Pinsents ups NQ lawyer pay to £92k in London and £61k in regions

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Rises of 23% and 36%

Pinsent Masons has increased the salaries of its newly qualified (NQ) solicitors in London and the regions.

NQs in London will now receive a salary of £92,000, a 23% rise from £75,000, the firm confirmed this morning.

Their counterparts in the regions, meanwhile, will earn £61,000, up 36% from £45,000.

The new salaries will take effect as of September this year.

A Pinsent Masons spokesperson said: “We recognise the importance of remaining competitive to attract and retain talent, of which remuneration is a factor. As a purpose-led professional services firm our focus remains on creating an environment that presents opportunities for development, champions innovation and promotes wellbeing for our next generation of lawyers.”

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Pinsent Masons is headquartered in the City of London and has a big British presence, with bases in Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

A number of law firms have recently increased their NQ lawyer rates in the regions, including DLA Piper (£65,000), Eversheds Sutherland (£62,000) and Squire Patton Boggs (£55,000).

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love it when even the we don’t want to compete on pay firm raises its salaries 📈📈


Not that kind of sustainability

Lol. Is this sustainable?????



Is it harder to get a TC or VS at city and/or US firms?



Looool pinset was so scared they’ll be left behind. Just shows how tight these firms were



That’s not a bad effort, 23%.



1 pqe probably like 93.5k tight wads loooool. Probably have to be partner before it gets to 160k looool



I don’t understand why £1-3k below their competitors. Pretty weird statement given the financial impact wouldn’t be earth shattering. Are they saying they place themselves slightly behind the like of AG and Eversheds? That life is slightly better at Pinsents? Seems more like someone has made a decision of how close do we need to be to the competition to prevent people from leaving but also save ourselves some cash.

Maybe Pinsents will use the difference to prevent bunching salaries… good one.


Dentons Associate

Basically what happened to us at Dentons.


bob the builder

as acknowledged, a couple of grand isn’t gonna make a difference to the firm… its likely the required authorisation was obtained prior to the other firms raising their salaries and PM didn’t see it as necessary to return with an increase.


Rob the decommissioner

It’s likely that this is a possibility in some circumstances but is not the case here.

Eversheds made their move 2 months ago and did a number of others in 95k area so we knew the ballpark salaries at this end of the market. Pinsets were pressured to catch up, and have gone for the min.



Absolutely, and from September rather than usual salary review date, unlike other firms – some have backdated. This is calculated (as usual) to be minimum possible. PM are not going for market leading here.


US firm associate

1) Lol at the pay rise taking effect from September. UK firms are so cheap. When the US firms matched the latest Cravath scale in the last few weeks, they all backdated the raise to January (at least the ones I know of) but the UK firms make you wait 5 months…

2) Legal Cheek, did you ask Pinsents about the pay for 1-3PQE? Did you include a line in your article saying ‘we asked for these figures but Pinsents refused to comment. If any Pinsents employees have this information, please share below the line and we can update the article with the speculated pay at these levels’? No, you didn’t. Groundbreaking journalism!


US firm associate




Shoosmiths need to increase or they will bleed associates from September


Curious 4pqe

Anyone know what CMS, BCLP and SS are planning up north?



Who do you mean by SS?


Curious 4pqe



Northern pay war enjoyer

For Shoosmiths, word on the street is there is a review of the benefits package / remuneration at the end of the month.
I’d say they are very likely to increase salaries by June following the PM announcement. They are pretty much the only firm left in the north still paying 50k for NQs.

As for CMS, I don’t see them increasing a third time within 12 months.

BCLP is likely to increase now that PM, AG and ES pretty much pay the same as them (London and regions)



Agree on shooies and BCLP.

Difficult one for CMS but don’t think they will have a choice. Their regional rate is 51,750 and they can’t afford to be 10k behind AG, ES, PM and DLA. Even behind squires.

Casual Pay War Enjoyer

Shooeys recently upped to £50k in the regions, which is in line with similar-sized firms (TLT, Trowers, Mills & Reeve). I wouldn’t expect a change here. Pressure in this bracket is on the likes of Hill Dickinson and Browne Jacobson who haven’t announced yet as far as I know.


Harry Potter

LOL it is telling when Shooey is playing ball with CMS on salaries, isn’t CMS a global law firm? Yeah right. So called global law firm can’t even compete on salaries.


Shooeys increase to 50k was September last year I believe and they review salaries annually.

This could support the other comment mentioning an upcoming pay review.


Mills & Reeve are still languishing at £46k for NQs as far as I’m aware. An absolute joke and we will lose significant numbers if the associate pay bands are not corrected to become competitive.

