Bonus on top
Magic circle giant Clifford Chance has upped the salaries of its junior lawyers, Legal Cheek can reveal.
Newly qualified (NQ) associates will now receive a base salary of £100,000 — up from a previous base rate (and Legal Cheek estimate) of roughly £93,000.
We’ve used an estimate because CC previously chose not to disclose base pay, opting instead for a figure of “up to £100,000” with discretionary bonus applied.
Legal Cheek understands NQs are eligible for a bonus on top of the new six-figure rate.
The firm, which dishes out around 95 training contracts each year, pays trainees £48,000 in year one and £54,000 in year two.
The uplift to NQ pay will likely prompt the rest of the magic circle to reassess their own financial packages.
As it stands, NQs at Freshfields receive a base rate of £100,000 plus discretionary bonus, while Linklaters‘ lot earn £100,000 including bonus. Elsewhere, Slaughter and May dishes out the same six-figure sum — a combination of basic salary and bonus — and Allen & Overy provides a “minimum total cash” of £100,000, comprised of salary and a sign-on bonus.
Away from the MC, the pay war among US firms re-ignited late last week when Milbank took the decision to up junior lawyer salaries to an astonishing $200,000 — or roughly £141,000 for those working this side of the pond. Not to be outdone, a host of firms have subsequently matched the increase, while others, including Davis Polk, have gone further and upped NQ rates to a market-topping $202,500 (£143,500).