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Macfarlanes sharply raises NQ pay to over £80,000

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Exclusive: £10k increase for firm’s newly qualified lawyers

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Macfarlanes has bumped up the pay cheques of its newly-qualified (NQ) solicitors by a hefty £10,000.

Junior lawyers at the firm had enjoyed a respectable £71,000 salary rate. As of this month, they can expect to earn at least £81,300. This equates to a 15% pay boost.

The new NQ pay band, which has a base rate of £75,000 and factors in salary plus potential bonuses, stretches to a whopping £90,000. This includes a firm-wide bonus of at least 5%, which NQs can expect to receive in October. With a 100% retention rate for solicitors qualifying in March, Macfarlanes’ trainees are probably popping the champagne.

And if you’re really good, you could net even more. Potentially, the top Macfarlanes rookies could pocket an extra bonus of up to 10% of their salary if they can demonstrate “exceptional performance”, whatever that might mean. Not a bad incentive for the fee-earners to reign in more business for the firm.

The news comes as Macfarlanes unveils a strong set of financial results that have seen average profit per equity partner (PEP) rise by nearly 8% to £1.38 million and revenue move up by nearly 4% to £167.6 million.

Macfarlanes scored an A* in the 2016 Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey for training, while it bagged As for quality of work and peer support. But it’s a hard-working place: according to our data, on average trainees and junior associates leave the office at 7:51pm, having started work at 9:04am — which seems to reasonably reflect their sizeable pay cheques.

Earlier today Legal Cheek announced another pay exclusive, revealing that the London office of US firm Jones Day had upped its NQ rate to £100,000.

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35 Comments

Anonymous

This does put the MC NQ rises/freezes into perspective somewhat. Much smaller firm, lower (if very very respectable) PEP, yet paying almost the same as MC firms.

(12)(0)

assoc

I agree. My only comment is that Mac’s PEP is highly misleading, all the big boys of the MC have almost all equity partnerships ie Freshies, Links & S&M, while over half of Mac partners are salaried and not in the equity. The real average partner take home will be much, much less than the headline average figure. Decent firm though.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Ah that’s interesting, thanks. Doesn’t that add to my point, perhaps? My point was that, really, the MC should be paying a bit more than they are if Macfarlanes have drawn level with them.

(1)(0)

assoc

possibly. Annoyingly the MC’s are really trying to compete with the elite of wall st on partner pay, so probably can’t afford to pay much more than city rates for associates, unlike the elite us firms. I doubt they worry much about Mac’s rates

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Very true. Do you see Freshfields, A&O and Slaughters freezing as well?

(3)(0)

yeah

Mate get it right – no such thing as a “salaried partner”.

(1)(15)

Anonymous

“ALMOST THE SAME…”

Another one fallen for the MC marketing. NO. MC rates INCLUDE bonuses. Macs doesn’t. So Macs are getting c.90k, and MC c.80-85k. So they’re paying a little more than the MC. For now.

If they’re paying 90, the MC, will probably shift up a bit to 95. The US will probably up by about 10-20k too. In the next year or two, they’ll all start matching NYC rates at c.140k probably and keep consistency between offices.

(3)(3)

Anonymous

Do you really think the remaining MC firms will raise to that level even though Linklaters had a £1k raise, and CC inflationary raise, despite having good years financially? Surely the remaining firms are more likely to match that.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

I bet they go to at least 90 inc bonus now and maybe 95 by winter. Depends on what everyone else does. But MacFarlanes is currently paying more.

(0)(2)

Tim NicebutDim

MC firms are being eroded – time to strap in and push those wages up!

(3)(2)

Anonymous

Being eroded due to losing partners, not associates

(4)(1)

Anonymous

FIELDFISHER IS THE BEST FIRM IN THE WORLD.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

Good gag

(0)(0)

Anonymous

So really just a minimal rise in base pay, then.

(1)(3)

Anonymous

DDD LLL

(0)(0)

Anonymous

?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Will the rest of the SC match this increase?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

BLP won’t. Herbies have already announced they’re not moving on salary, haven’t they? Ashurst more likely to than BLP. Travers traditionally pay slightly more than Macs so I imagine they will increase.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Ashurst wholly unlikely to up pay. The firm still continues to bleed and only just managed to stem the worst haemorrhage.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Freshfields?

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Travers are nowhere near this.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Travers NQ salary has recently increased to £75,000.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

BLP very unlikely. Financial problems in the last few years.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

They’ve been having serious issues for the last 10 years.

(0)(0)

Anon

Travers should up their pay to compete. How can they have so many good years and not increase their pay.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

What will Travers raise salary to?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

They didn’t, which is why they’re so quiet about it. Just an inflation-like raise.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Ts used to be equals with macs but clearly macs pulling ahead in every category..

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Travers are now paying £75,000 for NQ.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Silver circle firms are a waste of time.

If you can’t get US, go for MC. If you can’t get MC, go abroad.

(3)(14)

Anonymous

But Macs now paying more than MC.

(1)(3)

Anonymous

MC have ALWAYS paid more than SC so this seems significant. In London that seems more of a yardstick for the MC than what US firms pay. Predictions?

(3)(2)

Anonymous

Firms like Greenberg Traurig in London need to step up here. They’re miles off the pace now.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

What does GT pay at NQ?

What about Fried Frank? Winston & Strawn?

(0)(0)

Tim NicebutDim

https://www.ft.com/content/8cac3d40-625d-11e7-91a7-502f7ee26895

Posting excellent financial results, and not reflecting this in wages? Me thinks the partners will be doing okay…

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.