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Stephenson Harwood boosts newly qualified pay packets to £65,000

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An extra £500 chucked trainees’ way too

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Stephenson Harwood has become the latest City law firm to chuck extra cash at its young legal talent, boosting newly qualified (NQ) pay to £65,000. Up from £62,000, today’s pay boost equates to a modest increase of £3,000 or 5%.

The firm — which offers 18 training contract positions annually — has upped salaries for its trainee talent too. From today, those in year one of their training contract will earn £38,500, up from £38,000, an increase of 1%. Trainees who are a year ahead will now take home £42,500, up from £42,000, again an increase of 1%.

Despite the low-key pay improvements, the firm has still managed to move up nine positions on Legal Cheek’s NQ pay table. Overtaking the likes of Eversheds, Ince & Co and Fieldfisher — firms which pay their NQs £62,000 a year — fresh-faced associates at Stephenson Harwood are now on earning-par with their counterparts at global giant Dentons.

Commenting on today’s increases, Sharon White, Stephenson Harwood’s chief executive, told Legal Cheek:

As a firm, we are committed to attracting and retaining the very brightest and most talented lawyers. As well as creating an environment to support their development, we recognise the importance of paying our trainees and associates competitively.

Earlier this week, Stephenson Harwood confirmed an autumn 2016 retention figure of 78%, hanging on to seven of its nine NQ lawyers.

Today’s salary increase follows a plethora of pay boost announcements across the City.

Last week we reported Ashurst, Norton Rose Fulbright, Ince & Co, Withers and DLA Piper had all upped NQ pay.

Ashurst bumped its new associate salaries by 8% to £70,000, while international heavyweight Norton Rose Fulbright increased junior lawyer pay packets by 3% to £72,000. Elsewhere, NQs at City law firm Ince & Co will now trouser an additional £3,000, walking away with a final salary of £62,000. Meanwhile their counterparts at royal family favourite Withers will take home £60,000 — a step up of £4,000 or 7%. Finally, DLA Piper’s London NQs also enjoyed a pay increase of 8%, taking salaries to a respectable £70,000.