Freshfields leapfrogs to top of magic circle trainee pay table
Will others follow latest pay rise?
Anglo-German giant Freshfields has jumped to the top of the magic circle trainee pay league table after confirming summer rises.
First-year trainee salaries now sit at £45,000, a bump of 5% from £43,000, while second-year pay has risen from £48,000 to £51,000, an uplift of £3,000 or 6%.
Legal Cheek’s Firms Most List shows that Freshfields’ first-year trainees are now on the same levels of cash as their counterparts at outfits including Baker McKenzie, Shearman & Sterling and Skadden, and £200 better off than those learning the ropes at magic circle rival Clifford Chance (£44,800). As things stand, Allen & Overy and Slaughter and May pay first-year trainees £44,000, while Linklaters offers a salary of £43,000.
Freshfields’ second-year trainees are also sitting pretty thanks to the fresh round of rises. They now earn £500 more than their peers at Clifford Chance (£50,500) and a full £2,000 more than those plying their trade at Allen & Overy, Linklaters and Slaughter and May (£49,000).
Magic circle trainee salary standings:
|Firm||Trainee pay (Year 1)||Trainee pay (Year 2)|
|Allen & Overy||£44,000||£49,000|
|Slaughter and May||£44,000||£49,000|
The magic circle player’s young associates haven’t been as lucky, however, with NQ salaries remaining at a still very healthy £85,000. The last time the firm upped junior lawyer pay was in 2016, when it boosted it by a staggering 26% or £17,500.
The rookie pay rises come on the back of strong financials. Freshfields reported a 12% jump in profit per equity partner (PEP) to £1.73 million, while revenues hit £1.4 billion — a rise of 5%. Net income at the 28-office-outfit increased by 12% to £683 million.
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