Bird & Bird ups NQ lawyer pay by £17k

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Base rate of £88k

Bird & Bird has joined the raft of City law firms upping the salaries of their junior lawyers.

The outfit confirmed to Legal Cheek that base rates for newly qualified (NQ) associates will move from £71,000 to £88,000 — a hefty uplift of £17,000 or 24%.

The firm has also increased salaries for trainees, with those in year one earning £45,000 and those in year two receiving £50,000.

Increases further up the post qualification ladder will start at 8% and bring base rates in line with the current market, according to the firm.

All rises are effective from 1 March and bonuses will be paid in the usual way in May.

Focusing on NQ rises, the Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2022 shows the uplift puts them on the same levels of cash as their peers at DLA Piper (£88,000) and just behind those at Stephenson Harwood and Ince (£90,000).

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List


Uber Eats

Better deal than Weil Gotshal that’s for sure. These US firms can’t compete with the balance package at B&B etc!



Lol okay but let’s not diminish the insane amounts of money you can make at weil



I misread it at first and thought it was TO £17K, not BY £17K.

I thought it must be a Legal Aid crime firm…






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Heron, Potoo and Twitt LLP

Given they’re regularly across from MC firms on IP matters this is an expected move from B&B (but with billable targets of only 1500 their associates will have a much nicer life than their MC counterparts)



Billable targets mean nothing. MC firms and lots of US firms have ‘no targets’. My friend works at Addleshaw (target of 1000 according to firm list) and billed 2000+ one year. Absolutely no-one billed around 1000.


Looking for reference bonus

If your friend is billing 2000 at AG. He should be submitting some lateral applications….



AG target is currently 1600 (though apparently going down to 1500 in the next FY)



If he’s at AG billing 2000 hours then he’s an absolute muppet. You can easily lay low in those sorts of firms and get away with 1500-1600, if anyone is doing more says a lot about them



cue Kirkland NQ…


Twit twoo

@DLA Piper, what you saying?



Rumours circulating that DLA have upped NQ pay to £65k in the regions. Can anyone confirm?

Would be a major shake up to the Manchester market with everyone else sitting at £50-52k


i think it’s a rumour

I think this is just a rumour.

It would be massive if true, increasing to 60k alone would be a bold statement. 65k just seems a bit too much to be true.

If it is true, it’ll be very interesting to see the reaction from other firms in Manchester. Currently, there’s not much separation but 65k could only be matched by a few Manchester firms and so we’d definitely see the beginning of a tier structure.



Lawyers earning almost as much as train drivers? Shocking. Can’t have that.



Absolutely game changing. DLA are here to disrupt. I wonder how the big boys at the MC and US will respond.


RPC Associate

I might just sack off this afternoon.



Why not. If they pay us <90% of the market rate, only fair to work 90% of the working week.



Will AG, DLA or ES increase or no one knows?



DLA London NQs on £95k, but smaller raises above. LDs got no increase, so goes to show how UK firms are bunching salaries to keep juniors while neglecting senior fee earners.



That’s really good cos B&B meant to have a sick work life balance



Haha, sure



Brilliant for B&B. Cant believe (or can completely believe) there has been no news on another firm and criminal underpayer – Dentons:

Firm – salary c.4 years ago – salary today – £ gains on Dentons

Dentons – £70k – £80k – N/A.
BCLP – £70k – £95k – +£15k
B&B – £62k – £88k – +£16k
AG – £65k – £82k – +£7k
CMS – £70k – £95k – +£15k
ES – £72k – £82k – +£0k
HL – £75k – £100k – +£15k
NRF – £75k – £95k – +£10k
OC – £65k – £80k – +£5k
Simmons – £70k – £95k – +£15k
SH – £73k – £90k – +£7k
TW – £63k – £81k – +£8k
Trowers – £63k – £77.5k – +£4.5k

Tightfisted and getting falling behind further on comp every year. There are so many good firms, with good hours offering better salary packages



You really wrote all this lol



Its Friday afternoon.. its either that or actually do some work


Could be worse

You know things are bad when Dentons’ raises over that period are more than your own.



Is 65k in regions like earning 100k in London ?


Lived in London and Manchester

To be honest you’d enjoy a better life in terms of finances and luxury.

In Manchester, you can rent a high rise apartment in the city centre (walk to the office) with a gym, cinema and swimming pool for £900 – £1000 PCM. If you’re sharing with a partner that’s around £500 PCM…

Obviously the cost of living is much cheaper too. You could eat out at one of the fanciest rooftop restaurants for £100 for two people.

65k a year for an NQ in Manchester is crazy. There will be senior associates and partners at small regional firms on that much.



Manchester on 65k is a better quality of life than London on 100k. Easily.



So I am an NQ at one of the top Bristol firms on 60k. I basically work 9 – 5, targets are 1400, and my work life balance is incredible. On that money I’m on track to buy a decent flat (just figuring out if I do want to stay here longterm or try London). I really like the work I do and my team is very friendly, experienced and supportive.

Honestly I never thought I’d get such a good work life balance in law – I don’t think I’d consider moving to London for less than £100k because I know it will mean longer hours and even though Bristol can be pricey I can buy a flat here and there isn’t a long commute – in London its a different story.



S&S are £100k now


RPC Trainee

RPC it’s your turn now please



Then you’ve got us down in the South West as NQs earning £30k with rents around the £1k pcm mark for a 2 bed flat.


Bristol POV

I’m a Bristol NQ on £60k – there are opportunities to make good money if you’re willing to commute to Bristol, and my firm doesn’t require people to be in the office much.



Also your figures are all 10 out


Bored of London

If NQs are on 65k in Manchester now what are the senior associates on? Anyone know?



Haha, sure


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