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Shearman & Sterling ups NQ solicitor pay to £120,000

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A boost of 14%

The London office of US law firm Shearman & Sterling has upped newly qualified (NQ) solicitor salaries by a healthy 14%.

This means that the firm’s 15 or so NQs annually will now enjoy a salary of £120,000, up from an already impressive £105,000. Legal Cheek‘s Firms Most List shows trainees at the New York-headquartered outfit currently receive £45,000 in year one, rising to £50,000 in year two.

There’s also extra cash for those further up the ladder. The starting salary for mid-year associates (3.5 years post-qualification experience (PQE)) is up 7% from £138,000 to £148,000, while senior associates (6.5 PQE or more) enjoy a 6% uplift from £165,000+ to £175,000+. The rises took effect from 1 May.

Matthew Readings, head of the London office, commented:

“We are pleased to be able to offer our associates an increased pay-scale across the board. This is part of our ongoing commitment as a firm to being an employer of choice and attracting and retaining the best talent.”

Today’s money move puts Shearman’s NQs on an earning par with their opposite numbers over at fellow US outfits Cleary Gottlieb (£120,000), Davis Polk (£120,000) and Ropes & Gray (£120,000), and comes a little over a week after we revealed that magic circle player Freshfields had upped junior lawyer pay by a whopping 18% to £100,000.

Money matters aside, Shearman performed well in our latest Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, scoring an A* for quality of work, as well as As for training, peer support, partner approachability and perks. It secured the gong for ‘Best Law Firm for Quality of Work 2019’ at our awards ceremony earlier this year.

The 2019 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

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