Eversheds ups London NQ lawyer pay to £82k

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Rises for rookies in regions too

Eversheds Sutherland has increased the salaries of its newly qualified (NQ) solicitors across its London and regional offices, the firm announced today.

London NQs now earn £82,000, up 9% from £75,500, with those in the regions on £50,000, a rise of 11% from £45,000.

Eversheds’ London lot now have the same earning power as those over at CMS, who also earn a recently improved £82,000 upon qualification, our Firms Most List shows. They’ve also surpassed the likes of DLA Piper (£76,000), Taylor Wessing (£77,000), and Squire Patton Boggs (£78,000) in the NQ pay league.

The new salaries will take effect from qualification in September.

Lorraine Kilborn, chief people officer at Eversheds, said in a statement: “We are committed to attracting and retaining the best junior talent in the highly competitive UK market.”

She continued: “Our NQs will benefit from the firm’s market-leading training and development programme, Empower, which will equip them with the business and technical skills required for each stage of their careers, from NQ to senior associate, and includes legal knowledge, legal project management, client relationship development, and building their personal brands.”

The 2021 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

A growing number of UK-headquartered law firms have upped NQ pay in recent weeks. Pinsent Masons announced salary rises in London and the regions last month, with those in London now earning £75,000, up 3% from £72,500.

Ashurst and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner bumped NQ rates to £90,000 and £88,000, respectively, while magic circle duo Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance both increased their cash offerings to £100,000.

US firms are increasing salaries too, with reports indicating several elite players stateside have matched the much ballyhooed $205,000 sum. This has led to pay rises for their NQs in London, with many earning above £145,000.

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PE World

Can we agree this is the best regional law firm? Probably a close tie with DLA.

I know several of their associates are able to jump ship to MC/US shops so definitely a testament to the quality of this firm. Apparently, a lot of people stay simple because work hours are way more reasonable and the environment is very “friendly”.

Is this true? Curious to know!



I can’t imagine the people that say this actually work there. I do, I won’t for much longer, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone unless they enjoy life as a robot.



Fat bulge, fat whack.





Angry Old Man

Unrelated but I feel compelled to post
It’s results time at a lot of universities according to my LinkedIn feed.
Why is everyone getting a first? Literally everyone?
About 300 students from the Uni of Liverpool alone have today announced they’ve received a first-class degree. Half of them got about 87% on their dissertation.

Law is getting dumbed down. How on earth do you distinguish between candidates? No wonder city firms hire students from about 6 universities.


US guy

It’s the commercialisation of education. It’s been getting worse since the fee cap was lifted under the Tories/LD coalition. Students are customers and customers are always going to look at what university offers them the best prospect of top grades and good employment prospects.


Level Headed Response

So, you’ve come to the conclusion that law is being dumbed down because of your LinkedIn feed? First, people with firsts are more likely to post because of achievement + personality, so this skews perception. Why would someone post about a 2:1 (average) or a 2:2 (terrible) or even most at all! Second, dissertations are, in my experience, done extremely well and command higher marks that other modules, even at universities like LSE which is rather stringent in other areas.



Seems being level headed doesn’t stop you being judgemental!

Signed: Eversheds Sutherland Senior Associate with a 2:2


Level Headed Response

I apologise if my comment invoked an inner desire to defend your self-worth on an anonymous comment section.



Dissertations are for those who can’t actually solve a problem on the spot and are graded incredibly subjectively. If you took away dissertations from my graduating class, it would have dropped from about 30% firsts to 10%.



Well you much be pretty sad if a first class degree is the only thing you have to offer. I would recommend actually volunteering at your local law firm to get experience, doing internships, actively engaging in arts or sports, getting a normal job, starting a company, and most importantly having a personality


Realist (original)

I think volunteering at a local high street firm and keeping the relationship during summers at Uni would be invaluable in some areas. You could get a real head start in property, private client, litigation and employment.


Scouser Thing

That must be 110% bollox.

I went to Liverpool and a handful each year got firsts.

It was about 1/3 2:1, 2/3 2:2 and a tiny proportion of Firsts and Fails.


You're Wrong

Well, that’s just not true, is it?

A quarter of Liverpool Law undergraduates got a first. Not a handful – almost 150 students, to be precise.

Now, you could make the argument that more selective universities also give out a high proportion of firsts. See here,

However, it’s likely harder to achieve a first at those universities, because you’re competing with more competent and hardworking students. In general, a 2.1 from those universities is more valuable than a first from a ‘less prestigious’ institution.

The issue for universities like Liverpool is that if you’re an outstanding student, and you get a first, it no longer means anything because over a hundred others have a first.

This obviously doesn’t only apply to Liverpool alone. It applies to many, many universities. Honestly, I just wouldn’t study law if you’re not going to a ~top 10 university with strong graduate outcomes. Aim for a course with AAA-A*AA entry requirements. Although it does, of course, depend on what you want from university.


Scouser Thing

Well bugger me with a bent wire brush!

That’s grade inflation, that.

When I graduated 16 years ago it was a handful that got a first.

Doesn’t do anyone any favours. A First should be exceptional (I got a 2:1).


