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Shearman hikes UK associate pay following 14% increase in City revenue

Shearman & Sterling‘s UK associates will see another increase to their salaries with newly qualified (NQ) lawyers taking home £10,000 more starting this month.

NQ pay has risen by 10.5% from £95,000 to £105,000 with mid-level associates receiving a 9.5% bump in their pay from £126,000 to £138,000. The start of the senior associate salary band has risen by 5.6%, up to £165,000 on last year’s £156,000.

The rise follows last year’s push by £7,000 to £95,000. NQ lawyers’ salaries were up from £88,000 in 2015, an 8% increase. This was £4,000 more than their peers at Linklaters, £10,000 more than their equivalents at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and a whopping £23,500 more than at Slaughter and May. Mid-year associates saw their salaries up 10% to £126,000 – £11,000 more than 2015. Senior associates’ pay rose by £12,000 to £156,000. That equates to a 7% increase.

London managing partner Nick Buckworth (pictured) said: ‘We are committed to attracting and retaining the best of the brightest associates. Our salary rate increase is an acknowledgment of the hard work and commitment of our talented associates and recognises their ongoing contributions to the firm’s success.’

Shearman boosted its revenue by 6% for 2016, sitting at $912m. Profit per equity partner (PEP) jumped substantially by 18% up from $1.84m to $2.17m while lawyer headcount remained stable with an increase of six to 840. London’s lawyer headcount increased by five to 187 as City revenue was up by 14% to $169.7m.

The results will have eased concerns over last year’s mixed financials where Shearman posted a 2% rise in revenues which reached $860m, but PEP partner dropped 4% from $1.9m to $1.84m.

In the second half of last year Shearman agreed to cut its equity partnership and saw a series of departures, including private equity head Mark Soundy, who left in October along with UK tax head Sarah Priestley. Shearman’s European grouping, led by project finance partner Nick Buckworth, did not hire any new partners in Europe in 2016.

However last month Shearman reappointed antitrust lawyer Christopher Bright as a partner in London. Bright had been pointed by the government as a member of the UK Competition Commission in a part-time quasi-judicial decision-making role in 2006. Bright had stayed on at Shearman as a consultant following his appointment after he established the firm’s City antitrust practice.

Read more: ‘Can Shearman finally get ahead of the curve after 15 years of diminishing returns?