Legal Business Blogs

Slaughters first to up pay for trainees and NQs

Slaughter and May has again become the first major City player to announce changes to its junior fee-earners’ pay levels, with a marginal rise in salary for first year trainees and increases for newly-qualified lawyers (NQs) of up to 3%.

The changes, which will take effect from tomorrow (1 May), will see first year trainees receive £500 more than last year, bringing their pay to £39,500.

Second year trainees will receive £1000 more, boosting their salary to £45,000.

NQs will 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.

Richard Clark, Slaughter and May’s executive partner, said: ‘The firm has seen an encouraging level of activity so far this year and we remain cautiously optimistic about the prospects for the continuing recovery of the wider economy.’

Last year Slaughters was also the first to unveil its junior pay increases and the market will now watch to see how the remainder of the Magic Circle responds, with Linklaters last year upping NQ pay from £61,500 to £64,000, CC up to £63,500, while Allen & Overy held junior fee-earners’ pay at the same rate, £61,500 for a NQ.

Rates in full:

Newly qualified: £65,000 (£63,000)

One year PQE: £70,000 (£69,500)

Two year PQE: £79,000 (£78,000)

Three year PQE: £89,000 (£87,500)

Trainee year 1: £39,500 (£39,000)

Trainee year 2: £45,000 (£44,000)