Macfarlanes ups NQ solicitor salaries to £85,000 with bonuses taking potential earnings to over £110,000

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City player also confirms 100% retention score

City law firm Macfarlanes has bumped the base salaries of its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers by 6% to £85,000.

Up from a previous rate of £80,000, the firm has, however, said its new associate talent will actually earn anywhere between £98,600 and £110,250 when individual and firm-wide bonuses are taken into account.

The single-office-outfit, which takes on around 30 rookie lawyers each year, confirmed that over 98% of fee earners qualified for individual bonuses this year (based on contribution, not chargeable hours), while the firm-wide bonus is based on financial performance and is paid to all staff.

The 2019 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Legal Cheek‘s Firms Most List shows today’s uplift puts the firm’s NQs on the same levels of cash as their peers at Herbert Smith Freehills (£85,000) and a full £3,000 ahead of those plying their trade at Ashurst (£83,000). However, with bonuses, an NQ at Macfarlanes could out-earn their counterparts at a plethora of US and magic circle firms. Trainee pay currently sits at £44,000 in year one, rising to £49,000 in year two.

Cash aside, Macfarlanes also confirmed a perfect Autumn 2019 retention score of 100% (25 out of 25). Seán Lavin, head of graduate recruitment at Macfarlanes, said:

“We are really pleased to have maintained our consistently high retention rates for another year. Our trainees are the future of the firm and we recruit and train them with a view to nurturing their talents and building long-term careers at Macfarlanes.”

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Does anyone else find these stories absolutely stultifying? There’s only so many times you can read the same article, just with the name of the firm and the precise sterling amount changed round a bit.



If you don’t care about phat whack then why you in law, son?



How much is it after tax with student loan plan 2 payments?

Not as impressive – we should start quoting home take salaries.







Kirkland NQ




Lol even if you were a Kirkland NQ you would only make like 20k more after tax



And if you don’t work at all, you don’t lose anything to tax?



Why do you boast so mightily about bonuses for UK-headquartered NQs and mislead readers?

Why do you not do the same when discussing US firms?



US firm bonuses are all but guaranteed and based on the NY scale


Future Trainee at Macs

Can’t wait !


Future Trainee at Maccy Ds

Speak for yourself…


Brian Griffin

I have a tip on how to get £100k before bonus:

Wish it, Want it, Do it



Proper phat wedge





K&E Phatcock

Pennies compared to my phat wedge



I promise to stop picking you up on this after you make the below correction. “Will” assumes, again, that the pay is in fact non-discretionary. I appreciate the effort you made, but it has not yet cut the cheese.

Make the amendment to:

“its new associate talent could actually earn”



Damn. Guess I’ll have to buy a bigger wallet now…


Future travers trainee

Has anyone heard anything from travers?







Inc bonus



BCLP is still the better spot to work lol



Lmao wat u smokin son ?






No, Shoosmiths.


Don Quixote

How much wedge are the senior associates getting (base + bonus)? NQ raises without broader associate raises seem deceptive



Would apply, but would probably get rejected by virtue of not being named ‘Hugo Turnbull VII’.


Same Same but Different

As long as your name is: Bella, Isabella, Patronella or Cinderella, they’ll give you a second look



Or Edward, Squidward or Turdward. All names of current equity partners, trufax


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