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Clifford Chance increases GDL maintenance grant to £10,000

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Exclusive: First magic circle firm to award five-figure sum

Magic circle player Clifford Chance is offering its London trainees-to-be £10,000 in financial support during their Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), Legal Cheek can reveal.

The new and improved sum equates to an uplift of 25%, up £2,000 on the previous maintenance grant of £8,000. The increase will apply to this year’s batch of offer holders and is effective from autumn 2019. This means the Canary Wharf-headquartered outfit now matches the £10,000 maintenance grant it awards its Legal Practice Course (LPC) students.

Clifford Chance’s newest recruits complete the GDL — the year-long conversion course non-law grads must complete to become a lawyer — at BPP University Law School’s Holborn branch. The firm — which offers around 95 training contracts each year — also fully funds GDL course fees.

Michael Bates, regional managing partner at Clifford Chance, said:

“Our people are key in helping us to achieve our vision: to become the global law firm of choice. To attract and retain the best talent, we have to invest in and support our people in every way possible. We nurture our people and support them from the very beginning of their career and throughout their journey to success. This year, for example, 67% of our new partners are home grown talent. The success of our people is the firm’s best return on investments.”

So how does Clifford Chance’s revised GDL sum stack against its magic circle rivals’? Legal Cheek’s Firms Most List shows Clifford Chance is the first of the five to award a five-figure sum. Allen & Overy confirmed to Legal Cheek that it awards its future trainees £9,000 in financial support during the GDL, while their counterparts at Linklaters and Slaughter and May receive £8,000, respectively. Freshfields awards its rookies £7,250.

News of the maintenance uplift follows similar money moves made by a number of law firms. Turning to our Firms Most List again, US-headquartered firms Dechert, Jones Day and Kirkland & Ellis each offer £10,000 in financial support to their London-based lot, while Sidley Austin tops the market with its £11,000 offering. As things stand, Macfarlanes is the only other UK-headquartered firm to award its new joiners £10,000 having confirmed a 43% increase last month. It remains to be seen whether the rest of the magic circlers follow suit…

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72 Comments

Anonymous

Tbf, this seems to appreciate the ever increasing costs of accommodation during the LPC.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

BIFFORD BANTZ

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Is Cohen & Gresser a top firm? What is their LPC grant?

(5)(11)

Anonymous

Yawn. Choosing some random firm and asking about their NQ rate/TC salary/retention rates etc here has been done to death.

(15)(1)

Anonymous

They are on a hiring spree in London and I need to know.

(1)(4)

Anonymous

Stop lying.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Brothers! Sisters!

Future trainees should voluntarily give £1000 to fund legal aid!

WE NEED SOCIALISM!

VOTE CORBYN!

(3)(28)

Anonymous

Future trainees cannot voluntarily do this because LPC grants are not enough to live off alone in London for a full (not accelerated) course. £10k is about getting there in terms of what is manageable if a student pays little in rent (600-650 tops) and is relatively frugal, moderates social spending etc. Now shut up FFS.

(13)(0)

Kirkland NQ

Wow, £600 for rent! That’s cheap. Unpaid that for a single shot of vodka last night!

(1)(1)

Freshfields NQ

That’s cute lmao

(4)(26)

Debevoise NQ

Oh poor guy, you’ve waited for so long to say that. Cute.

(32)(1)

Kirkland NQ

Oh poor guy, you’ve waited for so long to say that. Cute.

(8)(8)

Anonymous

You do realise Debevoise pays the same as K&E right?

(10)(6)

Anonymous

They don’t.

Anonymous

They do actually, look it up.

Kirkland NQ

You do realise I definitely have a bigger cock than you, right?

Lathams NQ

You do realise 3 inches really ain’t all that much, right?

Anonymous

Back to your books mate, your first year Criminal Law exam is coming up on Wednesday and you’re still unable to explain the difference between Actus Reus and Mens Rea.

Off you go.

Kirkland NQ

Whatever mate, if you know there’s an exam perhaps you’re the student? You’re right on one thing though, Actus Reus and Mens Rea don’t come up when smashing PE multi billion dollar deals so I don’t know what they are. I guess I’ll be too busy picking out my Ferrari to care anyway.

Debevoise NQ

We’re paid the same?

(14)(1)

Kirkland NQ

Not really dear. Sorry to break it to you. I’m sure you’ll have fun though in your second job to make ends meet cleaning the windows of the Ferrari dealership while I’m inside deciding if to have red or black.

Anonymous

LLL

Anonymous

Get help

Kirkland NQ

What spending the megabucks that drop in my account every month? Sorry my model girlfriend has already got that covered lol

Anonymous

Yawn.

CMS 4th Seat Trainee

I’ll definitely be going for red. On the off-chance my Kirkland offer doesn’t come through, is Debevoise any good at PE? Need to upgrade my Nissan Micra in any event.

plod

Its not important whether Debevoise is good at PE, its important that CMS is total shet at PE

CMS 4th Seat Trainee

Wait what?

Anonymous

I think a Kirkland NQ would have written “decided *whether* to have red or black as opposed to “if to have red or black* because Kirkland NQ’s tend to know how to write properly, and you clearly don’t.

Kirkland NQ

Fuck off, jealousy is a bad look for you. Quick tip: keep up the attitude and a slap will surely come your way.

I’m off to get drunk on vintage champagne. Don’t wait up 😉

Anonymous

Obviously a non-native English speaker.

Kirkland NQ

That’s what we want you to think.

Anonymous

Yea ok fresher. Back to the library you go.

Anonymous

This last paragraph about UK Headquartered firms is a lie. Hogan Lovells and NRF also offer £10,000 grants for the LPC. Honestly, the 10K grant is no longer big news in London (Only within the MC in fact). Get your facts straight LC.

