Ashurst boosts NQ pay to £105k

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Silver circle firm moves rookie solicitor salaries into three figure territory

Ashurst has joined rival elite law firms in boosting the salaries of its newly qualified (NQ) solicitors in London.

The silver circle firm increased base pay from £90,000 to £105,000, equating to an extra £15,000 or 17%, excluding bonus.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List shows that this will put Ashurst NQs on the same levels of cash as their counterparts at Herbert Smith Freehills and Baker McKenzie.

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

The increase will take effect from 1 May 2022 — a year after the firm’s 2021 increase of NQ salaries from £85,500 to £90,000.

A firm spokesperson told Legal Cheek:

“We continuously monitor market conditions, remuneration trends and movements and make targeted adjustments where necessary. We are pleased to confirm our basic pay for newly qualified lawyers in London will be at least £105,000, with effect from 1 May 2022.”

Ashurst recruits around 40 trainees in London each year and scored A* or A grades in 8 out of 10 categories in our latest Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey.

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“With effect from 1 May 2022”. Why not now? Looks stingy.

Means an NQ’s comp for 2022 will be £100k, not £105k.



Start of their financial year.

Applying pay increases at the start of the company’s financial year is standard across most businesses, saves accounting hassle. They might backdate to 1 Jan and give, effectively, a mini-bonus in May to compensate for it.



Other firms have applied an exceptional raise from either 1 November 2021 or 1 January 2022, including the likes of Stephenson Harwood who will now be paying associates same as ashurst till May next year – utterly cheap from the latter!



Not quite right – £100k from January then £105k from May


sick of making the same point

err you do realise that CC made its salary increases effective 2 months from when they were announced, and A&O made its salary increases effective from the next month?

why didn’t these two firms delay the pay rises?

this is misleading from Ashurst. they’re getting good PR without deserving it. anyone starting before May (does the firm have two intakes? is there a march intake?) will not be paid the NQ salary above.



It’s silly because judging by the current pace of this pay war, by May £105k will probably be at the lower end of the SC/MC



Woof, woof woooooooof! Still longer hours compared to its peers in transactional teams.



What sort of hours does one work at this gaff?



9 ’til 5. What a way to make a living.


Ashurst Trainee

Nice, but not sure why they havent raised trainee pay to £50,000/55,000 to at least match Macs, Hogan, HSF etc 🙁



Ashurst > Macs



Said no one ever



Because it makes no difference to the talent they attract. If you’re worried about 2.5k before tax a year reevaluate your life


Skadden Associate £150k NQ

Lol at all those chumps at MC firms getting paid just £2.5k more than associates at Assbursts!



CMS lagging…



CMS have literally just raised to £95k…



Thx fresher, back to your textbooks now yes?



it’s the same as CMS





Graduate recruitment expert

The magic circle is no more.

It’s US Firms, City of London firms and the rest.

Welcome to the new world order, folks!


MC Equity P

Lmao quit smoking that ganja son, ain’t good for you .


The Official Monster Raving Loony Graduate Recruiter

Fresher detected!!!



Historically there hasn’t been a massive difference in NQ pay between Magic Circle firms and mid-tier international firms. Between 2003 and 2013 many mid-tiers matched Magic Circle NQ salaries.

A very interesting article on this from a couple of years ago. Though it failed to predict the recent narrowing of the gap between mid-tier and MC.



Magic Circle firms are feeling the heat now.



I hate to break it to you they aren’t. If you think people are going to jump from mc to hsf or Ashurst on qualification because they think they should be paid a little more and will have an easy time at those two firms then those people are dim. It also doesn’t mention bonuses which if you leave mid year you lose



Another day with no sign of life from Freshfields


FF Trainee

I hate my Freshfields life



Travers also gone to 100K for NQs, although did also do 50/55 for trainees unlike Ashursts it seems 🤷‍♂️



Will Charles Russell Spheechlys ever publish their salary plans??!!?? They are really lagging behind in the salary game…..



So helpful.Thanks. Waiting for new posts! Also check out my website.


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