Clifford Chance tops magic circle trainee pay table with fresh rises

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By Thomas Connelly on

£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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