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Reed Smith joins NQ salary war with 19% boost to £107.5k

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Juniors billing 2,000+ hours will earn £132.5k

Reed Smith has become the latest law firm to up the salaries of its junior lawyers, with a new and improved base rate of £107,500.

Up from £90,000, the six-figure sum equates to an extra £17,500 or 19%.

The firm says the new salary band is available to associates who hit a target of 1,700 hours of billable work, although earnings can stretch even further, with a salary of £132,500 available to those who complete 2,000 hours or more.

But if NQs fall short of the 1,700 hours target, they will receive a salary of £100,000 — an uplift of 11% on the the old £90,000 rate. The changes take effect from next year.

The Legal Cheek 2022 Firms Most List shows the £107,500 base rate matches that announced last week by Clifford Chance. Allen & Overy and Linklaters also dish out the same figure, while Herbert Smith Freehills sits just behind on £107,000.

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Reed Smith also confirmed trainee pay is on the rise too. First year rates will move from from £45,000 to £50,000, an uplift of 11%, while second year rates will soon sit at £55,000 — a 12% increase from £49,000.

Under the new and improved salary scheme, associates will continue to be eligible for a non-discretionary bonus, subject to hitting hours targets, as well as a discretionary bonus.

Reed Smith confirmed its current policy of allowing 140 hours of non-billable work to count towards associate targets will remain in place. This can include pro bono legal work, innovation projects and equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Tamara Box, Reed Smith’s EME managing partner said: “We are pleased to confirm the significant increase to NQs’ salaries in London. It is a reflection of our strong desire to retain and attract the very best legal talent in a hugely competitive market.”

She added:

“The new salary level is an investment in our lawyers and is consistent with several of the firm’s key objectives, including driving performance and teamwork, delivering impactful results for our clients, and rewarding excellence.”

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

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