Reed Smith boosts newly qualified solicitor pay to £70k

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NQ salaries rise by £7,000 as target hours head north too

The London office of international law firm Reed Smith has boosted newly qualified (NQ) lawyer pay packets with its second pay rise in two years.

Last year Reed Smith nudged up NQ pay from £61,000 to £63,000, and this year the firm has added another £7k — taking NQ remuneration up to £70,000.

That places Reed Smith on a par with Ashurst, Berwin Leighton Paisner and DLA Piper (see the Legal Cheek’s Firms Most List for the full benchmarking).

Pay is also up across all associate bands, with performance-related packages rising from £70k up to over £100,000. Trainee salaries have been boosted as well, with first year money rising from £38.5k to £40k, and second-year cash jumping from £40k to £44k.

The bad news for Reed Smith rookies is that hours targets are increased too, with the firm raising its annual billing targets by 100 to 1,600 target hours this year. Bonuses of up to £7,000 for junior associates, up £10,000 for associates, and up to £13,000 for senior associates will be awarded to lawyers who meet these hours targets.

As Legal Cheek previously reported, hours targets will rise again next year to 1,700 hours. That’s the same level as Baker McKenzie, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells and Linklaters. Again, the Firms Most List has the full benchmarking.

According to the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, the average arrival time at Reed Smith is 8:57am and the average departure time 7:49pm. Rookie solicitors at 21 surveyed firms arrive in the office earlier than those at Reed Smith, while those at 15 surveyed firms depart later.

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I’m not on dat dere wagecuck time, CEO or nothing.



Info stolen from RoF, as per



Reed Smith matching Silver Circle pay.



Interesting that they’re on £70k and Slaughter and May NQs seem to be only £8k better off. Something doesn’t seem right there.



Fair point.



Forgetting about their bonus though



Always the best content from these pruogiidos writers.



And their prospects for future earnings.




Its good to see the greedy partners responding to the pressure from associates. They should know it is us, the associates and senior associates, who are the engine of their business. Without us to do the actual work, there would be no flashy office, no firm and no equity in it.

You either raise these salaries, keep up with the market and give us a bigger and fairer slice of the pie or we will leave and find somebody who will.



The kind of firms Reed Smith competes with pay similar to them anyway, so not sure what the fuss is about.



Your answer shows real inleitlgence.



Why do you expect to be paid as much as associates at places like Macs, where PEP isn’t far off double? Apples and oranges.



Hello Reed Smith PR team



No, a lawyer at a different firm. Seems ridiculous that mid-tier firms are taking heat from their associates for not paying like ‘competitors’, who are not really competitors at all. Silver Circle >> RS. Just smacks of greed.



Do you mean the SC should be paid more than Reed Smith ?




So will the SC increase pay?

Reed Smith Equity Partner

Hear hear. RS Associate how dare you even dream about being paid more. It is already difficult enough for us on $1 million PEP. Go back to billing!


I agree £70k seems about right, but the above poster saying ‘you raise these salaries!!!!!’ even more is just ridiculous, why should RS associates get more than that? Seems very very fair to me.


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Different firm? Is it Irwin Mitchell by any chance?


Heh. No.


Because PEP is irrelevant to associates. What is relevant to them is the level and volume of work expected, and how likely a given associate is to be able to move to somewhere better paying. If you want associates of similar quality to work similarly hard, you compete on pay (or, granted, outcompete other firms on other metrics), or you risk losing them. That’s just reality.



Paying the same (more or less) as silver circle, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose, Mayer Brown etc. Seems more than fair. 63k was probably too low, but this now feels about right.



Agreed. The notion that it should be above 70k or they’ll leave is a nonsense.



Absolutely. It is about the pleasure one derives from working in law in itself, not the prosy financial compensation. In the end, it is all about prestige.



oh. & the loving way you reinterpret those ingres paintings should show just how &qouq;seriously&tout; you take them. some people are just definitely devoid of any understanding of even light irony.would love to see your interpretation of an ingres odalisque. those are my favourites.okay, you can all tell me to shut up now.



Any increase of trainee salaries?



‘Trainee salaries have been boosted as well, with first year money rising from £38.5k to £40k, and second-year cash jumping from £40k to £44k’.. Attention to detail young sir



Honest predictions, where do you see the NQ rise ending? Surely it just can’t keep going up and up, or can it? I know there is pressure to match top-paying American firms, but that must affect the MC more. Where do you see the NQ levels being for MC, SC and other firms in 3-4 years’ time?



Could make for an interesting article, Alex? I see MC hitting £100k NQ due to pressure from American firms, but I don’t think I’m in the majority in holding that view.



Do you think SC will increase wages this year?


R. Coleman

Bout tree fiddy



…meanwhile Squire Patton Boggs associates still toil on £62k… Up your game or we’re out.



There were rumours floating around the office watercooler that rates would be upped to £65-70k NQ in January, but nothing happened in the end.

Considering that now just about everyone in the City, including shops like Pinsents and the Shed, pays more than SPB it’s about time the partners put their arses into gear.



What’s it take to become a sublime exoupnder of prose like yourself?


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