Hogan Lovells joins City pay war with improved £107.5k NQ rate

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Potential to earn £145k+ with bonus

Hogan Lovells’ London office

International outfit Hogan Lovells has increased the salaries of its most junior lawyers in London.

The firm confirmed base rates for its newly qualified (NQ) associates will move from £100,000 to £107,500 — an extra 7.5%.

As part of the increase, effective from 1 May 2022, NQs will also be eligible for performance related bonuses of up to 35%. This gives the firm’s rookies potential earnings of up to £145,125.

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Our 2022 Firms Most List shows that this puts NQs on the same base rate as their counterparts at magic circle firms Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Linklaters and Slaughter and May.

Last year Hogan Lovells increased NQ pay to £90,000, having temporarily cut it to £85,000 in response to the “challenges and uncertainties” presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last Friday Freshfields set down the marker for magic circle rivals when it increased NQ pay to £125,000, while Addleshaw Goddard this week raised salaries to £95,000.

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FF Sake

Can an insider (non-trainee) speak to the hours at this place? Heard good things.



Lol they lied to you – just walk past their office late at night and have a look at the poor souls trapped inside.


Logan Roy Hovells

I normally go out to fabric down the road at about 10pm and am back to my desk by 1am to finish up some markups that’ll have come through in that space. It’s great work life balance.



Ordinarily this would be a big deal, but after Freshfields dropped their bomb last week it ain’t nothing special.




We need to get more transparency on this and stop these law firms from just flashing and flexing with 1 figure for NQ. Would be good to get as close as possible to the transparency standard in the American BigLaw market.



Or we can use the comments section. Let’s go.

Regional Associate (2 year PQE) at Eversheds – Bang on 50,000 (increasing to 62,000 in May)

Everyone else?



Problem with this is – how do we know someone isn’t bullshitting? Would need more than one person with same credentials to give same info for it to be reliable. I’m all for it though – we really should push for transparency.


Universal salary at Eversheds?

Will you have another pay review prior to September or are you going to be paid the same as the NQs when they qualify?


Good idea

S&M 1PQ on 110



Great salary from Shakespeare Martineau


Mayer Brown

1 PQE 120



Finance or non-finance?



By the way, I think this is a great idea. However, as soon as you start to say something that the average Fresher on here disagrees with, it gets downvoted to oblivion.

Case in point – there was some elaboration on the bonus structure at a specific firm that I know to be true, however, it was laughed at/downvoted by the Kirkland-NQ-loving brigade here.

As many as mentioned, it’s hard to work out what is true and what isnt. Upvotes/Downvotes are generally not a good guide.


Dushane Hill

Associate at Shoosmiths, 1 PQE on £56,000 (Regions)






Not a bad increase from 50k at NQ tbf, especially at regional level.



I disagree! it’s easier to publicise NQ rate as generally they come in at the same level. Individuals should be paid based on the value they add. I have just hit 2PQE and know for a fact I am paid £55k more than a senior associate in my team because of the value I add.

I have generated close to £500k of my own fees in the last year whereas said senior associate serviced partners work. If salaries were more transparet there would be chaos.






OK Boomer! Thanks for pointing my typo


Hogan Lovells Trainee

You probably generated 500k Liberian dollars. Go back to work, fresher


You generated half a million in fees as a very junior associate? – okay fresher



I dis boomer! That’s not including the £167k I have generated for other teams. That’s why I am paiod more than the seniors in my team.

Do you need a £50 note to wipe away those tears boomer? I can sub you i you like?



I’ll tell you what you can’t do:



This makes no sense. £55k more than a senior associate…so someone 4+ years more experienced. And brought in £500k in fees by yourself. This isn’t true.


State schooler

Are these just mates from private school handing you work?

I hate to break it to you, but having mates because you went to Harrow does not mean you are a capable lawyer or a good business developer, and your advantages will soon dissipate.


State School Schmuck due to Po Parents

“but having mates because you went to Harrow does not mean you are a capable lawyer or a good business developer, and your advantages will soon dissipate”

Agree with points one and two, unfortunately the advantage will not go away and will help massively. Sad but true.


So how much you all getting paid?

You guys messed up the purpose of this … it was to discuss pay. Sod you all. Can we now please get back on track?


Top Boy

3 years PQE at CMS (Regions) @ 54k….. laughable when a 1 yr PQE is on 56k at Shoosmiths.



