Dentons increases NQ lawyer pay by 15% to £92k

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By Thomas Connelly on


Juniors recording 1,700 billing hours to receive £107,640

The largest law firm in the world is increasing the salaries of its most junior lawyers.

Dentons is set to elevate base rates for newly qualified (NQ) associates in London from £80,000 to £92,000, a healthy uplift of 15%.

The cash injection will put the firm’s NQs ahead of their peers at Ince (£90k) and Stephenson Harwood (£90k), and within touching distance of those at K&L Gates (£93k).

Alongside the uplift to base rates, the international outfit has also designed a new bonus scheme that will put City juniors recording 1,700 chargeable hours in line to receive a total compensation package of £107,640.

The scheme applies to associates at all levels and across all UK, Ireland and Middle East (UKIME) offices, and will operate alongside an additional discretionary bonus for “exceptional performance”. Depending on location and seniority of associates, bonuses will kick in between 1,200 and 1,500 chargeable hours.

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

The changes will take effect from July 2022 following a review led by UKIME CEO Paul Jarvis.

Commenting on the fresh approach, Jarvis said:

“We want to retain and recruit the best talent. A key feature of the new bonus scheme is that it kicks in at a lower chargeable hour threshold. We are also increasing percentage pay-outs. This means anyone doing the same hours as last year will get a bigger bonus. Many fee earners who narrowly missed out on bonuses in previous years are also likely to qualify for a bonus next year.”

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2022 shows Dentons provides around 48 UK training contracts annually, with trainees in London receiving £45,000 in year one and £50,000 in year two. NQs outside London currently earn between £45,000 and £50,000.

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