Slaughter and May ups NQ pay to £125k

Nine percent pay bump sees Slaughters match Magic Circle rivals
A plan view of used UK banknotes.

Pay at Slaughters still lags salaries at leading US law firms in London by a significant margin Shutterstock; Richard z

Slaughter and May has increased the salaries for its newly qualified lawyers to £125k.

The increase of nearly 9% from £115k was effective 1 November and sees the firm match its Magic Circle rivals Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters.

“We are pleased to announce that we have completed a review of salaries for all associates,” a Slaughter and May spokesperson said. “Our NQ salary will increase to £125,000, and all associates will move through the scales.”

As recently as 2021 Slaughters paid its NQs £90,500 but increased the amount to £115k in April last year amid an associate pay war that kicked off during the pandemic and has seen salaries for junior lawyers reach eye-watering levels on both sides of the pond. 

Despite repeated increases UK firms are still lagging behind their US rivals, which benefit from being anchored in the lucrative US market. A number of US firms including Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins and Akin Gump pay their London NQs £170k or more. 

Allen & Overy and Linklaters raised their NQ pay to £125k earlier this year, having failed to match Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in raising their rates in 2022, citing challenging market conditions. 

Slaughters’ increase also sees it overtake Baker McKenzie and Hogan Lovells, which upped NQ pay earlier this year to £118k and £120k earlier this year.

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