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Baker McKenzie and Reed Smith boost junior lawyer pay to £75,000

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Rises for some trainees too

International duo Baker McKenzie and Reed Smith have upped the salaries of their newly qualified (NQ) lawyers, Legal Cheek can reveal.

First up, Bakers. The 77-office outfit has bumped London NQ pay from £72,000 to £75,000, equating to a modest rise of £3,000 or 4%. The money move puts Bakers’ new associates on a par with their counterparts at a host of top City firms, including: DLA Piper, Hogan Lovells, Macfarlanes, Mayer Brown, Norton Rose Fulbright and Travers Smith. Sitting just above Bakers on the NQ pay table is magic circle titan Linklaters, which pays its London associates a base salary of £78,500.

Trainee remuneration remains unchanged, with first years earning £45,000, rising to £49,000 in year two. Bakers’ NQ pay rise came into effect late last year.

Next up, Reed Smith. The firm has increased the salaries of its junior City lawyers, based in the Broadgate Tower, by 7% to £75,000. Up from £70,000, the pay boost puts Reed Smith’s NQs on the same level as Bakers’ bunch and the plethora of City firms namechecked above.

The 2018 Firms Most List

The outfit’s rookies are also cashing in. Those in the first year of their training contract at Reed Smith will now receive a salary of £43,000, up from £40,000, while those a year ahead will earn £47,000, up from £44,000. This equates to uplifts of 8% and 7% respectively. Legal Cheek’s Firms Most List shows Reed Smith takes on around 25 trainees each year.

Pay packets aside, both outfits performed well in our Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey. Bakers bagged A*s for quality of work and social life, as well as As for training, peer support, partner approachability and perks. Meanwhile, Reed Smith achieved A*s for tech, canteen and office, it winning a gong for the latter at our Awards ceremony last month.

News of Reed Smith’s pay increases come just 24 hours after it revealed that it will be launching a low cost hub in Leeds. The centre, which will be known as Reed Smith Global Solutions, is due to open its doors in early July.

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82 Comments

Anonymous

We need socialism to pay for legal aid.

Redistribute this greed.

Vote Corbyn

(70)(39)

Whizz Kid

NO!!!

(2)(4)

Corbyn. Sympathiser

BUGGER OFF!

Vote JC, vote for socialism and fairness!

(2)(13)

Whizz Kid

I’m sorry, I’ve worked my socks off to get where I am and if I should choose to share my wealth, I will do so, nothing should oblige me to do so!!!

(12)(5)

Anonymous

And someone who earns minimum wage doesn’t “work their socks off”…. lazy beggars

(6)(3)

OmG

OMG 52 people against 4 agree with taking people’s money and sharing it with smelly poor people.

Frightening

(10)(2)

Anonymous

We need to tax higher earners more.

All earnings over £50k should pay 75% supertax.

End this income inequality.

Vote Corbyn.

(4)(41)

Corbyn. Sympathiser

I agree. The rich should be forced to give up their assets to the poor or face the gallows.

(0)(18)

Corbyn. Symphathiser

This isn’t in the Labour Manifesto, in case anyone was wondering.

(0)(13)

Corbyn. Sympathiser

… but I think it should be.

(0)(12)

Anonymous

Student readers of Legal Cheek can only vote Corbyn

Free bus passes for the under 25s

End austerity now

(1)(4)

Anonymous

Wealth is not about income.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

A wealth tax is very difficult to collect.

People who earn above £50k are massively undertaxed in the U.K.

Vote Corbyn and put an end to the greed.

(4)(13)

Anonymous

£50k? What are you people, Bristol NQs or something?

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Or one person sitting in an internet cafe moving around computers…

(8)(1)

Boris Corbyn

An internet cafe? Where are you from; the 90s?

Anyway, it’s very scary that people think we should redistribute wealth.

Some people work hard. They deserve the rewards of that. Other people are lazy. They deserve to have an income which reflects that.

Anyway, I’m not saying all poor people should be shot. I’m just saying it’s an option.

(9)(1)

Anonymous

What about Reed Smith retention Spring 18?

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Anyone know the target hours at these places? How do they attract and retain people if targets are set at the same as firms offering £10 – 20k more?

(2)(1)

Anonymous

BM is 1700 target. But generally no particular pressure to hit it.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

If you’re in Corporate at BM, your hours can easily be equal to or worse than those at MC firms…not sure why people stay when the only perk is its “friendly, collegiate culture” (as the partners always claim).

(5)(0)

Anonymous

RS is 1,500 or 1,600 I believe.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

1650 actually.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

How much was Corbyn’s money for giving away state secrets taxed?

(7)(3)

Corbyn. Symphathiser

Given that he gave none away, and wasn’t paid to do so, the answer is: he was taxed £0 from a total income of £0 for the actions you describe. I hope this has been useful.

