DLA ups NQ lawyer pay: 95k in London, 65k in regions

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By Thomas Connelly on


Up by 8% and 35%

DLA Piper has become the latest major legal player to up the salaries of its most junior lawyers.

The international giant has shifted base rates for newly qualified (NQ) associates in London from £88,000 to £95,000 — an uptick of 8%.

Meanwhile, NQs in the firm’s regional offices — Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield — will see their salaries swell 35% from £48,000 to £65,000.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2022 shows trainee pay in London currently sits at £46,000 in year one, rising to £51,000 in year two. Regional rookies earn £30,000, rising to £33,000.

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Liam Cowell, DLA Piper’s UK managing partner, said:

“The firm has conducted an interim salary review for our UK lawyers that was effective as of January 2022. This is a first step towards implementing a new, more holistic and value-based approach to pay decisions, aimed at fairly rewarding the contribution of our lawyers across all locations. It is an interim review and our regular annual salary review will also take place in July of this year.”

The fresh uplifts put the firm’s London recruits on a pay par with those at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, CMS and Norton Rose Fulbright, and just £5,000 behind those at magic circle outfit Freshfields.

The firm recruits around 65 trainees each year and chalked up an A for training in our latest Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey.

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