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Brexit Shmexit: King & Wood Mallesons ups newly qualified pay packets to £70,000

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Exclusive: Rumours also circulate that Macfarlanes has joined KWM in waving two fingers at Brexit by boosting junior lawyer salaries

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King & Wood Mallesons (KWM), remaining resolute about London’s future as a global legal hub, has chucked extra cash at its legal talent, upping newly qualified (NQ) pay packets to £70,000.

KWM — which offers around 30 training contracts annually — has upped the salaries of its London-based fresh-faced associates by £6,000, equating to a rise of just over 9%. Until today NQs at the firm were pocketing £64,000.

Trainee salaries — which currently stand at £40,000 in year one, rising to £44,000 in year two — remain unchanged. Check out the Legal Cheek Firms Most List for all the latest pay comparisons.

Elsewhere in the City, single-office outfit Macfarlanes has — if rumours are to be believed — also dished out pay increases for its junior lawyers.

Legal Cheek understands that NQ salaries have been bumped from £70,000 to £71,000, translating into a modest increase of £1,000 or around 1%. However, Macfarlanes — which offers 30 training contracts each year — has apparently provided chunkier pay increases for their more senior lawyers.

Associates with one year post-qualification experience (PQE) will walk away with as much as £79,000, up from £75,000. Two PQE could pocket up to £88,000, up from £81,500, and those with three PQE under their belts could take home £98,000. Legal Cheek — which has contacted the firm for clarification — understands these new salary figures do not include performance-related bonuses, which will be added on top.

KWM and Macfarlanes become only second and third City outfits to unveil post-Brexit pay rises.

Earlier this week NQ solicitors at Herbert Smith Freehills were handed an improved remuneration package. Factoring in a performance-related bonus the freshly-minted lawyers at Herbies could pocket as much as £90,000 a year.

The global giant’s first and second year trainees also shared in the good times. Those in year one of their training will now walk away with £44,000, up from £42,000 — an increase of almost 5%. Meanwhile those a year ahead will now pocket £48,000, up from £46,000 — an increase of just over 4%.

Brexit shmexit.

UPDATE: (2.30pm)

Macfarlanes has now confirmed that the figures published by Legal Cheek are accurate.