(4)(8)

Anonymous

@Sympathiser. Can I ask you if you really believe in socialism? I’m not even sure if in 2018 you can say “the bourgeoisie” without sounding a little bit ridiculous. Not to mention formulas like “the rich” (when is one rich?), or “give up [..] assets to the poor or face the gallows.”
It is a serious question.

(1)(2)

Corbyn. Sympathiser

What you’re asking there is whether I believe in the best form of governance that has yet been formalised in society. The answer is of course yes.

May I remind you that people laughed at Jesus when he said he was the son of God. With that in mind, why would I care what others think?

(2)(8)

Corbyn. Symphathiser

Thank you for your question! The answer is: yes, I do. Capitalism has shown itself over the last decade to have been a comprehensive failure for the vast majority of people – and this isn’t a bug, this is a feature. During the ‘Golden Age’ of capitalism (in the West, anyway) taxes on the rich were high, public services including education were free, and people were more able to support not only themselves but a family – an entire family! – on a single salary.

As taxes fell, and the vital services that society needs started costing people up front, or just being taken away completely, and as prices on essentials like houses rose while wages stagnated, and as entire communities were hollowed out in service to The Market (as some people sacrificed humans to please volcano Gods) we’ve seen people get poorer, society become colder, life become harder. Unless you’re already wealthy! In which case, things haven gotten better.
This isn’t to idealise the 1950s-70s. Things then were more rotten than today for anyone other than a straight, white man, and even then being working class was a big disadvantage (though, again, it was possible to live on the wages of a factory worker and have a relatively decent life).

This isn’t also to day that your situation of birth even today decides the ‘fate’ of your life – it doesn’t. But it hugely influences your life. Marx famously said “Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.” This remains true today: it IS possible for someone from an incredibly disadvantaged background in the UK to become wealthy. But it is much less likely than that someone born wealthy will continue to be wealthy. Is this fair? Is this ‘meritocracy’?

I didn’t actually do that gallows bit. I am against the death penalty for any reason. Any socialist with any real grasp of theory will tell you that the bourgeoisie (more on this in a second) are victims of the system as much as anyone else. They don’t suffer as much as the proletariat, true, but they become, as I think is described in Capital, something like ‘avatars of capitalism’, who must continue in their quest to fulfil their role of oppressing their workers or lose money and their business to those who will.

“Bourgeoisie” and “proletariat” are generally used in one of two ways: in the Marxist sense (which can also be rendered as ‘capitalist’ and ‘working class’) or (typically) by student types high on zeal but low on theory. To describe the bourgeoisie as they are typically thought of, i.e. as the owners of the means of production and reproduction, isn’t, to my mind, controversial, though I accept that ‘capitalist class’ is possibly a bit more obvious and more easily understood by most (same with proletariat vs. working class). Much has been made of a 7-tiered class definition system I read about a few years ago, with the ‘precariat’ being the most notable, how to say, stand-out of their definitions. I think this is wrong headed and essentially a distraction from the obvious class antagonisms that permeate society.

(For avoidance of doubt, ‘middle class’ does exist in this conception of class, and is typically meant as someone who fulfils a managerial role for the owner of the means of production – i.e., someone who is a salaried worker, like the working class employee, but has power over said employee – though this power is at the discretion of the owner. It can also apply to those who own a business that they work at, i.e. a shop owner (sometimes these are referred to as ‘petit bourgeoisie’) or those who are self-employed, like artists – one cannot ‘exploit’, in the traditional Marxist sense, one’s own Labour.)

I think that, as has been shown by the fear over the rise of AI and machine workers, the means of production being in private hands is a negative in today’s society. That robots could take over a lot of the work of mankind and leave us to enjoy more leisure should be amazing – but because said businesses and robots are owned not by the people but by a select few means that, instead, many face unemployment and lives of misery. Is this the right state of man? The socialist says no.

I also accept that Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, as currently constructed, will not bring socialism to Britain. What is proposed is merely a form of social democracy which is in many countries (and in Britain until the advent of Thatcherism) considered totally unremarkable and sensible. Nevertheless, I think that any march in the right direction is a good one.

I hope this has been helpful, and I hope that those who are able will vote Labour in the upcoming local elections.

(For my cosplayers: that’s how you do it.)

(24)(24)

Corbyn. Sympathiser

TLDR: Vote Jezza.

(1)(4)

Not amused

You sound fun at parties..

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Baker McKenzie’s TC salary has been £75,000 for at least a few months. Poor research.

(2)(12)

Anonymous

WHAT ABOUT FIELDFISHER????

(0)(0)

Anonymous

US firms have all upped salaries this year including trainee. Well mine has anyway and we respond to market.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Care to spill the beans? Which firm?

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Jones Day. My supervisor has told me that he will reveal my rise and extra big bonus package this evening in the office after everyone has left. He winked at me after he said that. Not sure what it means.

