Slaughter and May pushes ahead with associate salary rises

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Magic circle player also restarts staff pay reviews as part of an easing of financial measures put in place during the pandemic

Slaughter and May has confirmed associates will move through the salary scales from next month, following a suspension last year in response to the pandemic.

The magic circle player’s City associates will shift up the post-qualification pay bands on 1 May, as normal, it confirmed in a statement yesterday.

Slaughters also revealed its postponed salary reviews for staff across other areas of the firm, including senior counsel, business services employees, professional support lawyers, executive assistants and document specialists, have now taken place.

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The news follows the firm’s decision earlier this year to bump the salaries of its newly qualified (NQ) solicitors to £90,500, having previously cut them due to the pandemic. The uplift did, however, fall short of Slaughter’s pre-Covid NQ pay packet of £92,000.

Earlier this month, Shearman & Sterling boosted NQ solicitor pay by 12.5% to £135,000, while Linklaters upped its Covid-cut salary of £90,000 to £92,500, plus a discretionary performance bonus.

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Seek Help

The plus is more money, but the big negative here is having to work at Slaughter and May..


FBD is King

Did someone get rejected from an open day? Find people that take snipes at any city firm weird when they can only dream of getting a TC. Back to revision, fresher.


Serious Coin

We love to see it


Honest SM Assoc

Keep in mind these aren’t really pay rises. Having had a record year they are only now bumping us up to the levels we should have been at 18 months ago without backdating. No COVID bonus either. I really wonder if I’m working at a MC firm.


Kirkland NQ

Meanwhile the rainmaker partners at our PE turbofirm keep throwing around thicc wadds of crisp US$100 notes just for the bantz. The other day they tossed half a dozen of them my way so I can putt them around on my corner office minigolf setup.

Life is good.



I have friends at SM who turned down US offers. I’m vicariously annoyed for them. Covid is an appalling excuse by SM: at the very start of the pandemic it was unclear what the impact might be. We now know that we (commercial lawyers generally) have been extraordinarily fortunate:

“December was profession’s highest-billing month in history” –

This seem to simply be greed by SM’s partners.



Typo: Seems.


Kirkllis & Elland

Anyone turning down a top US firm over S&M seriously needs their head checked. ‘Prestige’ alone won’t pay ya mortgage in and around London…



You do realise that the *vast* majority of people taking out a mortgage in London and the home counties aren’t working for US law firms? Or in the financial services sector at all?



I do think the UK firms are better places to train as you are part of bigger teams and have a more protected training period. However if you are ambitious and prepared to stand on your own two feet quickly, then at 2 years pqe best to start looking around. The US firms have high attrition rates, they take on a lot of people, many with 2.1s from redbricks not just firsts or Oxbridge grads. You may not make partner but you can spend 2-6 years earning £150k plus and have better exit options into the various financial institutions in the City and overseas. If you are working in anything finance related (debt, equity, project finance, insolvency and restructuring, funds) then US firms are better hands down.



His logic was that (a) SM has a broader team in the specific practice area, which would keep his long-term options open; and (b) the US firm in question is one of the top-paying the City, with a commensurately brutal ‘sink or swim’ reputation for culling anyone who didn’t make the grade during their initial 6-month probation period.

In that context, I can see the logic. I think the person below who recommends spending NQ-2 PQE in a MC/SC firm, then moving to a US firm once you have gained experience in a supportive environment, offers good advice.

That said, if you have a high risk appetite, and are willing to roll the dice by joining a US firm from the outset, good luck to you: you’ve earned what you’re paid!



I can only assume anyone who willingly works for an MC firm when there are ample firms who offer either more money or better work-life balance (without sacrificing quality of work) must be a moron that still thinks anyone cares that much about the ‘prestige’ brand name



surprised that there aren’t more freshers trying to bash slaughters in this comments section

maybe it’s because they’re revising for their summer exams


New York NQ

Laughs in US Dollars.


Bantonio Banteras

Top bantz son, original too.


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