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Associate pay: Slaughter and May releases muted salary increases

Slaughter and May has released underwhelming associate salary increases, ranging between 2% and 5%, following its annual pay review.

The firm has increased its pay scales for trainees and associates following an annual review, with the new rates taking effect on 1 May.

Salaries for newly qualified lawyers are up 2.1% from £70,000 to £71,500, while associates with one year’s post-qualified experience (PQE) will see their salaries go up to £79,000 from £75,500.

Further up the scale, lawyers at the firm with two and three years’ PQE will each get a £3,250 pay boost to take annual pay up £90,250 and £99,750 respectively. For those with two years’ PQE, this represents a 3.7% salary increase on the £87,000 on offer last year. For those with three years’ PQE, it is a slightly lower increase of 3.4% on the £96,500 paid out last year.

Trainees will pocket an extra £1,500 at Slaughter and May this year, with first year trainees set to earn £42,500 and second year trainees set to earn £47,500.

With City salaries rising as competition for talent heats up and more profitable US firms expand in London, Slaughter and May lifted bonuses for high-perfroming junior lawyers to between 9%-16% of salaries at Christmas, up on the 7.5% to 15% range at the end of 2014. However, it is lagging behind an increasing number of firms when it comes to pay in the City, with US firm White & Case increasing salaries by 20% last year to hand newly-qualified lawyers £90,000 a year.

Magic Circle rival Linklaters ramped up associate take-home pay last month after a lengthy review of its remuneration, with newly-qualified lawyers set to take home at least £81,000 next year including bonus, compared to the £68,500 basic salary on offer in 2015. High performers will on average earn £91,000 including bonuses. One year’s PQE lawyers at Linklaters will take home £90,000 on average from 1 May, with associates at two and three years’ PQE set to receive £100,000 and £111,000.


Slaughter and May salary review in full:


Trainee year 1: £42,500 (£41,000) +3.66%

Trainee year 2: £47,500 (£46,000) +3.26%

Newly qualified: £71,500 (£70,000) +2.14%

One year’s PQE: £79,000 (£75,500)+ 4.64%

Two years’ PQE: £90,250 (£87,000) +3.74%

Three years’ PQE: £99,750 (£96,500) +3.37%