Freshfields chucks £500 pay rise at trainees as top partners take home nearly £1.5m

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By Jonathan Ames on

Latest magic circle player to update pay gives newly-qualified solicitors a big fat nothing


First-year trainee solicitors at Anglo-German law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have been chucked a miserly 1% pay rise while newly qualified lawyers will get no increase at all.

The firm was today the latest to announce a pay update in the City and leaves Freshfields junior lawyers trailing key magic circle competitors.

Trainees and junior associates might also be slightly bemused, as their bosses are some of the best-remunerated lawyers in the world. Last year, average equity partner drawings at the firm scraped the £1.5 million mark.

Freshfields officials this afternoon confirmed a report on law firm partner chat board Roll on Friday that first-year trainees would see their annual pay rise to £41,000.

The firm currently takes on 80 trainees annually, and the move will put starters level with those at transatlantic player Hogan Lovells and fellow magic circle firm Slaughter and May.

However, they will trail by £1,000 counterparts at magic circle firms Clifford Chance and Linklaters.

Newly-qualified solicitors at Freshfields have been left even more disappointed. Starting pay will remain on £67,500. That leaves them trailing Linklaters by £1,000, while Hogan Lovells, Linklaters and Clifford Chance are all £2,500 ahead.

Allen & Overy remains the only magic circle practice to keep its junior lawyers waiting for a salary update.

It is understood that Freshfields has not imposed a blanket freeze on junior lawyer salaries above the newly-qualified level and that increases are still possible within various boundaries.


Clifford Chance leaps to joint top of junior lawyer pay league table [Legal Cheek]