Exclusive: Reed Smith hands qualifying solicitors modest 1.5% pay rise

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By Jonathan Ames on

Trainees at Pittsburgh-headquartered practice do better, bagging 4% rise to take them to £38,500


They do things at a slightly more conservative pace in Steel Town, USA. Which is why when the London offices of other US-headquartered firms are chucking money about as though it were going out of style, Reed Smith has awarded its newly qualified English lawyers a pay rise of only slightly more than 1.5%.

To be fair, moving newbie London solicitors at the Pittsburgh-based practice up from £60,000 to £61,000 is more in line with the UK’s current retail price index.

Nonetheless, junior lawyers at the firm — which took over London practice Richards Butler eight years ago — might feel slightly disappointed when comparing their pay rises with the 20% increase flash New Yorkers White & Case handed to their NQs last week.

Trainees at Reed Smith, however, have a bit more to celebrate. The firm announced within the last hour that they have been awarded a 4% rise, taking first-year trainees from £37,000 to £38,500.

The move will catapult the firm several places up the Legal Cheek “Most List” for trainee wedge, putting it on a par with London-based global franchise firm CMS.

Reed Smith recruits 24 trainees a year, and the firm said today that pay for those in their second year will be increased to £40,000.