(3)(12)

"get your facts straight"

this article is about the GDL not the LPC…

(26)(0)

Anonymous

Any news on Fieldfisher or Clyde & Co raising NQ rates?

Paying me just £66k means I go begging at Leicester Square on most weekends

(21)(5)

Anonymous

Any word on raises at Addleshaws or Pinsents in London?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Lol, even DWF pays more.

(2)(2)

Future DWF trainee

How much?

(4)(0)

Anonymous

About the same

Anonymagic

Will be interesting to see whether the other MC firms will raise their NQ salary to match FF at 100k.

I hardly believe Slaughters will match, but I have little doubt that all the rest will.

Thoughts?

(9)(0)

Anonymous

Doubt A&O will either. CC definitely will as they’ve got the cojones and muscle to raise.

(4)(1)

Anonymagic

Yea, it’s probably not the best time for A&O as they’re also dealing with the potential O’Melveny tie-up. I guess CC and Links will probably follow suit shortly.

(6)(1)

Anonymous

CC? Really? They don’t even publish their base salaries… cojones pequena, more like!

(5)(6)

Anonymagic

CC compensation is already 91k (base + binary bonus – whatever the latter means). So pushing the NQ package to 100k should not be such a long stretch.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

“Binary bonus” is precisely the bullshit it sounds like. Essentially CC base is circa 80k and assuming a half decent bonus you end up on 91 or whatever.

As I understand it, the FF thing is 100k base, potential for bonus on top. Substantially more.

Anonymous

CC NQ is 83k + bonus, with basically everyone getting the bonus. FBD’s new figure is also smoke and mirrors, not 100k base plus bonus.

Anonymous

It is 100k base + bonus

Anonymous

Wrong

Ex CC NQ

NQ salary is £83.5k

Anonymous

Plus a bonus everyone gets

Ex CC NQ

True but a drop in the ocean net of tax

Anonymous

A&O matched the cravath level increases for their US associates last year. If they can’t match the FF increases for their English associates, that would upset a lot of people.

(11)(2)

Anonymous

A&O’s raises in NYC are TOTALLY IRRELEVANT to the London office mate.

TYVM.

(3)(3)

CC Junior

CC are, probably 100k including binary bonus.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

Meanwhile at an unnamed mid-tier City firm I’m literally choking on ass fumes at the gents’ traps fucks sake

(20)(0)

Anonymous

DAC Beachcroft?

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Irwin Mitchell?

(2)(0)

Anonymagic

Not to be disrespectful, but I doubt IM is considered a “City firm”. The title is usually reserved to commercial law firms which mostly (if not wholly) deal with commercial law with their main center of operation being London and not the regions.

(13)(2)

Anonymous

Top bantz

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Honestly, these rising figures seem generous, given the amount of future trainees who still live with their parents in London / south east

(4)(1)

Anonymous

Tbf anyone with the credentials to get a city tc can easily make £20+ an hour tutoring in London, so it’s not like there’s no good way for them to make ends meet

(2)(2)

Anonymous

The point is that you shouldn’t have to. The point of these grants is to ensure that everyone can get by and actually study the LPC – except it’s not enough and doesn’t, as a minimum, put everyone on equal footing. The people I know who worked part-time during the LPC struggled to fit everything in. Yes, it’s not that intense but it’s also not designed to take up all of your time along with a part-time job.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Agreed. I think it can only be a good thing that these grants are rising. And the LPC is pretty intense, especially fast-track / accelerated. Probably would’ve failed a few exams if I’d had to work part time

(1)(0)

Anonymous

£20 * 20 hours worked = £400 / week.
Add the grant and that’s liveable even in london

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Yes hours could be less, but that pay per hour is also a low ball (my first tutoring job after oxford was £35 fwiw).

Also let’s be honest access to profession is a continuum: lots of parents can lend their kids £20 here and there; very few can subsidise them to the tunes of £10k+ / year for years.
Also very few people with impoverished parents ever make it to any kind of legal prosefsion, the obvious exception being Alex aldridge, who’s sEnIlE aNd DeRaNgEd aNd ImPoverished mUmSy works the graveyard shift in a soho subway to subsidise his blogsitetweetshitething

Anonymous

Simply Pathetic show from the MC

US >

(7)(6)

Anonymous

Amazing that they pay 10,000 for GDL maintenance, the GDL fee as well, the LPC fee, and LPC maintenance. Circa £50,000…

(0)(0)

Future Trainee

To be honest, there needs to be more firms upping it to £10k plus. I’m getting £7k to do my GDL at BPP in London next year, and I’m having to move back home and commute an hour each way every day during term time. Don’t know how future trainees who don’t live near London actually manage it.

Given lots of firms now dictate that you have to be in London for the GDL, they need to provide you with a grant that actually makes living in London affordable without working 20hour weeks alongside the GDL and LPC

(3)(0)

Anonymous

It makes no sense to me that some firms give their future trainees less for the GDL than for the LPC… The content is arguably more difficult, and the cost of living in London is the same

(1)(0)

Future Trainee

To be honest, there needs to be more firms upping it to £10k plus. I’m getting £7k to do my GDL at BPP in London next year, and I’m having to move back home and commute an hour each way every day during term time. Don’t know how future trainees who don’t live near London actually manage it.

Given lots of firms now dictate that you have to be in London for the GDL, they need to provide you with a grant that actually makes living in London affordable without working 20hour weeks alongside the GDL and LPC

(0)(0)

CONTROVERSIALLL

The GDL should not be subsidised and non-lawyers should be deterred from entering the profession.

(1)(1)

Comments are closed.

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