05 June 2013

Magic circle firms pump up London lawyers' pay

Three of the London's highest grossing and most prestigious law firms have announced they are raising salaries for newly-qualified City-based lawyers, who can now earn up to £65,000 in their first year after qualifying to practice.

By James Barnes

Magic circle firms raise salaries

Clifford Chance is to raise pay for newly-qualified lawyers by about 3 per cent, to £63,500, while Linklaters is to raise its rates by 4 per cent to £64,000, reports Bloomberg.
Slaughter and May has also raised newly-qualified salaries around 2 per cent to £63,000.
The two other members of the Magic Circle, Allen & Overy and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, kept salaries unchanged – although Freshfields currently offers the highest pay for newly-qualified lawyers at £65,000.


The firms had previously cut or frozen pay for several years following the impact of the financial crisis in 2008.
However, Bloomberg points out that the salaries still lag behind those offered in New York  where newly-qualified lawyers can pull in a whopping $166,000 (£105,000) in their first year.
Nick Shillinglaw, a legal recruiter at London-based Michael Page International, commented: ‘It’s certainly looking up… There’s more confidence in the market now.’

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