Post-GFC world sees cleaners earn more than lawyers

by 07 Sep 2009

Magic Circle law firm Lovells is determined to retain its junior lawyers, even if it has to pay them less per hour than the average London cleaning job.

As reported by, the firm is avoiding market trends of lawyer layoffs by offering jobs to lawyers at low rates. So low, in fact, that their hourly rate of £9.00 ($17.35) for the contract positions fall a full pound behind the £10.00 an hour a contracting cleaning company offers its employees for occasional jobs in London.

A newly qualified lawyer told RollOnFriday that the invitation to work a three-month contract at Lovell on a major piece of litigation quickly soured on learning the rate of pay being offered, and that she would be better off working behind a bar – or maybe even as a cleaner for the law firm.

To the further dismay of the recently qualified lawyer, she believes Lovells was prepared to offer a permanent job off the back of the contract position – leaving many wondering if the firm was also prepared to retain the pathetic hourly rate.

But a Lovells spokesperson defended the rate of pay, stating that the firm had no intention of the roles leading to permanent positions and that “the positions pay at a rate commensurate with the level of legal expertise required and current market conditions”.

Still, at £9 an hour to do a bunch of photocopying, perhaps the lawyer in question would have a better chance of gaining experience at the pub. She might earn a pound or two extra an hour too.


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