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Associate pay: Shearman raises English-qualified lawyers’ salaries by up to 6.4% across the board

Shearman & Sterling has announced a salary boost for its English-qualified lawyers, increasing pay levels across the firm’s three-tier merit based system by up to 6.4%.

The salary increases, which came into effect on 1 May, will see junior associates with up to three and half years’ post qualification experience (PQE) paid £83,000, up from £78,000, with the maximum amount that junior associates can be paid rising by 5.5% to £114,000 from £108,000.

Mid-level associates with between three and a half years and six years’ PQE will see their pay range increase by up to 5.5% to between £115,000 and £145,000 from a previous range of £109,000 to £142,000. Senior associates with six and a half years’ PQE or more will earn over £146,000.

These changes apply to both London-based lawyers and English-qualified lawyers in the Wall Street firm’s Abu Dhabi office.

‘The latest salary rate increases are testament to our ongoing commitment to rewarding the very talented lawyers we have working at Shearman & Sterling and recognising their contribution to the firm’s success. We continue to focus on and support individual associate career development and progression,’ said London managing partner Nick Buckworth (pictured).

The announcement follows Allen & Overy’s decision this month that one year PQE lawyers will continue to be paid £69,500, two year PQE lawyers £78,500 and three year PQE lawyers £89,000.

The Magic Circle firm this year raised its senior associate entry level salary by £5,000, up from £100,000 to £105,000, a level that has remained unchanged for some time.

At Linklaters, meanwhile, pay for a one year PQE associate is up this year by £1,000 to £70,500, while two and three year PQE lawyers have seen much more substantial increases, up by £3,750 and £4,500 to £82,000 and £93,500 respectively. These increases are significantly higher than this time last year, when pay rose by £2,250 for two years PQE and just £1,000 for three-year qualified associates.

Slaughter and May last month announced a marginal rise in salary for first year trainees and increases for newly-qualified lawyers (NQs) of up to 3%.

The changes, which also took effect from 1 May, will see NQs now receive £65,000, a £2000 increase on last year. This comes after the Magic Circle firm last year raised its NQ pay by £1500 to £63,000 and means that NQ salaries are slowly edging back to the £65,000 paid by the largest City firms before the financial crisis hit in 2008.

One-year post qualification experience (PQE) lawyers will get an extra £500, while two-year PQE pay is up to £79,000, an increase of £1000.