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Shearman ramps up associate pay as war for talent intensifies

Newly-qualified UK lawyers at Shearman & Sterling will see salaries pushed up £7,000 to £95,000 this year as City salaries soar. Rises of between 7% and 10% have been dished out across the associate ranks, with more experienced associates set to trouser up to £12,000 extra a year. The salary increases took effect from 1 May, 2016.

Newly-qualified lawyers salaries are up from £88,000 in 2015 to £95,000 this year, an 8% rise. This is £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, with three and a half year’s post-qualified experience (PQE), scooped the biggest percentage increase in pay, with salaries up 10% to £126,000. That’s £11,000 more than last year.

Senior associates, with six and a half year’s PQE, scored the biggest monetary rise as pay rose by £12,000 to £156,000. That equates to a 7% increase.

Trainee salaries have been frozen at £45,000 for first year trainees and £50,000 for second year trainees. Nonetheless, these salaries received substantial hikes last year, with first year salaries topped up by £6,000 and second year salaries topped up by £6,000.

The changes apply to UK lawyers across the firm and took effect on 1 May.

Shearman & Sterling has also introduced an agile working policy for London-based counsel and associates. While the firm has had an informal remote working arrangement in place in its London office, it has formalised the policy following an internal consultation with staff.

The firm claims that the policy provides more structure and transparency to counsel and associates across all practice groups to work from home and meet the needs of the business, but there is no set number of days that associates and counsel can work remotely. Instead associates and counsel are asked to obtain authorisation from their line manager for consideration.

Shearman London managing partner Nick Buckworth (pictured) said: ‘In a recent internal survey, our staff clearly told us that having the ability to work flexibly was of increasing importance. We are pleased to have put in place new processes that enable our team to work in a more agile way and we have the full support of our partners to ensure this is success.’