Research: London-based NQ pay packets rocket by 23% to £65,000 average in just three years

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By Thomas Connelly on

Twenty-six thousand pounds more than their North West counterparts


The average salary of a London-based newly qualified (NQ) lawyer working in commercial law has risen by a whopping 23% to £65,000 in just three years, new research suggests.

According to BCL Legal Recruitment (BCL) — which gathered data on over 6,000 lawyers — the average London NQ pocketed £53,000 back in 2013. Discovering a sizeable increase in commercial pay packets, the recruitment firm has revealed this figure now stands at a healthy £65,000, a boost of £12,000 (23%) in just three years.

Further up the greasy pole, BCL’s research states the average salary four years post-qualification sits at a cool £85,000, rising to £95,000 after just six years at the commercial coalface. Once lawyers reach “junior partner” level, the data shows they can expect to pocket around £120,000, a rise of £30,000 (33%) since 2013.

Unsurprisingly, a career in commercial law is less lucrative outside London.

Highlighting a vast pay gap, the data shows that a North West NQ is taking home an average salary of £39,000, up from a 2013 figure of £35,000. Despite this equating to a modest increase of 11%, North West newbies are still trousering, on average, £26,000 less than their London-based counterparts. However, remember that the living costs in the City are substantially higher than the rest of the country.

How does law stack up against other professions? According to BCL, the average commercial NQ earns £18,308 more than a nurse and £17,977 more than a teacher. But for those struggling to land a training contract, perhaps a career as a tube driver may interest you. The stats suggest they are taking home, again on average, almost £10,000 more than young associates.

This data has emerged just a week after it was revealed that more than a third of trainee solicitors are being paid less than the Law Society’s minimum salary recommendation. As it stands, the Law Society advises that a trainee in London should earn a minimum of £20,913, while their counterparts in the north of England should take home at least £18,547.

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