Slaughter and May boosts first-year lawyer salaries to £100,000

Magic Circle law firm Slaughter and May has bumped salaries for its first year lawyers to £100,000.

Salaries for newly qualified lawyers at the firm have jumped 10% from £90,500. The changes are effective from 1 July.

Associates at the firm will also be eligible for a discretionary bonus on top of their basic pay.

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The firm said it was also increasing the salaries of its more senior associates, but did not provide any further detail.

Slaughter and May is the latest Magic Circle law firm to increase NQ pay to £100,000 in what has become a new standard for the leading UK law firms.

Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy, Linklaters and Macfarlanes have all upped salaries for NQs to £100,000 this summer in a tight market for talent amid frantic dealmaking activity.

The move by the UK firms to increase salaries has been seen as a response to a series of salary hikes by the top US law firms which was kicked off by Milbank on 10 June when it increased pay for its first year lawyers to $200,000 (£147,000), with London associates also included in the raise.

READ Allen & Overy profit per equity partner soars 17% to £1.9m in ‘hottest market I can remember’

That scale was topped by Davis Polk & Wardwell, which set a new standard for first year lawyers at $202,500, with top US firms, including Milbank, then following suit.

Top law firms are having a stellar pandemic, thanks to high levels of deal activity and reduced costs thanks to homeworking and savings on travel and entertaining.

Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance have both hit record profit per equity partner numbers this year, at £1.9m and £1.85m respectively, while City firm Ashurst broke the £1m barrier for the first time since 2008.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email James Booth

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