Legal Week Intelligence, Legal Week’s research arm, has launched the 2017 Best Employers Survey, which is available for all law firm fee earner and support staff here.

Now in its 14th year, the report examines all aspects of working life at a modern law firm – gathering views on importance and satisfaction for all aspects of an employee’s career, including professional, personal, management, career development and pay.

Last year’s Best Employers Report generated 2,300 responses from fee earners and support staff at global, UK and City firms. The top priorities for respondents were feeling valued, career development prospects, quality of work and salary, with average satisfaction scores falling below expectations in all four categories.

“Feeling valued often has very little to do with money,” Withers global HR director Simon Luckett told the 2016 report’s author, Dominic Carman. “You’ve got to make sure you are financially competitive, but the way you feel valued is the interaction you get from the work that you do, both from the partners you work for, but also the clients that you are interacting with.”

This year’s survey will take place against a background of intense competition among leading law firms in the UK to attract top talent. Last year, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer hiked pay for its newly qualified lawyers by 26%, as well as introducing flexible working for fee earners.

Legal Week also recently reported that DLA Piper was delaying pay reviews for its lawyers by two months to allow management more time to assess moves made by competitor firms. The firm’s pay reviews usually take place in May, but it will now wait until July to make a decision on next year’s rates.

Meanwhile, law firms are stepping up their efforts to improve diversity. Major UK law firms including Hogan Lovells, Herbert Smith Freehills and Allen & Overy are moving to hold partners to account on the diversity of their teams by more explicitly linking it to compensation and performance reviews.

Firms that score exceptionally well in the report will be awarded a ‘Best Employer’ accreditation, with coverage featured on’s Best Employers content hub and throughout ALM’s global legal media network.

Click here to complete the survey.

  • For more details, contact Lara Rosenthal at or call +44(0)20 3868 7545