From hair transplants to Pelotons: City lawyers reveal how they’re spending their lockdown bonuses

by Adam Mawardi

City lawyers have revealed how they’re spending their lockdown bonuses in an Instagram Q&A, with everything from hair transplants to Peloton spin bikes featuring on associates’ shopping lists.

This comes on the back of City law firms handing out one-off cash sums to lawyers in recognition of their hard work during the pandemic.

Last year, many City players initially introduced belt-tightening measures, including salary cuts and furloughing staff, as they looked to protect themselves from the financial fallout of COVID-19. Such protective steps were short lived, however, as law firms found their performance to exceed early expectations, with COVID-uncertainty keeping lawyers busy.

That said, while law firms have quickly bounced back, trainee solicitors are apparently fed up with remote-working and the lack of support they receive from seniors. According to recent reports, bouts of exhaustion and feelings of isolation and frustration are seemingly rife at the junior end of the solicitor profession with many longing for a return to the office.

With lawyers now debating whether they’re ‘working from home’ or actually ‘living from work’, it appears some are using lockdown bonuses to blow off steam.

This week popular corporate law meme account CityLawBois asked its Instagram followers to reveal the “dumb shit you copped/plan to cop with your bonus”. The responses did not disappoint.

“Facelift and hair transplant for balding in my late 20s,” one revealed. “Big old Fender guitar amp to crank up as hell and blow off the work steam”, replied one Insta user. “Private flower arranging workshop. Stress reduction in strange time,” said another.

Designer fashion was a favourite. Proposed purchases included “handmade loafers” accessorised with a luxury Patek Philippe watch, “more Cartier and/or Chanel”, while another said their “bestie at [a magic circle firm] will be investing in her first Birkin”. As one had their eyes on limited edition streetwear — “all the Off White x Nike collab” — another was just happy to be shopping on the highstreet again: “Spend it on the bargains in PRIMARK now it’s back open hun!’

Flashing the cash on “new wheels” was also popular, including “his n hers Pelotons”. CityLawBois did call out one respondent, who mentioned a “new shape [Mercedes] AMG”, for not actually being a lawyer — a useful reminder to our readers to take some of these with a pinch of salt.

Others are taking a more sensible approach, revealing plans to spend the extra cash on “paying off the last of my student loans” and a “charity donation”. And yet, money isn’t everything it seems, as one person replied: “The only happiness I can afford is a Happy Meal”.