Anonymous User wrote:I'm at US firm in London right now, and I used to work at a Magic Circle. The following COLA information might be useful:
Freshfields: £25,000 (GBP)
Out of the above, I would recommend Latham. They have one of the top reputations in the market, have a huge team (60+ US/JD lawyers, 200+ lawyers total in London) and bill less than Cravath and Kirkland. Also, if you work for a US firm over here, you will probably focus on high-yield debt work. High yield is especially grueling compared to other corporate work (most associates at US firms in London bill 2,200 hours to 3,000 hours (Cravath and Kirkland seriously have you billing near 3,000 hours) per year). If you go to a magic circle (except for Links), you will probably also get to do more equity and investment-grade debt deals. Your hours are also generally lower at magic circles (many colleagues did 1,600 - 1,800 hours per year for 6-7 years consistently) and you can make a long-term career at those firms. Firms like Cravath, Latham and Kirkland will grind you up and spit you out after 2-3 years.
Thank you for this post. I heard, particularly, that Cravath's work life balance in London was just horrendously bad (like "Cravath NYC hours are a walk in the park compared to London" bad). Could you speak to Cravath's reputation in the London market? I know they do mostly high-yield debt work as you described. Would you describe this kind of work as just mind-numbingly brutal for a junior associate? Any positive remarks? Are there exit options for junior associates from CSM or are those mostly going to be stateside?