Average partner earnings at Clifford Chance remain steady at £1.6 million

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Canary Wharf giant’s global revenues up 4% to £1.7 billion

Clifford Chance has become the first magic circle law firm to post its 2018/19 financial results, revealing slight increases to profit per equity partner (PEP) and global revenues.

The Canary Wharf-based titan has confirmed PEP hit £1.62 million, an increase of just 1% from £1.6 million, while partnership profit was up 2% to £637 million in the year to 30 April. Global revenues stood at £1.7 billion, representing a bump of 4.3% year on year.

“I am delighted that we have delivered a fourth consecutive year of growth under our strategy, and the firm’s best financial results to date”, Matthew Layton, Clifford Chance’s global managing partner, said. “It is especially pleasing to see that the growth in revenue and profit in this period has come from across all regions and all practice areas.”

Layton continued: “There are certainly challenges for all businesses in the year ahead. However, I am confident that by staying true to our clear and established strategy and by working shoulder to shoulder with our clients, we will continue towards our vision of being the global law firm of choice.”

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As reported by Legal Cheek, CC enjoyed a whopping 16% boost in PEP and 5% uplift in global revenues during the 2017/18 financial year. Meanwhile, since 2015, the firm has increased global revenues by 25%, partnership profit by 42% and PEP by 45%.

News of the financials come less than a month after CC bumped the pay packages of its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers to £100,000. The new rate, which includes a discretionary bonus, followed a similar move made by magic circle rival Freshfieldsalthough it’s worth noting its NQs can earn bonuses on top of this six-figure sum. Linklaters, Allen & Overy and Slaughter and May have also made similar pay moves in recent weeks.

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What is the CC senior associate salary range/bracket?



What’s it matter? You won’t get there anyway… ;(



It is usually 2.5x NQ salary, so my guess would be in the region of 220k base’ish + bonus on top of that.


Kirkland 3PQE

£220k? Looool peanuts


cc junior

Senior associate at 4yrs 3m PQE, won’t be on anywhere near 220k. Closer to 130k.



Anon 2.20 doesn’t have any idea what he/she is talking about



Yeah I think senior associate rate was before was 150k.. with recent rises it’s probably now between 180k – 250k



150k is way too low. A lot of continental European law firms (with NQ salaries of around 40-50k in their respective regions) pay their senior associates upwards of 140k Euros.

For UK SC/MC firms, senior associates tend to be in the 180-220k base bracket, while for high paying US firms this can go as high as 270-290k.



A new CC SA is on nowhere near 180k.



I thought we meant “Senior Associates” as in associates who are just below making partner (not taking into account roles such as managing associates and the like)…



SA ranges from 4.25 PQE to 10 PQE. At CC you automatically become a SA at 4.25 PQE.

8PQE – 10PQE SA at CC is probably on 170k – 220k, accepted.


You have no idea what you are in about. No senior associate at a MC firm earns £200k base.



Maybe just maybe at 10PQE, but very very few.



How much do senior associates earn at us firms?



280k ish plus 100k ish discretionary performance bonus.


Kirkland NQ

From personal experience, if you’re a big balls jugganaut hedding towards partnership then you can name your price.


Big Digs Higgs

That’s why I make the big bucks


Dentons Trainee

Why are all the top partners not heading off to Kirkland, Skadden, Weil, Latham? Easily double salary to £3-4m.



MC remunerate partners on a lockstep basis, whereas the US firms you referenced have an ‘eat what you kill’ policy. Therefore it’s riskier at the US firms where you have to be continuously bringing in business.



Plus not being full-service, most US law firms do not “auto-generate” work for their advisory departments. Hence, it is much more risky to more to such firms if you’re not a transactional partner that can pull its own weight in terms of generated turnover.



Less trainees take make sign NDAs



depends which firm you are moving from



easiest a 1-2 pqe, where it is really easy



Loving the bantz


Freshies Equity

Bloody Paupers



3 years ago when I left 7 year qualified CC associates were on about £135k basic. Doubt it has increased much since then – max bonus is 40% of salary but that is probably only going to people about to make partner. Would be surprised if total comp for any CC senior is more than £200k


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