(22)(1)

Anonymous

Top bantz.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Obviously I can’t say, but I can say we are not alone. 10% hike in salaries, including trainee. The figures reported on Chambers etc. for us are not accurate.

(2)(2)

Anonymous

What about when a US firm like OMM doesn’t disclose their NQ salary. How can you work out what it is then

(1)(0)

Anonymous

When will similar raises be made at the likes of Eversheds, CMS, CRS etc. Lagging behind market.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Never. Sorry.

(0)(0)

IM Trainee

What’s a “pay rise”?

(8)(0)

"Sociopathic IM Manager"

Shut up and eat your digestives.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

In 2030.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

6 PQE on £47.5k in regions.

Gutted.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Fvck all, isn’t it?

Now really do your head in: compare your post tax income to a family on benefits.

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Agreed. Grinds me down. Too old for London and too young for partnership.

At least I have a tiny amount of self-respect by not being a scrounger.

(6)(3)

Anonymous

on the bright side, you probably have a better quality of life

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Still a lot more than the GLS get.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Most inequality is imported by immigrants.

Don’t vote Corbyn, vote UKIP

(4)(6)

Anonymous

Trumpenkrieg, is that you?

(2)(0)

Corbyn. Sympathiser

This is the funniest post of the week. Well done.

(0)(2)

Goldman sack

Prediction that Hogan Lovells and Linklaters respond during annul pay reviews in may with 80 and 85 respectively

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Links likely, HogLove unlikely – the equity is too tight with the money.

Move to a pure blood US shop, where the real dolla nectar is.

(1)(1)

Goldman sack

It’s embarrassing that links pay 78.5k, they need to bump it to 85 just to stop getting laughed at and 88 if they want to prove a point. I am a vac schemer at Hoglove and I get the impression that in May the firm will do a pay rise (granted I am fully biased as I want it)

(2)(6)

Big Dolla

Thanks for your insight, vac schemer.

You heard it here first, folks.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

We need social solutions to Britains deep inequalit, and we need them now

We need to tax higher earners more and give that money to those in need

We need to increase inestment in schools, TAX THEM JEZ!

(1)(2)

Anonymous

Most lawyers will never get anywhere near Skadden or K&E earnings

Make them pay high taxes, 75%

(1)(4)

US NQ

If you don’t earn at least 100k as an NQ, we share your LinkedIn posts in our VIP group chats and call you a “mutha fucka”.

(13)(7)

Anonymous

When were you last allowed to leave your office, gimp?

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Mutha fucka.

(8)(6)

Anonymous

Gimp.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Must suck to work at CMS then

(4)(0)

Anonymous

In France, all lawyers voluntarily pay 25% of their salary to support access to justice.

City lawyers should sponsor Citizen’s Advice Bureaus in Preston and Manchester.

Vote Corbyn

(3)(8)

Anonymous

I have never seen why commercial lawyers specifically should pay for access to justice. It’s a national good and should be paid for as a nation out of everyone’s taxes. We should definitely do more pro bono like they do in the US, but our money is no different than anyone else’s.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Rent controls for London

The absolute boy will let you live in Zone 1 below cost

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Be interesting to see what firms like WFW and Norton Rose do. The former in particular risk lagging behind the rest of the mid market if they don’t up their rates.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Yes. The mid market City firms, WFW, HFW, CMS, Eversheds, CRS etc. etc. have fallen behind a bit.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

CMS, ROFL.

They’ll keep £66k for the next 24 months at least, they cannot afford a big raise post-merger.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Addleshaws….still 64k?!

(0)(0)

Anonymous

The Shed is on £64k NQ, comparable firms?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

McDonald’s pay £5.50 per hour. Pret is £6.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

7.30* and 8.50*

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Burned.

(1)(0)

White Shoe NQ

Mid-market = shit market

(1)(4)

White Shoe NQ - First Class Honours

Hilarious reading about people thinking Bakers/Reed Smith NQs are doing well … only about £50,000 below US rates hahahahhahaha

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Eversheds 85k NQ

(0)(0)

Anonymous

CMS upped NQ to £90k yesterday. Emails all round the firm. I got evidence.

(5)(0)

White Shoe NQ

Wanna join my WhatsApp then?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Plz, can I?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

This is an interesting development ! Wonder if the MC will raise their pay as well!

(0)(1)

Anonymous

You give your life away for 20k extra a year after tax/student loan, with a worse pension as well. Fine if that’s the choice you want to make, but some people value their free time and hobbies.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Jeremy Corbyn will hold a referendum on whether to be a Republic or not

He is the absolute boy

Put Prince Charles in a council house

(0)(0)

Bakers Trainee

This is old news, it’s been on Bakers’ grad rec site for months. Get with the times LC and stop making a story from nothing.

That said, 1650 hours for 20k less than our competitors is… novel.

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.

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