Lawyers who get to 50

Which is usually the age where firms start booting you out, who have made decent money but can’t yet retire

What do they all do? Become teachers? 

I'm planning to make a couple of million in the next few years and become a slum landlord.

If the firms I've worked at are any indication you will work as a consultant for years after retiring, or possibly become a salaried partner (IR-35 being what it is)

Where do all the older lawyers go when in-house? I see mid 30s to 40s at D level but I never seen any older 50s types except at MD or GC level but there are only like 3 of them?

retail and corporate banking has more older types I thinks. 

Why would I want to waste my 50's still working though.  Arguably the last decade I have sufficient fitness and energy to do all the crap I was missing out on whilst working.

let's not pretend scotland pays retire at 50 dolla these days

I have literally no idea how much senior associates/salaried partners are earning in Embra these days?

No private practice senior associate is on £100k in the whole of Scotland.


Which firms boot out 50 year olds?!  60, maybe.

bigbadbilly, from what I see in FS, business people get shelled at 55 while lawyers seem to get it at 60. The reason you don't see old lawyers is that the growth in IH legal hasn't had a full career cycle yet. We have quite a few mid 50s who will likely be allowed to continue. The other thing is that senior D and MDs do get culled periodically for cost cutting if they start coasting so that reduces the average age further. In some ways it's better to be a senior producer with a nice deep knowledge trench around you. "Managers" are far more easily replaced or juniorised.

Also post 50 you would be very lucky to get recruited laterally these days hence the enormous contractors market now.

55 is a pretty hard cut off for big firms in the UK unless you are either firmwide management or a massive rainmaker with a portable practice. It is a growing problem (albeit an extremely first world problem).  People used to be ready to retire at early to mid 50s and live a life of quiet moderate affluence in the home counties.  Fewer and fewer seem to want that now and of course annuity rates/yield generally is very scarce and requires big amounts of capital to fund a retirement that long so the scramble to cling on becomes ever more brutal. 

"55 is a pretty hard cut off for big firms in the UK"

Is English your first language? 

Wtf is this supposed to mean ?

In US firms it's more like 150....

Origination points are a remarkable incentiviser to never bloody retire.

Tarquin, I think it means you are about to get whacked granddad.

Yes, I'd assumed that 

Disturbing and annoying  that a lawyer should be so incoherent 

Worth bearing in mind that many lawyers don’t make partner till much later that in their careers now – sometimes early 40s, so it makes no sense to boots out at 50. What kind of a career would that be.

I'm hoping I get made redundant at 60, that would be sweet.

I don’t accept the premise of the OP. I have never worked at a firm that started booting people out at 50.

When I read many of the messages I see on R on F I realise how London "Centric" the contributors are and how money seems to be everything in the "trade" in which they all presumably spent several years qualifying to become solicitors. What little world they all live in.

I joined a profession where the main pillar of the job was to do the best for one's client, come what may, and in return, the reward was a reasonable fee for the advice. I have been happy with that throughout my career.

In starting out, one looked up to those over 30 ,then 40 and so on. If you were younger the older ones generally knew so much more. A very unhealthy profession has been created if those greedy people above want you out of the way because you are perhaps "clogging" the equity ladder, or being in the way, or getting a bit slow.

Experience counts.

As a partner of 35 years in the same firm, about to turn 65, not booted out by my partners, with something still to bring to the party, in a partnership where, yes, we all share equally I love my job.

I have a few more miles left on the clock --I hope---but of course I do not practise in London!




Agricultural and Commercial Property with emphasis particularly in Land Options, Promotion Agreements and other derivative areas.

They generally don't need the money, they just like the status.

A firm I worked at had a retired partners suite. A few offices with secretarial support. They could drop in anytime they wanted.

I used to go up and chat with them sometimes. A lot of knowledge some of them, and more than happy to pass it on.

  • The weird ones are the US shops with partners so old you wonder whether there has been a mistake.
  • Like way into their seventies.
  • Would you really trust your business to an OAP who looks as if they saw action at Pearl Harbour?


yes, the facts change but the problems don’t 

As a trainee I worked with one ol boy who dictated a banking doc down the phone from his bath . It was spot on.


I think Joe Flom used to have an office at Skadden long after he retired. He used to give short talks to the new lawyers, fairly motivational probably.

Of course he wasn't running the firm then, but everyone knew who he was and the history, not just some random old bloke off the street.

Don't forget also that some of the top execs in their clients were into their 70s as well.


  • Yes and the question again arises: what are they doing there?