Slaughters increases NQ lawyer rates to £115k

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By Rona Ankrah on


Boosts of up to 20% across all PQE levels too

Slaughter and May has boosted newly qualified (NQ) solicitor pay by almost 7% to £115,000, becoming the second magic circle outfit to increase this month.

The firm today confirmed that NQ base rates have moved from £107,500 to £115,000, effective from May 2022. The firm last increased its remuneration for juniors in December.

There are also uplifts for associates at all levels of post qualification experience (PQE) by up to 20%. Slaughters says these moves have been made to address the compression within PQE levels — otherwise known as salary bunching — by creating a wider spread between the top and bottom PQE ranges.

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The firm also committed to pay bonuses twice per year, rather than annually, based on the performance of the firm, as well as develop a ‘Working Practices Code’ to “support its principles in relation to work life balance”.

These changes have all been made as part of a wider review following feedback from associates across all PQE levels, the firm said.

Steve Cooke, Slaughters senior partner, commented:

“I am very pleased to be able to update associates today on the outcome of this review and the feedback they have shared. By raising salaries significantly, putting forward some concrete proposals in relation to work life balance, and strengthening support for career development, we are recognising the importance of our associates at all levels”.

But the fresh rises fail to match those dished out earlier this month by Freshfields, which upped NQ rates from £100,000 to £125,000 — or 25%.

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