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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