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£70,000 NQ salary: Hogan Lovells matches Slaughter and May as legal salary race reaches new heights

Hogan Lovells has bumped up the salaries of its newly qualified lawyers by £5,000 to £70,000 in a move that will see it again match the salary on offer at Magic Circle firm Slaughter and May.

In a hike that is more than double the pay rise given to newly qualified lawyers at Hogan Lovells last year, when salaries rose by £2,000 to £65,000, Hogan Lovells becomes one of the top-paying law firms in the City.

The £70,000 salary for newly qualified lawyers is 15% higher than what was on offer just four years ago, when a newly qualified lawyer at the firm would earn £61,000 a year.

Meanwhile, the rates for trainees will also increase to £41,000 for first year trainees, £1,500 up on last year, while second year trainees will earn £2,000 more to reach £46,000.

With sharp growth at US firms offering £100,000 salaries in the City, the steep rise in salary at Hogan Lovells generates more heat in the battle for talent. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which has yet to announce its salary bands for the new financial year, was the highest paying Magic Circle firm for newly qualified lawyers in 2014, pegging their salaries at £67,500.

Slaughter and May started the salary review season at the end of last month when it announced NQs would recieve £70,000 while those with three years experience would get £96,500.