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Clifford Chance joins magic circle rivals in upping NQ lawyer pay to £107.5k

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Matches moves by A&O and Links

Clifford Chance has become the latest member of the magic circle to increase the salaries of its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers to £107,500.

The move sees the firm’s most junior lawyers now earn a base rate of £107,500, up 7.5% from £100,000, and matches recent uplifts by rivals Allen & Overy and Linklaters. The new rate will be effective from 2022.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2022 shows the remaining two members of the MC, Freshfields and Slaughter and May, pay NQs a base salary of £100,000.

Trainee rates at CC remain unchanged at £50,000 in year one and £55,000 in year two.

Magic circle salary standings:

Firm Trainee pay (Year 1) Trainee pay (Year 2) NQ base rates
Allen & Overy £50,000 £55,000 £107,500
Clifford Chance £50,000 £55,500 £107,500
Linklaters £50,000 £55,000 £107,500
Freshfields £50,000 £55,000 £100,000
Slaughter and May £50,000 £55,000 £100,000

Keen to find out more about life at the firm or a life in law more generally? Why not sign up to the December Legal Cheek UK Virtual Law Fair 2021. It takes place on Thursday 2 December, between 2-5pm, and features 70 law firms, including all the magic circle and leading US firms’ London offices, international firms, and national firms across the UK.

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