Allen & Overy ups junior lawyer pay to £83,000 as it confirms 80% trainee retention score

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By Thomas Connelly on

Magic circle outfit’s rookies handed £1,000 boosts

Allen & Overy has boosted the salaries of its trainee and newly-qualified (NQ) lawyers by 2%, as the magic circle player confirmed 37 of its soon-to-be associates were staying put.

A&O’s NQs will now receive a salary of £83,000, a rise of £2,000, while trainee pay now sits at £45,000 in year one, rising to £50,000 in year two — an extra £1,000 or 2%. Today’s modest money move puts A&O’s latest batch of associates a full £3,000 ahead of their peers over at Slaughter and May (£80,000) and £2,000 behind Freshfields‘ lot (£85,000). Legal Cheek’s Firms Most List shows Clifford Chance and Linklaters offer NQ salaries of £91,000 (including bonus) and £78,500 respectively.

Pay uplifts aside, A&O also confirmed an autumn retention score of 80%. Of the 46 trainees due to qualify next month, 44 applied for NQ roles and 40 received offers. Thirty-seven accepted. One of the City’s more consistent retention performers, A&O has chalked up rates of 80% (30 out of 40), 85% (40 out of 47) and 82% (31 out of 38) in the last three retention rounds. The 44-office outfit offers around 90 training contracts each year.

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Claire Wright, graduate recruitment partner and training principal at A&O said:

“This is a good result and one which demonstrates the consistently high quality of the trainees here at A&O. We are fortunate to have such a strong pipeline of talented young lawyers and I look forward to seeing their careers develop and progress.”

News of the salary boosts and retention result come amid rumours A&O is involved in transatlantic merger talks. Earlier this month, Legal Cheek reported that the magic circle outfit’s top brass had met with senior partners from US outfit O’Melveny & Myers. If given the go-ahead, the tie-up would create a global outfit with over 3,000 lawyers and combined revenues of £2bn ($2.8bn).