Stephenson Harwood boosts trainee lawyer pay as it becomes latest firm to allow working from home

Avatar photo

By Thomas Connelly on

An extra £1,000 chucked at NQs too

Stephenson Harwood has chucked modest pay increases at its trainees and junior lawyers, as it becomes the latest City outfit to implement a ‘home-desking’ policy.

The firm, which offers 18 training contract positions annually, has upped first year trainee pay from £38,500 to £40,000 (4%), while those a year ahead will now receive £44,000 rather than £42,500 (4%). Wedge for newly qualified (NQ) lawyers has been nudged 2% from £65,000 to £66,000.

Stephenson Harwood confirmed to Legal Cheek that trainee pay rises are effective from September, while new NQ salaries were introduced last month.

Legal Cheek’s 2017 Most List shows that Stephenson Harwood’s NQs are now £1,000 better off than their counterparts at Dentons and Osborne Clarke, and £2,000 ahead of junior lawyers at Eversheds Sutherland (£64,000). Sitting just above Stephenson Harwood on the NQ pay scale is CMS, which pays its London associates £67,500.

The pay increases come in the same week Stephenson Harwood officially joined the flexi-working movement.

Following a successful trial last year, the firm has confirmed its London lawyers will now be able to take advantage of a new flexible working initiative, which will allow them to work from home one day per week. Support staff will also be able to work from home, albeit on a reduced offering of one day per fortnight.

However, the scheme will not be open to all. Lawyers “whose physical presence in the office is an integral part of their role” will still be expected to brave the morning rush hour. The outfit has confirmed to Legal Cheek that trainees are not able to take advantage of the policy due to supervision requirements.

Commenting on the roll out, Stephenson Harwood’s chief executive, Sharon White, said:

We recognise the importance of creating a working environment that encourages individual productivity and operational efficiency. Attracting and retaining the very best talent remains a priority, and implementing this scheme enables us to provide employees with more flexibility without compromising client work.”

The news follows similar policies introduced by a large number of City firms over the past year or so.

In April, global outfit Reed Smith implemented an agile working initiative which allows its lawyers to work away from the office and operate on flexible hours. This followed comparable schemes by, among others, Macfarlanes, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, White & Case, Shearman & Sterling and Herbert Smith Freehills.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek’s careers events, sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub.