Baker McKenzie bumps trainee pay by 7% as it confirms autumn retention score

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By Thomas Connelly on

£48,000 in year one, rising to £52,000 in year two

Baker McKenzie has increased the salaries of trainees by as much as 7% as the global firm confirmed 16 of its 18 newly qualified (NQ) lawyers had stayed on.

Bakers’ first year trainees now receive a salary of £48,000, up 7% from £45,000, while pay in year two now sits at £52,000, up 6% from £49,000.

The 2020 Legal Cheek Firms Most List shows today’s money move puts the firm’s second year rookies on an earnings par with their counterparts at Travers Smith, as well as US duo Akin Gump and Cleary Gottlieb. Bakers’ year one trainees, meanwhile, are now on the same cash levels as their opposite numbers at Clifford Chance, White & Case and Cleary Gottlieb.

Bakers upped NQ pay earlier this year to £95,000. This, the firm says, is comprised of a £90,000 base salary and a £5,000 sign-on bonus.

The 2020 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Money matters aside, Bakers confirmed an autumn retention score of 89%. It made offers to 16 of its 18 NQs — 13 in London, plus two in Belfast and one in Dubai. All accepted.

Four NQs join the firm’s corporate team, while IP/IT tech and employment receive three each. EU, competition & trade gains two, as does dispute resolution, while banking & finance and tax receive one NQ apiece.

Bakers confirmed that two NQs in London did not receive offers because they had applied to join its IP/IT tech team, where five NQs were vying for the three roles available. They have both secured positions elsewhere.

Bakers’ training principal Arron Slocombe said:

“I’m very pleased with our high autumn retention rate this year. We made offers not just to our trainees in London, but also from Dubai and Belfast. Trainees accepted roles in both transactional and advisory departments, reflecting the growth of our firm and our ongoing commitment — through the development focus in our diverse and inclusive teams, top tier client experience, and also our salary increases this year — to attracting and retaining the best talent.”

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