We were always slightly behind market rates, but at 5 PQE I am now paid significantly less than many of the NQs on the other side of my matters, at firms in the same city. I am obviously now talking to recruiters.

pay war historian

they were only on 75k before? at a time when every other firm had increased to 90/100k or more?

anyone remember the days when Pinsents paid NQs more or less the same as slaughters????


Och aye

Are they paying £61k in Scotland? That’s LOADS!


Belfast Bros

Definitely not paying it in Belfast. Understandably though.


Former QUB

What do they pay in Belfast generally these days? I remember 10 years ago for trainees it was Law Soc minimum which was £250pw (which is £200 or £50pw depending on Institute rotation) and you pay your own Institute fees. Didnt take me long to decide to move across the water!


Pay war is turning sour

Poor Pinsets.

AG, ES, TW, CMS, Dentons increase to 92 – 95k and everyone raves about it.

Pinsets, a firm that paid significantly less than that figure, does it and people still take the mick.

Increasing from 75k to 92k (and 47k to 62k)
is a massive increase.

Sure there may be bunching but that is unknown (unlike CMS). From the article on bunching last week, Pinsets actually had notable increases each year for associates.



Loool there PQE rates will be small, please. But hey work/life balance right lol


Pay War Participant

Legal Cheek, do you think you could reform your tip off section so you don’t need an email address?

Firms usually send out emails to their associates with info on all the paygrades. It would make it a lot easier for us to tip you off if we could just send you screenshots of these emails instead of needing to reveal our email address. You can say you treat the info in the strictest confidence all you want but we’re risk-averse lawyers who don’t trust journalists…



Nonsense idea. Only US firms and a few others properly release their pay grades. Everyone else does it in bands which are undisclosed, less information = less power



Which firm that’s not already on 100k do you reckon will now 100k as NQ? ES, AG, BCLP, DLA?


I am the lord of the bus said he


I don’t see AG or ES increasing again.



A lot of the increases aren’t effective until September and agree ES and AG won’t increase again before then.

DLA might in September but think the real question now is what the few nationals that haven’t announced will do. CMS is already on 95k in London and could go to 100k in London and 65k in regions if they want to make life hard for the other firms. BCLP could do the same.


Brown is savoury, white's the treat

Chance would be a fine thing, a fine thing indeed



£61k? All that work to be paid a nanny’s salary?



Most would rather work at Pinsents than look after your bratty spoilt kids.



Was the basis for your prejudice a class-based chip on your shoulder or are you a jerk for no obvious reason?



Bit of both



I guess its worth it if you work in like pensions at PM.



Really sends the wrong message not to match competitors. Internal messaging has been “NQ salary will go up, but don’t expect anything good beyond that” for higher PQE


going off a slight tangent

What’s the chance of getting a TC from VS. Is it likely or nah, I mean from UK city firms.


This is not the place for graduate recruitment questions

“Slight tangent” lol



i know nothing about pinsets, worth applying?






Is you refusal to capitalise some form of expression of protest?





serious note

On a serious note, this is a serious blow to MC firms (except Freshfields). Top US firms won’t care though, but the MC firms are slowly losing their magic.


pay war historian

1. such a stupid comment to make when 3/5 MC firms haven’t even raised their salaries yet…

2. you claim that MC firms are “slowly losing their magic” but the gap between what FF/Slaughters are paying and what Pinsents are paying has been growing in the past few years. Slaughters currently pays NQs £23,000 more than Pinsents and Freshfields pays them £33,000 more, and that’s without taking bonuses into account! even A&O/CC/LL currently pay their NQs £15,500 more than Pinsents… the gap 5 years ago was much smaller – a few thousand pounds at that.

3. when it comes to finances & general expertise, Pinsents is several leagues below MC firms… and always will be



lol, you mad bro. You’re saying “yet” like it will happen. Get over yourself, the MC is done is done lol.


Fresher Alert 🚨🚨

Didn’t have any luck with A&O First or CC Spark, did we?



Also can you read? I said with the exception of freshfields.


1. Work in a sweatshop like MC or 2. have a better work/life balance where my whole persona isn’t dictated by where I work and the after-tax the salary difference is hardly substantial.

I know what I would choose. Facts.


Lol at lol

Those rejection offers must have hit hard from your Nottingham-Trent dorm.



I’m genuinely trying to work out if this is satire?

I’m all for the MC-bashing in relation to the US firms, but I think you might need to pipe down lol.



CMS need to step up or they’ll be losing associates very soon..


Mystic BALLS Gazer

In five years time…

MC will be at 150-160 NQ

SC will be at 110-130 NQ

‘Other’ city firms will be defunct




It is interesting to think how the market will look in 5 years.

The pay war surely cannot continue on this trajectory forever.



alright mystic meg


Anonymous Bloke

Don’t see how people missed the irony…. This is a rather funny comment


Regional Eversheds Associate on 62k

61k? Ha. Peasants.