Bakers 1PQE 105k



This is exactly the sort of salary bunching people are talking about and why we need more transparency beyond NQ level



Shoosmiths regional 1 PQE – 56k


Ordinary Pay-War Enjoyer

On top of FF’s increase, now there’s even more pressure for the rest of the MC firms to increase. Love to see it



Not sure if I’d really count this as a pay rise at all. Considering inflation is well above 5%, energy bills have gone up and not counting the NI increase, a 7.5% raise is more a measure preserving the purchasing power of NQ salaries as they were before rather than actually being a raise. Never mind the fact that AG pulled off a 16% raise despite not being anywhere near as big as HL…



This is market



Potential for bonuses of up to 35%. I think 10-15% is more realistic………


On my way out

Yep, the bonuses aren’t anything to write home about. Plus they’re tied to realised billings so it doesn’t matter that you’ve pumped out 2,000 hours a year because as long as the partners are cnuts who undercharge for their work or write down bills you’ll get jack squat.

Logan Hovells is the pits.


Not on my way out

They’re not tied to realisation at all… it’s purely utilisation. Do you even go here?


true story

Depends which office bro



cool story bro



i rather earn 100k working 9 – 5, should have gone tech smh..



Not sure what to think about this
Whilst a good raise in itself – bit of a get out of jail free card for the other firms

If all the MC firms had gone to 125 then there would have been pressure for the firms just below to go 115 ish

Now they can probably just match this 107.5 rate and get away with it

Will be interesting to see what HSF + Ashurst (both 105 atm) go to.



Especially given HSF 1 PQE currently sits at a whopping 106k


A regional person

Does this affect their regional Birmingham office? Will they get a raise too? Why the silence on that?


Hogan Lifer

They’ve gone to 80k in brum. Everyone is livid at he discrepancy because we’re doing the same hours



What do you expect? You’re working in a shit-hole in the middle of the country where a pint costs £2.


A regional person

80K in Birmingham? I assume that’s a typo lmfao. Does anyone actually know what their Birmingham NQ rate is?


I know who you are Lifer

Birmingham does not do the same hours as London, or the same quality of work. The only one who thinks that is the Birmingham ‘Hogan Lifer’.



Any news on trainee salary or grants? Amazed no word on ongoing increase in grants for future trainees given slaughters recent increase to £12,500. Most firms haven’t upped their grant since 2018/19. Just makes the profession even more elitist imo as you can’t really live in London on grant money alone.


big boy

I agree, the firms dishing out 7.5k for a whole year of living is just ridiculous



Other firms have matched, they just don’t email Year 1’s at Birkbeck.


LinkedIn Legend

Year one at Birkbeck 🤣


future trainee

Ashurst just upped theirs to 10k from 8k


Future MC trainee

What is THE POINT of the MC now? For me, and I imagine for most applicants, the only incentive was the pay.



Better work? More prestige?


Fresher Enjoyer

eyyyy alright Fresher.


Also future MC trainee

Yep, I accepted an MC TC offer over an offer from HL mainly for the money and exit opportunities – still, the MC will all match FF so I wouldn’t stress.



Joins? If they were joining the pay war, they’d have matched FBD.


Poor LPC Grant

They really need to up their LPC Grant then like other firms have been doing…


Kirkland NQ

Hardly a war if one belligerent brings a pea shooter.



I see no difference between SC and MC now. Even simmons is on 100k for NQs. If you want more of the big boy/girl money, just go to a US firm

Btw what is Greenberg Traurig’s and Faegre Drinker’s NQ salary?



‘Bout 3 bud-light’s short of tree-fiddy


A Drinker who Faegres

Faegre Drinker 😂😂😂



Faegre Drinker what a name lol, they only take 2-3 ppl wtf



“Even Simmons” – what is this supposed to mean? Comments like this prove that LC is full of freshers who have no clue what they are talking about. Simmons are a respected firm with a successful, diverse practice and are at the forefront of tech in law firms. Solid business that should (and by all means can afford to) pay even more I think. Shit office though, I hate it when I’m across the table from them and have to go into their digs.



someone please leak the NQ salaries of the firms that don’t disclose. THE PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW; ITS IN THE PUBLIC INTERESTS !!!



Not many firms don’t disclose.

From the top of my head, the only ones I know of are:

– Kennedys
– DAC Beachcroft

I’m sure there’s others



It’s not surprising DWF keep a lid on NQ salaries – the disparity in salaries across some teams (despite the fact that everyone is doing the same work) is quite shocking.


DWF London Associate

DWF is a bad shop. London office just full of Senior Associates badged as partners. Bad pay too.



Don’t care about those lol was thinking more of the obscure US firms


Good luck getting in a US shop

Be more specific then.

No surprise you can’t find anything, you still haven’t even bothered to narrow them down beyond “US firms”



I got a TC now dumbass lol


Would be nice if this site was a little bit more transparent on pay up the PQEs- interesting to see the comparison, between the firms.


Trainee Salaries

They’ve bumbed up trainee salaries to the market 50k and 55k aswell


2.5 PQE

This should be its own article, calling for tips on this. Even if, as other commentators said, there’s no way to verify the tips, at least it’s some sort of barometer if there are enough responses given that there is little to no updated specific information out there on post NQ salaries.


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