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Macfarlanes boosts NQ lawyer pay to £100k

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Rises for rookies too

The London office of Macfarlanes

Macfarlanes has increased the salaries of its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers to £100,000, Legal Cheek can reveal.

The silver circle player confirmed base salaries had moved from £90,000 to £100,000, an uptick of 11%, with NQs eligible to receive individual and firmwide bonuses on top of the new rate. The rises take effect from 1 January 2022.

Macfarlanes also confirmed increases have taken place across all other associate salary bands.

The Legal Cheek 2022 Firms Most List shows the revised NQ salary matches that already on offer at Freshfields, Hogan Lovells and Slaughter and May, and is £5,000 above NQ pay at Mayer Brown and Norton Rose Fulbright (both £95,000).

Macs — which offers around 33 training contracts each year — has also increased trainee salaries to £50,000 in year one and £55,000 in year two. These were previously pegged at £48,000 and £52,500, respectively.

Senior partner, Sebastian Prichard Jones, commented:

“We have taken the unusual step of advancing our salary review for our legal staff which normally takes place in July to 1 January. The past 18 months have been a sustained period of high activity levels across our practices and it is right that we recognise the significant contribution made by our fee earners during that period.”

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

The additional cash comes a little over a year since the firm, like many of its rivals, opted to cut junior lawyer rates by 6% from £85,000 to £80,000 in response to the pandemic. The firm reinstated salaries some six months later, before upping them to £90,000 earlier this summer.

News of the rises come just weeks after Clifford Chance increased NQ rates to £107,500, following similar moves by Allen & Overy and Linklaters.

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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