July 19, 2008
Restraints on Trade
Posted by David Zaring

I'm piping in from Europe briefly to point you to the Sunday Times's article on the best paid London lawyers.  Takeaway: it's great for the few people who get to be barristers (that is, the nuts qualification limitation that the UK imposes on lawyers who want to appear in court) that they have a barrister requirement.  The corporate guys who pull down three to five million bucks a year work "80 hour weeks" or “every hour God gives.”  The top barristers?  Well, they make slightly more money, and they spend many of the hours that God gives doing things other than working.  One is the "cleverest man in England," summers (as in, spends the whole summer) in Bordeaux, and is writing a three volume history on one of England's obscure but lengthy late-medieval wars.  Another "starts at 8.30, leaves at 5.30."  A third lists his passions as "opera, riding, gardening, olive farming," and has a house in Hampshire and a villa in Tuscany.

I imagine this article is being passed around New York law firms, where one gets the sense that litigators are only vaguely tolerated, with some bemusement.

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