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Travers, Macfarlanes and Jones Day boost junior lawyers pay while HSF and CMS freeze associate salaries

Travers Smith, Macfarlanes and Jones Day have all boosted their junior lawyers pay in this year’s review, in contrast to Herbert Smith Freehills and CMS McKenna Nabarro Olswang which have held pay for London associates, with some regional pay rises. 

Jones Day has substantially boosted its NQ City lawyers’ pay by 18%, rising by £15,000 from last year to £100,000. Its trainees will also receive increased pay in this year’s review, with Jones Days first years earning an extra £2,000, raising their salaries to £47,000, while second year pay jumped 8% to £54,000.

Travers Smith also increased its associate salaries across the board, with newly qualified lawyers (NQ) now receiving a base salary of £75,000, a 5% hike on last year’s pay.

The UK firm raised its pay for its 1 year post-qualification (PQE) lawyers, who will now receive £82,000, an additional £3,000 on last year’s figures. Its 2 year PQE lawyers received a £1,000 raise, bringing their base salary to £92,000; and an additional £2,000 has been awarded to 3 year PQE lawyers, who will be paid £102,000 this year.

Trainees at the firm have seen a rise in their base salaries, with first years awarded an extra £1,000, while second year trainees will earn a further £1,500 up from last year. Their base salaries will now reach £43,500 and £49,000 respectively.

Across the City, Macfarlanes NQs can now earn between £81,300 and £90,000 a year, based on individual performance bonuses, which are expected to range between 8% and 15%. The figures have shot up from its previous band, which ranged between £71,000 and £75,000. All fee earners will have the chance to earn an extra bonus of up to 10% of their base salary for ‘exceptional’ performance.

Although London-based CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang associates have missed out on a systematic pay rise, CMS has increased pay levels for NQs in both Bristol and Scotland, who will receive £49,000, up £1,500 and £39,000, a £1,000 increase, respectively.

London-based associates base salaries at Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) remain unchanged. However, HSF associates will have a chance to earn greater pay with a new bonus system for top performers.

HSF is currently looking to review its salary structure to ‘be able to consider an associate’s wider contribution to the firm, alongside their performance and skills’, a spokesperson said The new reward structure will aim to ‘provide greater flexibility for the firm to make reward decisions less directly linked to PQE.’