Insider Trader

This is great, we are seeing other less financially powerful firms actually doing their best to compete. 5 years ago, this would be the rate that some Magic circles or Silver Circle firms would pay and now smaller firms are now offering this.

Well done and fingers crossed that this will encourage other firms to follow suit.



Lmao five years ago this was practically unheard of at any City firm outside of the US shops. To the best of my memory A&O were a first mover to enter NQ pay into the 80k range. In 2015, MC firms still paid around £65k at NQ, the Shed around £59k…



Can I ask why some firms, at NQ level, are only considering applications from lawyers who attended Oxford or Cambridge, and gained 1st class honours, when the pool of trainees and junior lawyers at those very firms don’t have those academic requirements?

I’ve seen candidates secure TCs at such firms who have attended bottom ranked universities such as LJMU and Canterbury Christ Church University…


High 2:1

What firms are requiring this?



No firm requires this. As soon as you start university becomes more or less irrelevant


Just about every US firm. Not sure why I would make this up?


This just isn’t true. You either have a bad CV, a bad recruiter or both.


Manchester Ship Canal

Sheds surely now the highest payer outside of Bristol (and London obvs)? Well needed rather than everyone being clumped around 40 a la 2016…



Does anyone know if Osborne Clarke will be following suit?



Orsberne Clerke, terp ferm



How theengs in Joburg, yar?



So basically, there’s little point being at an MC firm from a remuneration and lifestyle perspective (ie leaving aside quality of work and exit ops).

You either move to a US firm and and get paid a load more for usually similar hours, or go to a solid mid market firm and get paid a bit less for usually significantly better hours.


PE World

Not really. Salary progression at a SC/MC will be greater. You start with a £8-18k difference at NQ and that becomes north of £50k at 8PQE+



Spot on. These MC firms need to really start offering the 120k mark now. However I just don’t think its feasible. These MC firms have around 200 trainees each year between the cohorts, they require this amount due to the size of their bloated department sizes and full service business model. MC firms also pursued the expensive ‘lets open 40 odd offices globally’ law firm craze of the 90s and 2000s. That strategy is incredibly expensive.

In order to afford to pay not just NQs but more senior staff, MCs will need to completely rework their entire business model. In the meantime, for the much leaner but equally profitable firms like Travers, Mischon, Macs etc, this should be their time to start pushing ahead with salaries to grab some of the talent.



Well said. Quite surprised with Macs and Travers yet to announce any increases.



They have internally. So has Hogan.



And? What were the Macs/Travers rates?

Future open day offer holder

What have Hogans upped to?

Not great is it?

£82k is pretty awful in London in 2021 for someone in their mid-20s well placed to participate in an increasingly knowledge and intelligence leveraged economy. That is £56k take home. That is a long time to save up money for a deposit for a flat in a really crap bit of London.


LC ban these freshers plssssss

Ahahhhhahahahahaha “82k is awful for someone in their mid 20s”.

82k would put you in the 5-7% of earners in this country (FT, Guardian, ONS). The average salary in the country circulates 30k and it is considerably less if we exclude London data.

Come down to earth


Not great is it?

Maybe it is about perspective. I was always in the top 1%. so what the 94th percentile earned was not really relevant to me. I would never have worked for less than six figures.


Old Guy

Okay child.

Is the criteria for a good salary in London now how long it will take for someone with no parental help, no help from grandparents, no inheritance and no partner to share the burden, to buy a flat in a prime part of London? A 26 year old on £82k is not having an awful existence by any definition of the word.


OK Old Guy

“Not having an awful existence” is a defeatist standard to which those without A levels might aspire. The nation’s brightest expect better.


Old Guy

Child, the OP used the word ‘awful’ which is why I repeated it. When you get into the real world, get your £82k NQ job, get a partner who earns a decent whack, and you will realise that you can live well. If you want to fly first class, buy a flat in Notting Hill and eat out every day then I suggest you become a professional footballer or an actor or develop something in the tech world. Shuffling paper around for corporate clients doesn’t make you worth anything, even if you have A*AA and a 2.1 from Bristol, and your mummy has told you how clever you are or your boarding school gave you a prize for English. You don’t get paid for being academically bright in life and many academics, researchers in science and think thanks get paid £30k for what they do in their 20s and 30s. Note also even at partner level the big bucks goes to the finders who have a long list of contacts and bring in the clients, which is as close to a creative as you can get in corporate law. The big money doesn’t tend to go to the head down worker bees who are normally exited at an early stage.



Any news on Dentons?



DLA at £88



Do you know what the increased regional rates are for DLA?


Eversheds or Kirkland NQ

An Eversheds NQ walks up to a Kirkland NQ and says “I’m half the man you are”. The Kirkland NQ responds, “No mate, you got a salary bump, so you’re now a bit more than half the man I am.”



That was possibly the worst attempt at a joke I’ve seen.


Mr P. Goggin

I ordered a shed from Ever Sheds and it never arrived.

How can I get a refund, please?


Bantz Quality Control, Pty. Ltd.

P*ss off fresher.


Mr Martin McFly Snr

Hey! Lighten up, jerk!


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