Legal Business Blogs

Associate pay 2014 – ‘A good year’ sees CC boost salaries and bonuses across the board

Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance (CC) has significantly raised its salary package for its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers and junior ranks.

Salaries will be raised across the board, with first year trainees seeing an increase from £39,000 to £40,500 while year two trainees will receive an extra £1,500 to £45,500.

NQs will see their salary rise to £67,500 from £63,500, with the maximum bonus awarded potentially bringing the total to £81,000 for the 2014/15 year.

First year post-qualification experience (PQE) lawyers have been given a raise from £69,500 to £72,500, with their salary including bonuses reaching a possible £94,250, while second year PQE lawyers will take home a salary of £84,000 with a maximum bonus bringing the total to £109,200. Third year PQEs have received a £5,700 rise to £93,500 with maximum bonuses leading to a total of £121,550.

London managing partner David Bickerton, said: ‘The London office has had another good year, which has seen us instructed on some of the most high-profile work in the market. Our people are achieving exceptional results for clients, helping us once again to take more top directory rankings than any other law firm. These salary increases and bonus awards reflect our appreciation of the consistently high-quality work of our lawyers.’

The firm last year announced a rise in associate and trainee pay as well as bonuses for the year ahead, adding an extra £2,000 to NQ lawyers’ pay packets.

CC’s unusual decision to set out its bonus packages in detail last year was viewed as a bid to gain a recruitment advantage against City peers and US rivals, which often do not disclose the details of the bonuses.

Last month Magic Circle rivals Linklaters and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer unveiled changes to their associate pay, with Linklaters pushing its salaries up across the board and Freshfields announcing a significant pay hike for its newly qualified (NQ) and junior ranks, with trainees in line to take home £1,500 more after a pay freeze in 2013.