HSF ups financial support for future trainees studying the LPC to £12,500

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New figure matches majority of magic circle

Herbert Smith Freehills’ London office

Herbert Smith Freehills has confirmed to Legal Cheek that it has increased financial support for future trainees undertaking the LPC (Legal Practice Course) by a quarter.

The global law firm provided £10,000 in maintenance to LPC students and has now increased this sum by 25% to £12,500.

The firm, part of the City Consortium, sends its future trainees to BPP University Law School

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This uplift comes less than two weeks after fellow City Consortium firms Freshfields and Slaughter and May provided the same increases to its future rookies. Magic circle outfit Clifford Chance was first to make the 25% uplift last month.

Last December, HSF increased base pay for its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers to £105,000 with a discretionary bonus available to the juniors.

The firm, which takes on around 60 trainees each year, scored an 83% spring trainee retention rate.

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This is only after HSF grad rec initially denied a request from LPCs students…


Not impressed

A friendly reminder that none of these firms increased the LPC grant on their own initiative. The current accelerated LPC cohort have had to send multiple emails asking for an increase.

HSF initially denied our request and are only now putting it up to save face as other accelerated firms have out their amounts up.

HL and NRF your turn next?


US Firm FT

Interesting…thank-you for letting us know.

Need to apply some serious pressure to my future firm to up LPC grant. Such a shame that many of these hugely successful firms have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into fully and appropriately supporting their future talent.

White & Case? Hogan Lovells? Latham? Skadden?



A&O still sitting at 10k even though their future trainees sent a request two months ago asking for an increase…



Correction: Linklaters was the first to make the uplift to £12.5k, not CC



CC actually kicked it off in January and made the increase in late Feb



Certain firms offer less for a full-time course which can only mean those from a less privileged background that have moved to London for the LPC have to work alongside their studies. Quite grating to be honest.


I hate it here

Couldn’t agree with you more. Here come the comments of “these firms owe you nothing”

If you want us to move to London and sit the LPC and not take on a part time job, we should be adequately supported.

These firms are happy to put their salaries up once or twice a year but the maintenance grants have remained the same for years now.

Anyone that thinks £7000-£10,000 for 7-12 months in London including rent is not living in the real world. Sure it can be done but lots of corners have to be cut. The accelerated LPC is stressful enough. I wish I wasn’t also worrying about how to pay rent and survive.

What makes the issue worse is that many students that go to the top firms are from “well off backgrounds” that don’t actually need any maintenance support from firms. Instead, many of the students on my cohort live at home in Chelsea and spend their grants on going on holiday or fancy clothes/iced coffees everyday.

I think firms should start means testing for the grants they give so that the people that need it the most are adequately supported. Firms keep going on about being “diverse and inclusive” but it is all bulls*** virtue signalling.


No Thank You

I’m afraid I massively disagree.. Means testing should absolutely NOT be the way forward.

Means testing at undergrad for mostly 17/18 year olds is bad enough and doesn’t work as intended – means testing for 21+ would be even worse.

The only solution is that these firms need to stop being so frugal and to be a tad more proactive when it comes to increasing these grants. The amounts were OK a few years back, but giving someone £7,500 – c.£12k these days is really not enough.

Give everyone the same amount, but up the amount!!


Chump Change

Linklaters is now giving £17,000 for the LPC/SQE-equivalent year.

This was confirmed 2 days ago to the August 2023 cohort.


It's not enough

Freshfields is also giving a 17k grant to SQE students.

But the SQE course is 11 months vs the 7 months on the accelerated LPC. After the increase in LPC grant to 12.5k, trainees taking the SQE course are £200+ per month worse off compared to LPC students.

12.5k is just about enough for 7 months in London, but 17k is the equivalent of a 10.8k LPC grant. That doesn’t cut it.


Poor Student

Does anyone know what grant HSF are going to give/currently give for SQE students?


I hat

There should be an analysis on how elitist law is, looking at the economic differences of future trainees



what are the US firms doing?? W&C, Latham??


sad future us trainee

@Legal Cheek

The US firms have for years got away with the scam of paying an LPC grant which looks the same as the UK firms, while making them do the non-accelerated course (i.e. paying far less per month of study), but now everyone is moving to the SQE you have the MC paying 16k (slaughters website) and apparently LL and FBD paying 17k while the US firms have not yet announced any plans to move from the 10/11/12k most of them pay.

Please write an article and embarass them.


Frustrated and poor

Hogan Lovells? Baker McKenzie? Other US firms? Just up them already, it’s not hard


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