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CC matches peers in associate salary race – both Slaughters’ £70k NQs and Links’ 3 year PQE pay

Clifford Chance has revealed its 2015 pay bands for newly-qualified (NQ) lawyers, matching the £70,000 NQ rates of Slaughter and May while also meeting Linklaters’ higher salaries for those with two and three year post-qualified experience (PQE).

Although the increases, which took effect from 1 May 2015, are smaller in percentage terms than those released so far by its Magic Circle peers, CC is matching the higher of the rates being offered to qualified lawyers by either Slaughters or Linklaters.

It sees NQs receive a 4% boost from £67,500 a year to £70,000 with up to a 20% bonus being paid. The band receiving the largest percentage increase comprises lawyers with three years PQE, who will receive £98,500 – a 5% increase on 2014. CC lawyers with over a year’s post-qualified experience will potentially receive up to 30% of their base salary as a bonus.

Trainees are also seeing their pay increase with year-one recruits being paid £42,000, up 4%, and year two trainees getting a 4% bump to £47,300 – a figure which is higher than that announced by rivals so far.

David Bickerton, London managing partner, said: ‘We have had a very strong performance over the last year, winning instructions on many pieces of high-profile and complex work, generating excellent results for clients and maintaining our leading position in this highly competitive market. This performance provides us with a strong platform to embark on our vision of becoming the law firm of choice for the businesses of today and tomorrow.

‘To do this, we need to retain our relentless focus on delivering the best advice to our clients in a way that responds to their priorities and needs. I believe that only the best, most motivated team will do if we are to deliver our exciting strategy. Today’s salary increases and bonuses are recognition of the high quality of our lawyers, and the critical role they will play in the success of that strategy.’

The new salary bands are as follows:

Trainee year 1: £42,000

Trainee year 2: £47,300

NQ: £70,000

PQE year 1: £75,500

PQE year 2: £88,000

PQE year 3: £98,500