London lawyers work the longest hours

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Oct 27, 2017
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The average lawyer in London works 45 hours a week

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Lawyers in London work longer hours than their counterparts anywhere else in the UK, a survey has revealed.

The average London practitioner works a 45-hour week, nine hours longer than they were contractually obliged to do.

They were followed by legal professionals in Scotland, who on average work six hours a week longer than they were contractually obliged.

The figures come from the recruitment firm Douglas Scott, which surveyed more than 2,200 private practice and in-house lawyers in the UK. They will surprise some, not least the galley slaves toiling away in the Square Mile, which is replete with tales of junior lawyers being routinely press-ganged into late-night shifts to work on deals.

Nationally, the average lawyer works a 40-hour-week, although 88 per cent of the survey responses came from outside of London, which may have skewed the results downwards.

Nonetheless, banking and capital markets lawyers led the list of those working the longest hours, ahead of litigation and arbitration specialists.

And for the first time in three years, criminal law specialists were not among the group of lawyers logging the longest hours.

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