NQ lawyer pay at Eversheds moves to £95k

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Regional rates up nearly a quarter to £62k

Eversheds Sutherland has become the latest major City player to increase the salaries of its newly qualified associates in London to £95,000.

The move, confirmed yesterday, equates to a sizeable 16% uplift from £82,000. It follows similar moves in recent days by Squire Patton Boggs and DLA Piper.

The firm has also splashed across the rest of its UK offices, with rates moving a whopping 24% to £62,000. Regional salaries were previously set at £50,000.

The boosts will take effect from 1 May 2022.

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Lee Ranson, Eversheds’ chief executive commented:

“Retaining and attracting the best talent is a key priority and salary and bonuses form an important part of our overall employee proposition, alongside culture, learning and development and quality of work. With this in mind, I am pleased to announce this investment in our UK newly qualified rates.”

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2022 shows trainee pay in London currently sits at £42,500 in year one and £46,000 in year two, while regional rates sit at £28,500 and £31,000.

Last December the firm revealed it had increased its TC offering from 40 to 50 — or 25%.

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Shame it’s such an awful place to work.



What makes it so awful Bob?






Depends on who you are being supervised by. Most people at Eversheds are friendly and down to earth. There a few, however, that are awful, unreasonable cretins.



I keep asking Eversheds for a job but they never respond to my letters or CV.

Why not? I’m a highly experienced carpenter and have made all manner of garden furniture and outbuildings out of timber, not just sheds.

Maybe they think I’m over qualified?


Average Pay War Enjoyer

Nice. Hopefully means the MC will have to go up again.



Is freshfields still at 100k? Any rumours of an overdue uplift?

They could get ahead of the game and top the other MC NQ salaries now (inevitably forcing the others to follow)



Legal cheek most list for regional NQ pay pls?



Very decent raises from these firms. I wonder how much longer MC firms can justify paying about £500 net more a month but expecting high billables and responsiveness in exchange



Embarrassing for MC now…


RPC Associate

Can somebody lend me £3 so I can pick up a meal deal?


Debt Capital Markets Hot-Shot Lawyer

Sorry, can’t do straight debt but how does a bond sound? Could perhaps try the new ESG variant?


RPC Associate

I obviously have no idea what you mean. Know your audience.



Rumour is May or June. Guess 15-25% across board unless Miller introduces another pillar and stiff us with it.

Famous culture has some value but when we’re being squeezed and PEP is shooting up, it’s becoming a less attractive selling point. Share the wealth or be left with those who can’t get a job elsewhere.



Anyone else able to support this? Yet to hear anything really in Bristol.



Anything less than 15% and there will be mutiny.



Do you really think they’d hit 85k?


RPC Associate

It is 70k now. 15% is about 80k. 85k is >20%, so a tall order. I think 80-85k is the range they should be looking at. 85k is a statement and a possibility. 80k is readjusting to minimum market rate.

Peggy Mitchell

Or instead you can work at MC or the SC and work on more demanding deals, with longer hours and get paid an extra £200-300 each month (post tax) !!!!

-Oh wait..that erm…sounds er not tempting at all…

Yup It’s really bloody time for a hike at MC and SC. A proper hike too. Just as we’ve seen these low level firms do. What baffles me is if the MC and SC started offering 130-135k NQ and good rises at PQE they would seriously stem the US drain. Currently one of the only draws for (some) US firms is pay. That’s literally it. You match that and then you have a real chance you retaining some talent.



There is hope. The MC (save for Slaughters) pay US rates in their US/NY offices – if they didn’t, they’d lose talent. The same thing is happening and will continue to happen in London unless they wake up.


MC Associate

Agree. Have been hearing murmurs from people in my office – including directly from partners – of quite serious pay rises coming in April/May. Could be bullshit but also potentially not. We’ve all been making the point for ages that we are very happy with the culture and work but really need to get some more money to justify sticking around long term.



Totally agree, quality of work and relative prestige are there for the MC and top silver circle (HSF, Macs, Ashurst). Just need the partners to take a hit



It won’t be the Partners though will it, it will be business services taking a loss. One of the sells for SC and MC is the support and infrastructure in comparison to US (it’s not just pay). I can see business teams being cut or moved out of the country and US model adopted. I think the juniors in particular will suffer for this (I don’t think many lawyers quite understand how much BS do within the larger firms, and how much their non-billable hours would go up without them).


Kirkland NQ

Well done Eversheds, now you can officially work as a lawyer for as much as one of the oiks who waxes my Lambo.



One of your worst


The anti-Kirkland NQ

Have you figured out how many bumps make up for an hour of sleep yet?



Has NRF moved up again?


Curious Anon

How much do the Big 4 pay its NQs these days? £70-75k for a 9-5?



Know a chap who’s moving there at 3.5 PQE, he’s been offered £100k.


Disgruntled MC Associate

So going forward I could work at the bloody Shed and earn effectively the same amount as I do now. What a shocking deal I’m currently getting.


Slaughters NQ

The difference each month between 95k and 107.5k is literally nothing once you factor in the loss of personal allowance over 100k. This is just embarrassing at this point.


