Albert Goodwin* Slaughter and May has raised the salary for its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers to £125,000, a significant 9 percent increase from the previous £115,000.
The increase is effective from 1 November, aligns the firm with its Magic Circle counterparts: Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and Linklaters.
The big law pay scale update published earlier this year on LawFuel indicates how the large law firms are handling the current economic climate so far as their pay rates are concerned.
The firm’s spokesperson said: “Following a thorough review of associate salaries, we’re proud to confirm that our NQ salary will now be £125,000, with all associates progressing through the salary scales accordingly.”
This move is a continuation of the firm’s upward trajectory in compensation, which saw an increase from £90,500 in 2021 to £115,000 in April last year.
The shift is part of a broader trend of escalating associate pay, especially notable since the onset of the pandemic, where salaries for junior lawyers have soared to unprecedented levels globally.
However, it’s important to note that despite these repeated salary hikes, UK law firms still trail behind their US counterparts in terms of compensation. US law firms like Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins, and Akin Gump, leveraging their position in the highly profitable US market, offer their London NQs salaries exceeding £170,000.
In a related development, both Allen & Overy and Linklaters elevated their NQ salaries to £125,000 earlier this year, after not matching the increases by Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in 2022 due to challenging market conditions.
With this latest increase, Slaughter and May not only matches its Magic Circle peers but also surpasses other notable firms like Baker McKenzie and Hogan Lovells, which had previously set their NQ salaries at £118,000 and £120,000 respectively earlier this year.