Law Society recommends rise in trainee solicitor minimum wage — but firms can choose to ignore it

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By Thomas Connelly on

New suggested minimum salary is £20,913 in London and £18,547 elsewhere


The Law Society has said the minimum salary for trainee solicitors should be increased, but unfortunately this recommendation is completely unenforceable.

As part of their annual review, the Chancery Lane bigwigs have decided that law firms should cough up a minimum of £20,913 a year — up from £20,276 — for trainees based in London, and £18,547 — up from £18,183 — for wannabe solicitors based outside the capital.

These announcements equate to modest increases of 3% and 2% respectively.

This latest round of salary recommendations is based on the current living wage — £9.75 per hour in London and £8.45 elsewhere — and the average yearly Legal Practice Course (LPC) repayment, which sits at £3,168.

However, thanks to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) scrapping the minimum pay requirements for young lawyers back in 2014 — a move that caused much uproar — these new recommendations are completely unenforceable.

As it currently stands firms must simply comply with the national minimum wage of £6.95 per hour or £12,649 a year based on a 35-hour week. So, unfortunately, it will be up to the good nature of law firm bosses to ensure aspiring lawyers are handed the improved pay packets.