (£71,500), while Freshfields dominates the sleeping place with £85,000. Compare that to the highest-paid American companies: Paul Hastings distributes £110,000, Davis Polk $112,500 and Kirkland & Ellis $180,000. Even Akin Gump, who starts his apprentices with the same salary as the Magic Circle, significantly increases the Dosh Post qualification to pay his NQ £112,500. In 2004, Tim Clark, then a senior partner at Slaughter and May, said: “It`s a fun concept. I do not know where the term comes from or who founded it. It`s mostly something that happens when we talk to journalists or they talk to us. We do not describe ourselves as a Magic Circle company in any of our marketing materials.

[2] David Cheyne, then head of the company at Linklaters, said: “The city`s law firms provided each other with information years ago so they could stay in touch with what was happening, but mostly it ended. This seems to be a term to describe the city`s major businesses, and there`s some truth to that. [2] Henry Raine, then a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills and a former investment banker, said: “The term was coined by a legal magazine and referred to very strong companies in corporate or international work. At that time, Herbert Smith was languishing in the company`s holdings and was therefore left in the external darkness. [2] “It`s not a term we use, either internally or externally, to describe ourselves,” says David Patient, Managing Partner of Travers Smith. “But while we probably wouldn`t say, `We`re part of the money circle,` that doesn`t mean it`s not necessarily useful, and I think the term is being picked up by foreign law firms. If you have a definition for a particular type of law firm and you want to put companies in that basket, I have no objection. Significantly, Mishcon is on an equal footing with Travers and Macfarlanes on prestige issues. From its famous founder, Lord Mishcon, to the time she acted for Princess Diana in her divorce (“Reya`s Mishcon: Thirteen Letters to Scare Every Man,” joked the Times` Slummy Mummy column) to this day, the company has always had the façade of glamour. Its work on Article 50 litigation solidifies its position as a company to turn to if you have a problem that is really important. The fact that, unlike corporate transactions, she has made a name for herself in family law and litigation matters is not an obstacle to her presence in the money circle: after all, Macfarlanes maintains her successful retail practice despite her entrepreneurial ability.

If you think of money circle companies as “budding businesses of magic circles,” you may well be afraid of the idea of “degrading” massacres. But the members of the Silver Circle are clearly not potential members. They pursue a different way of doing business. And in this regard, Slaughters fits in perfectly. The money circle has changed – but if you think it doesn`t exist, you`re wrong. Who are the new names for this unique group of companies – and who left the group forever? With the decision to pursue this international strategy, Ashurst joins the group of companies that includes Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose Fulbright and Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF). The only real difference is that Ashurst was less successful. .