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Clifford Chance tops magic circle trainee pay table with fresh rises

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£48,000 in year one, rising to £54,000 in year two — 3% boosts across the board

Clifford Chance has bumped the salaries of its trainee solicitors by 3% — topping the magic circle rookie pay league table in the process.

Trainees at the firms’ Canary Wharf HQ will now receive £48,000 in year one, up 3% from £46,600, while those a year ahead will earn £54,000, up from £52,500, again a rise of 3%. The new rates are effective from 1 September.

The uplifts mean Clifford Chance’s first years are now on the same levels of cash as their opposite numbers at Akin Gump, Cleary Gottlieb and White & Case (which upped trainee pay earlier this summer), while second years are now a full £1,500 better of than those at their nearest magic circle rival Linklaters.

The money move also sees Clifford Chance, which takes on between 90 and 100 trainees each year, jump to the top of the magic circle trainee pay table.

Magic circle trainee salary standings:

Firm Trainee pay (Year 1) Trainee pay (Year 2)
Clifford Chance £48,000 £54,000
Linklaters £47,000 £52,500
Freshfields £45,000 £51,000
Slaughter and May £45,000 £51,000
Allen & Overy £45,000 £50,000

Legal Cheek‘s Firms Most List shows that Davis Polk continues to be the top trainee payer in the City with a year one salary of £55,000 rising to £60,000 in year two.

The boosts come less than two months after Clifford Chance upped the pay packages of its newly qualified (NQ) solicitors to £100,000. It’s worth noting, however, that the improved six-figure-sum includes discretionary bonuses. The other members of the magic circle — Allen & Overy, Freshfields, Linklaters and Slaughter and May — have all made similar NQ pay moves this summer.

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34 Comments

Anonymous

Phat

(11)(0)

Anonymous

Brothers! Sisters!

Jeremy Corbyn will end this greed!

A windfall tax on City incomes above £35k!

75% tax to pay for nurses and teachers!

FOR THE MANY, NOT THE FEW

VOTE LABOUR

(7)(43)

Anonymous

Taxation is theft, commie! MAGA! MUKGA!

(15)(2)

Anonymous

I’ll pay for teachers when they’re able to actually teach the chavs how to read and not stab, and I’ll pay for nurses when they actually start healing people rather than marking the wrong legs for amputation.

The circle of British ineptitude.

(5)(21)

Anonymous

True. Tax for shit services = fraud

(2)(7)

Rupert; a US Firm partner

Chicken feed for low-grade battery hens!

(0)(3)

Oxford BA History

US firms need to increase trainee salaries to £58k first year, and £63k second year.

(25)(6)

Dentons NQ - Milton Keynes

Seriously? I’m on £42,000 as an NQ. Stop complaining.

(11)(12)

Brighton College Pupil

I heard 7PQE lawyers at Dentons regional offices are on £70,000. Is that true? I might stick to training in London as can year six figures soon.

(15)(4)

Anonymous

In Edinburgh 7PQE are on less than that

(7)(0)

Anonymous

Out of curiosity, what kind of commercial work is there in Milton Keynes?

(4)(1)

Anonymous

It’s mainly insurance doc blozzing, totally low value shet

(5)(2)

Harvard MBA PhD BSC MPhil LLB LLM LOL

Agreed.

(12)(0)

Anonymous

Trainee pay doesn’t matter. You’re training, the clue is in the name, and therefore causing super profitable mid-level associates to spend unchargeable time doing that training. That’s doing nothing for PEP, which is why we’re all here after all.

The money will come once you qualify and, more so, once you properly know what you’re doing at 3-4 PQE.

(14)(5)

Anonymous

Can anyone advise me on whether to persue an LLM at a prestigious UK or US institution? Thanks

(9)(2)

Anonymous

I would pursue a basic education first.

(31)(2)

LLM Seeker

Pursue* – mistakes happen :/

(9)(1)

Anonymous

Neither

(1)(1)

Anonymous

I would go to Mexico. Nice food and you can get a nice hat.

(8)(1)

Rupert; a US Firm partner

You can eat the hat, sometimes!

(0)(2)

LLB, BCL

If you paralegal for a couple years first to get real world fee earning experience then do a commercial LLM Cantab, BCL Oxon, or LLM at Harvard/Yale/Stanford, that would look much better. That’s also assuming you have a very high First class LLB from a LSE/UCL/KCL, Durham or Red Brick (if not BA Juris/Law from Oxbridge).

(1)(6)

Anonymous

I applied to Jones Day but got rejected because I’m butterz.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Yeah on that subject, ROF are reporting that Jones Day have suspended a Partner for sexual harassment. Why haven’t LC copied and pasted the article yet? The comments would be a thing of beauty . . .

(8)(0)

Anonymous

You answered your own question.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

can someone please confirm the other US firms like white and case, dechert, jones day,morgan lewis, those around the 100k to 115k bracket if they have increased the NQ salary or not? need to know how they will react

(2)(4)

Anonymous

Why do you “need” to know?

(8)(5)

Anonymous

stop wasting time and answer the question please as i said i need to know

(3)(23)

Anonymous

wow if you dont know at least be man enough to admit it

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Yse

(0)(0)

Grad recruiter

It should go without saying that if you want to practice law in the UK, you should do an LLM in the UK. Contrary to popular belief, an LLM doesn’t actually heighten your chances of securing a training contract. Top grades for your LLB is the most important, followed by a pass at LPC. The LLM is just an extra that will get you in more debt.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Distinction on the LPC is what is often expected. Pass is not great at all. The correlation between those who achieved a mere Pass on the LPC and not getting kept on after their TC is plain to see.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Grad rec HR cares about distinction on the LPC. The lawyers only care about which options you choose (at least the grad Rec partner at my firm does) and that you complete it with whatever grades.

Now they care even less seeing how it’s being chucked out. Enjoy the SQE!

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Anyone know of firms with most straight forward application process like without stupid tests?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Slaughter and May and Travers Smith both have very standard (cover letter + CV) applications.

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.

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