Insider - you heard it here first

ES will deffo increase to 100k. AG won’t and it’s likely DLA and BCLP will.



Lol how can you be an insider at all three firms.


Paul the Pension Partner

I count four firms, fresher



Can’t all be big stack high rollers dominating the world of Pensi- oh, I’m so sorry.


shoosmiths pleaaaase

Shoosmiths I get it, I get to leave at 6 – 7 every day on average, but please increase to 80k. Pleaseeeeee



When you really think about NQ salaries don’t mean shit, because you don’t really know anything, just an overpaid trainee. That’s why it’s true, it’s better to see PQE salaries as you get more experienced.



Spare a thought for BLM NQs in ldn on £45,000. Their benefits must be sick af otherwise how do they justify this? lol



They will be getting Clyde’s NQ rate of £80k


You’re right

You’re right. Drinks on them then lol






Can we spare a thought for CMS associates. NQs currently on an inflation busting salary £51,750.


Charlie Russell Speechlys

Slight tangent but does anyone know if there are any MC firms looking to hire 8 PQE private client lawyers? I’m happy to be beasted (already doing 1,000 plus at current shop) and have very strong CV (High 2:1 from Durham).


Dear Charlie

If you don’t have a 1:1 from Durham get out



Lol, Durham how cute. (B-tech oxbridge looool)



That comment is impressively anti-funny



Top tomfoolery



You went Durham and chose CRS as your firm? Not even macs for PC? You down bad lol


Actual lawyer

Wooooosh – original comment had impressively outed all the freshers.


Sorry it’s true

Can’t be that strong if you went with CRS


Top Tip

There are people called recruiters who can help with this. If you spend more than 10 seconds on LinkedIn you’ll find one.



8 pqe and you’re asking advice from predominantly a student-led legal blog? You down bad, ask a recruiter mate loool



I think it’s meant to be satire. The giveaway is being apparently proud of ‘doing 1’000 plus at current shop’. But I can see why you might not get the joke if you’ve never worked in a law firm before.


Give me strength

I’m a law student, and reading these comments (which I hope are students taking the piss and not actual qualified solicitors) is really putting me off a career in law.


You’ll get used to it

I’m glad I started reading the LC comments and articles after already getting my TC.

Honestly, don’t take them to heart. I imagine most of the comments are from people who aren’t qualified yet – whether that’s trainees, future trainees or just uni students taking the piss.

There are definitely qualified solicitors who comment on here though, this is demonstrated from many of the insights and tip offs about firms that only a qualified solicitor would know (e.g. PQE pay bands)

But the toxicity and bashing of certain firms are almost certainly students and the “KIRKLAND NQ” is just a troll lol. No one actually cares what firm you go to and it is still a massive achievement to get a TC from any firm regardless of whatever some anonymous comment says on here


Watson Farley mate

Watson Farley, what are you doing mate? It’s embarrassing at this point. You’re not even a bad firm.



I’m my opinion I rather work for big law and earn crazy money with crazy hours for a few years (save well) then move in-house with regular 9-6. How you can stay in those firms for a long time is beyond me (unless you wanna be partner) Surely, your health will go to shit? Have they not read the science of sleep


Concerned CRS Trainee

Anyone know when Charles Russell Speechlys will be increasing NQ pay? Seems to now be way behind the pack at £68,000… if that doesn’t change soon I’ll likely seek NQ opportunities elsewhere.



Nope, CRS are biggest tightwads there is lool. Poor man’s Macfarlanes lol



The closest CRS will ever be to MacFarlanes is as part of the phrase “poor man’s Macfarlanes”



Does anyone know Freeths new NQ salary?



Lol Freeths is probably like 60k



55k NQ in the regions


What does ITK mean

For which firm?



Why are vac schemes so hard to get? It’s just work experience at a firm lol



Freeths is £55k for regional NQs, effective April



Why are vac schemes so hard to get? It’s just work experience at a firm lol



If it’s so much more easier for oxbridge /Durham students to get TCs, then why are there people from these unis that are struggling to get TCs even with good grades?



One point to note is that CMS bonus kicks in at just 1,200 hours – which nets a 6% bonus (and rising sharply beyond that), plus up to 100 CSR hours included within that calculation. Any other firms with a bonus threshold starting so low? Surely quality of life and wellbeing needs to be worked into the consideration rather than the headline salary number. Droves of lawyers are leaving the profession because they’re being overworked – not because they’re being underpaid. What would you rather have – a few extra grand a year or a few extra hours of your own each day?



The extra hours of my own, of course. Although don’t be joining CMS thinking that you can swim by billing just 1,200-1,300 hours in a busy team.


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