Ashurst latest firm to boost trainee and junior lawyer pay

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By Alex Aldridge on

Gap emerging as “silver circle” firm’s pay rises fall short of top 10 rivals


City outfit Ashurst has become the latest law firm to raise pay for rookie solicitors, boosting trainee and newly qualified (NQ) remuneration by a relatively minor 3%.

That means first year trainee money at the so-called “silver circle” firm will increase from £39,000 to £40,000, while second year trainees will get £45,000 rather than £44,000. Wedge for NQs nudges up from £63,000 to £65,000.

The relatively small rises leave Ashurst trailing top ten rivals Slaughter and May and Hogan Lovells — which have both recently raised NQ pay to £70,000 and starting trainee salaries to £41,000.

And, as we reported earlier today, all of these firms have been put in the shade by the London office of US giant Shearman & Sterling, which has just upped NQ pay to a whopping £88,000.

That’s more than what Ashurst pays its one and two year qualified associates, who have also been granted pay rises today, meaning they’ll now earn, respectively, £72,000 and £81,000 — up from £69,000 and £77,000.

Only at three year qualified will Ashurst lawyers pull in more money than Shearman NQs — with the London firm upping pay most dramatically at this stage. An 8% rise means that Ashurst’s 3PQEs will be paid £92,000, up from £85,000.

Good going, but — for the record — still less than what NQs get at Akin Gump (£100,000), Davis Polk (£100,000), Sullivan & Cromwell (£100,000), Latham & Watkins (£98,000), Skadden (£98,000), Kirkland & Ellis (£97K), Weil Gotshal & Manges (£95,500) and Cleary Gottlieb (£95,000).

For all the pay information for the top 60 UK law firms, check out the Legal Cheek Firms Most List.