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Regional rises: CMS ups Bristol trainee pay by 16%

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Exclusive: Newly-merged mega firm also throws extra cash at NQs north and south of the border

Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol

CMS has boosted trainee pay packets at its Bristol office by £5,000 as part of a series of salary rises across the firm, Legal Cheek can exclusively reveal.

Young lawyers in the first year of their training contract will now walk away with £37,000, up from £32,000 (16%) while those a year ahead will take home £39,000, up from £34,000 (15%). Wedge for the firm’s Bristol-based newly-qualified (NQ) lawyers is up from £47,800 to £49,000, equating to a more modest rise of 3%.

CMS has also upped pay north of the border. The firm’s first year trainees in Scotland (Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen) will now earn £24,000, up from £22,500 (7%), while NQs will trouser £39,000, a rise of £1,000 or 3%.

The global outfit — a product of a recent three-way merger between CMS Cameron McKenna, Nabarro and Olswang — has confirmed that the salaries at its London, Sheffield and Manchester offices remain unchanged.

Legal Cheek’s Most List shows that trainees at CMS’s London headquarters will continue to earn £40,000 in year one, rising to £45,000 in year two. Upon qualification, a CMS associate will receive £67,500, while their Sheffield and Manchester counterparts will pocket £40,000 respectively.

Legal Cheek understands that the pay boost in Bristol reflects the particularly hard-working nature of CMS’s rookies in the South West city, which is seen as more London-style in its ethos than other regional centres. Trainees and junior lawyers at rival firms in Bristol report a similar experience, and note that the cost of living has risen as house prices have spiralled in the area.

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36 Comments

Anonymous

A nice jump in salary for those who were at Olswang or Nabarro

(3)(0)

Anonymous

£67.5k at NQ in London is still utterly pitiful though. Massive junior associate departures imminent, especially in the funds team.

(8)(1)

Anonymous

But where would they move to? It’s not as though they could just jump to a top SC/MC/US firm

(4)(4)

Anonymous

Why?

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Because they don’t cut the mustard.

(7)(5)

Anonymous

Any evidence for that? Or just more unsubstantiated ad hominems?

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Exactly. Because CMS is a £67.5k NQ kind of place – deluded if you think it’s a ‘yeah we’re a top firm, £80k or bust’ situation.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Another person on here with a stick up their a*** about firms. CMS to SC or MC is entirely possible for the right candidate.

(6)(2)

Anonymous

The Real Estate Funds team at Nabs is considered very highly.

(4)(2)

Anonymous

How is it pitiful? It’s what all NQs earn unless they’re MC, SC or US.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

When are our salaries at Fieldfisher being raised?!

(2)(0)

Anonymous

If they can live in Bristol (it is a lovely city), for Bristol living costs, and work Bristol hours, but earn near London pay, then they are getting a pretty good deal IMO.

(3)(1)

Bristol trainee

We aren’t working Bristol hours..

(6)(0)

Anonymous

I heard that the Bristol offices of Burges Salmon, TLT and Osborne Clarke had good working hours for near London pay so I assumed that the same would be true for CMS as well. I guess I was wrong.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Burges Salmon very much on the London hours.

(2)(2)

Anonymous

Nearly 6pqe in Edinburgh on less than £44k.

FML

(9)(0)

Anonymous

That’s depressing. Might as well have become a teacher at that rate.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Seriously? 44k for 6PQE in the burgh?! I can never move back…

(2)(1)

Anonymous

I just checked a pay scale for Scottish teachers. At 6 PQE they will be earning £35,763 (assuming no promotions or leadership roles). If you become head of department you probably could get £44k.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

What happens beyond the 3 PQE figure, which is usually the cut-off for UK firms’ announcements? Are there still rises between then and the jump to senior associate?

(0)(0)

Logic

Meanwhile the 1-3 PQE bunch get almost no salary rise to fund the big uplifts for Olswang and Nabarro arrivals, and to line the pockets of the greedy partners.

(3)(0)

Merriwether

This will end in tears.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

‘Greedy partners’

You mean the people who own the business and provide all income streams?

(3)(4)

Anonymous

Doesn’t mean they ain’t greedy.

If you keep stiffing the ranks of the toilers for your PEP to go up by 5% from £500k+, you’re just being an utter turbokhunt.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Partners shmoozing cleints doesn’t bring the billings. You can go on fancy dinners til you’re blue in the face, if you don’t have a team of 2PQE toiling 120 hour weeks to get the docs out you won’t be billing a penny.

(2)(0)

Logic

With that same logic you could justify someone paying a child labourer $0.10/hour in China because they “own the business” and “provide all income streams”.

It is about balance and giving people a fair deal. 1-3 PQE associates at CMS do not get a fair deal.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

They should leave then. Plenty of firms offer more or they could earn a tad less and work less is another industry.

(1)(0)

Jim

They will, which is the point. They will get their baps buttered nicely.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

wow – some deluded people on here – heads seriously up arses. You think £67,500 is a pittance for a 25 year old? You want to try and make it in the real world. Qualifying as a solicitor is not exactly rocket-scientist stuff. We are in a massively privileged and, frankly, overpaid profession and with an attitude that that you won’t last long. And you think there is no talent outside magic circle or US firms or outside the city? Get a grip sunshine. I come across junior lawyers form the magic circle and US firms every day – granted, some are exceptionally bright but way too many don’t know their arse from their elbow.

(20)(3)

Brian Scalabrini

C U Next Tuesday sweetness.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

DDD LLL

(1)(0)

Anonymous

DDD LLL? What does this mean?

(0)(0)

KGP

KGP.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

KGP.

(1)(0)

Madhulika

I was at CMS. Racist bunch of idiots IMO.

(0)(0)

JG

Meanwhile the Secretarial population got no payrise at all. And are suffering the brunt of the antiquated IT systems, the backward and time consuming way of processing anything and the anger of both partners and associates who now can’t get anything at all done efficiently.

(1)(0)

Comments are closed.