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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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