The Memory You Suppressed

It’s not really embarrassing as so much as a poor choice of employment, being paid basically the same as someone who works 30% less hours, in view of a better employer reputation (know only amongst other lawyers, no one else knows what these firms are).



You can really spot when someone hasn’t worked at a top firm / market leading team because they simply don’t understand the difference in quality of work and clients. I also agree that pay needs to be increased at MC if lower tiered firms are being paid this amount, but the difference in work quality and future opportunities between Eversheds and Freshfields is staggering.



You can really spot a trainee or a person trying to hype their own inadequacies.

I’ve worked in “top” firms, and wouldn’t touch the Shed for what I do, but quality of work is team dependent. There are areas where Eversheds actually is “market leading” – i.e. most areas which US firms find too unprofitable to touch like data protection, instead of leveraged finance, PE M&A and funds etc,. And to suggest each MC is market leading or a good punt for every single transactional practice area also isn’t true.

And the US firms – they often don’t have big balls clients. You’ve got really small teams doing a lot of work. The work is whatever comes through the door. You could be doing a deal worth several billion, or you could be running something worth a few million by yourself, or you could be doing 10 transactions worth about 10 mill each. But what matters is what’s quoted and what the firm recovers.

There are partners in US firms with few clients or not any clients. It really does depend.

And as for future opportunities, please don’t. Opps in law are notoriously bad, and if Latham gives a lev fin lawyer a step up to work the same hours in the back office at GS, they’re welcome to it.

There are also hordes of terrible lazy lawyers both in the US and MC firms – particularly the MC rather than US where there’s nowhere to hide. I should know, I’m one of them.



Honestly, if you’re coming to Legal Cheek for insight from anyone than actually knows what they’re talking about, you’re in for a bad time. 99% of comments will be from clueless students or bright-eyed trainees that swallow the lie that “opportunities” make up for selling your life for tuppence.

Slaughters Associate

Come on now – we mustn’t pre-judge the outcome of the Bowland Remuneration Philosophy Report. I expect it will reveal what we both know deep down – that we want to be doing Magic Circle work for a snip above Pinsent Masons salary, so long as the Unmind app gets some new features and there are free apples in the pods.



Spoken like someone who thinks that the only differentiator between Slaughters and Eversheds is the pay…

Mediocre and unambitious people have a way of revealing themselves in this comments section.


Regional Lawyer

Anyone else in the regions just (im)patiently waiting for their firm’s announcement so they know whether or not they need to move?



Yep – It is kind of inevitable at this point. I am at one of the main Bristol firms on £60k NQ and they are probably going to have to up to atleast £70k+ now that DLA is paying £65k in Manchester and Simmons £68k in Bristol.

I am glad the pay war is finally reaching us!



If its Burges I would be surprised to see them raise again, lagged well behind Simmons for a long time and marginally behind OC



If that is the case, I’ll be jumping ship and won’t feel bad about it at all.


Any regional at 50k or below needs to increase

We are seeing the beginnings of a regional pay war and tier system.

Question is which firms will follow suit and which firms cannot.

The pay war has neglected regional firms and I imagine may large firms prioritised increasing their London NQ salaries over regional offices to stand out. However, this may now come back to haunt them if they’re unable to increase regional salaries having already maxed out on London NQ salaries.


Crystal Ball Gazer

Predict that MC will now feel pressured to move up to around the 120 mark. And I expect the better SC firms (HSF, Macs, Ashurst) will eventually add an extra 5/10 k on (ending up at around 110 base on average).


Pinsent 2PQE

How much longer can Pinsent Masons justify paying NQ’s £75k now!?


PM is a stingbag

Never since their partner splashed his thoughts all over FT



suuuuuurely increase incoming – June?


Moves are being made.

Addleshaw Goddard will be next.

Firms that traditionally have strength in the regions (Pinset Masons, Shoosmiths, Irwin Mitchell etc) will need to increase salaries otherwise they are going to lose the usual talent they attract each year because City outfits have begun giving much needed support to their regional office



anyone know what shoosmiths have/are increasing to?


AG lover

I’ll be joining AG as a 2 year PQE soon. Would be interested to see if they do indeed follow suit.



Is it bad that I’m a future trainee already planning on jumping ship post-qualification?

The pay war has really established which firms truly value their staff


1PQE Eversheds

Can someone confirm that the 95K only applies to NQs that started later this year? Does that mean that as a 1PQE lawyer, I’ll be paid less than an NQ?! Or will my pay also bump up as well?



How on earth are you a lawyer at Eversheds if you believe an NQ will be on more than 1PQE?

There may be bunching and it may not be much, but obviously 1PQE will be on a higher salary.



It happened at Bakers 🙂



MC is now officially a joke



The lack of UK firms’ PQE-banded pay data beyond NQ level is quite frustrating. Even interviewing at various places won’t get you a clear answer.

It was only a few years ago that it was ‘tradition’ for many firms to publish their banding up to at least 3PQE level.

As someone at a national firm with a historically mediocre NQ salary, there seems to be a ‘flat’ increase per year of between 2.5‰ and 3% which is obviously dire. What are other people seeing?


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