Thursday, June 20, 2024

Linklaters Raises UK Lawyer Pay 20%, Matching Freshfields Move (1)

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Linklaters boosted pay for newly qualified lawyers in London by 20%, matching the standard set weeks earlier by rival Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

New qualified attorneys are now paid £150,000 ($188,000), the firm said Friday. That’s up from £125,000 ($157,000).

“We are committed to rewarding our people competitively in our market,” Paul Lewis, the firm’s managing partner, said in a statement. “Our salary changes reflect this and enable us to attract and retain exceptional lawyers to provide the highest quality service to our clients.”

Freshfields touted “strong growth” as driving its decision to lift junior lawyers’ salaries earlier this month. Major law firms in the US and UK, including the “Magic Circle” group of five elite London firms, historically have moved to match competitors on compensation.

The latest changes move Linklaters and Freshfields closer to pay offered at top US firms.

Three US firms in January announced salary increases for their UK associates. Sidley Austin said newly qualified lawyers would get a 4.4% bump to about £166,500 ($212,000), while Ropes & Gray gave its London first-year associates a 12% increases to £165,000 ($210,000) and Paul Hastings said it would boost pay for newly qualified lawyers 5.5% to about £173,000 ($220,000).

Associates at top US firms stateside are paid on a seniority based scale that starts at $225,000.

Linklaters also announced salary increases for first-year trainees, who will be paid £56,000 ($70,000) up from £50,000 ($63,000). Second-year trainees will receive £61,000 ($77,000), up from £55,000 ($69,000), according to the firm. Solicitor apprentices will be paid £28,000 ($35,000), a bump from £25,000 ($32,000).

The new salaries were effective May 1.

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