Editor’s weekly: Because he’s worth it?

It looks like the drinks are on College of Law (CoL) chief Nigel Savage after it emerged he got a whopping 40 per cent pay rise in – erm – a recession.

The increase sent his already fat pay cheque rocketing to the dizzying heights of £440,000, according to the school’s 2009 accounts. And unsurprisingly students aren’t happy (read more).

We can’t say we blame them because CoL (which, by the way, is a registered charity) continues to charge fees that are on a par with its commercial rivals.

Indeed, this points to the bigger issue of the college’s often aggressive strategy, which most of us wouldn’t expect from a not for profit entity. You only have to look at the relationships it’s building abroad (see story) and the way it’s sewing up the Bristol legal market (see story) to see what we mean.

Those in CoL’s camp are bound to defend its fees by claiming that the college’s costs aren’t any lower than that of its rivals’ and despite being a charity it doesn’t receive any public funding. They would also argue that with rivals BPP and Kaplan both being backed by gigantic US business CoL would be fighting for survival if it just sat back and did nothing. And don’t forget the huge sums of money is donates to its Pathways to Law programme.

Indeed, in the grand scheme of things – taking into account that a newly qualified lawyer at Bingham earns £100,000 and some of the most senior partners in the City are netting £1m – maybe, just maybe, he deserves it?

corinne.mcpartland@thelawyer.com