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Regional NQ lawyer pay hits record high as Hogan Lovells increases to £70k in Birmingham

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Exclusive: Rise of over 30%

International outfit Hogan Lovells has confirmed to Legal Cheek that pay for its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers in Birmingham now sits at a hefty £70,000.

The uplift from £53,000 equates to an extra £17,000, or 32%. Trainee pay currently sits at £32,000 in year one, rising to £35,000 in year two.

But the firm only offers a handful of training contracts in Birmingham, with the vast majority of its 50 or so trainees annually based in London. They earn £50,000 in their first year and £55,000 in their second, and £107,500 upon qualification.

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The announcement follows a furry of regional rises over the recent months, which kicked off with DLA Piper announcing a pay rise to £65,000 for its regional rookies back in February. Several firms have made their own moves, including a rise to £61,000 at Pinsent Masons, a hike to £65,000 at Squire Patton Boggs, and most recently Shoosmiths, which moved NQ pay to £58,000 across most of its regional offices.

Regional rises: who has increased so far?

Firm Trainee pay (Year 1) Trainee pay (Year 2) NQ base rate
Addleshaw Goddard Leeds and Manchester: £29,500; Scotland: £25,000 Leeds and Manchester: £32,000; Scotland: £28,000 Leeds and Manchester: £62,000; Scotland: £56,000
BCLP Manchester: £30,000 Manchester: £35,000 Manchester: £51,000
CMS Bristol: £41,500; Manchester and Sheffield: £30,000; Edinburgh and Glasgow: £26,775 Bristol: £42,525; Manchester and Sheffield: £33,075; Edinburgh and Glasgow: £29,925 Bristol: £61,000; Manchester and Sheffield: £51,750; Edinburgh and Glasgow: £51,750
DLA Piper All regional offices: £30,000 All regional offices: £33,000 All regional offices: £65,000
Eversheds Sutherland All regional offices: £28,500 All regional offices: £31,000 All regional offices: £62,000
Hogan Lovells Birmingham: £32,000 Birmingham: £35,000 Birmingham: £70,000
Gowling WLG Birmingham: £29,000 Birmingham: £32,000 Birmingham: £52,000
Pinsent Masons All regional offices: £27,000 All regional offices: £30,000 All regional offices: £61,000
RPC Bristol: £35,000 Bristol: £36,000 Bristol: £56,000
Shoosmiths Regions: £28,500; Edinburgh: £26,500 Regions: £29,500; Edinburgh: £27,500 Regions: £58,000; Scotland: £54,500; Thames Valley: £63,800
Simmons & Simmons Bristol: £40,500 Bristol: £42,500 Bristol: £68,000
Squire Patton Boggs All regional offices: £30,000 All regional offices: £33,000 All regional offices: £65,000
Trowers & Hamlins All regional offices: £30,000 All regional offices: £32,000 All regional offices: £50,000

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23 Comments

Brum

Very good deal

(23)(1)

Brummie

Interesting 🤔

(9)(0)

Up the Regions

Now this is what you call decent whack, hope the rest of the regional hitters follow.

(29)(1)

Peaky Blinder

All smoke and mirrors considering the Birmingham office is mostly made up of Doc Review Paralegals on temp contracts.

They have at the most 10 qualified lawyers in Birmingham and all at Senior Associate level

(44)(0)

Truth Serum

Yep.

They take on very few lawyers and it’s such a small pond.

(6)(2)

Regional NQ

This is true but I have to say those handful of lawyers working in this office on that pay must be living a balanced and fulfilling life.

Decent hours and you’re a big fish in a small pond working among a small group of lawyers and team that you know very well.

The salary only benefits a few, but how wonderful it would be to be part of that few.

(24)(4)

Peaky Blinder

But that’s my point! I’d be surprised if they have more than one trainee in Birmingham… So it benefits one person, and that’s only if they decide to remain there once qaulified.

HL’s Brum is nothing more than a doc review centre for the London office

(15)(1)

Associate

Holy Guacamole Batman

(0)(1)

K&E NQ

This is funny.

(4)(29)

Sign me up

70k in the regions. Sign me up. That’s like being on K&E money comparatively, maybe even better. Lifestyle way better on 70k in regions than 100k+ in London

(40)(6)

Kirkland NQ

Lol delusional. Even in the provinces try buying a Lambo, a fashionable townhouse and having enough to keep whisking your model girlfriend off for trips to Bora Bora in the summer and Val d’Isère in the winter on £70k.

(5)(11)

Roger That

K&E NQs are on about £90k gross more (excluding bonus). Do you think the cost of living difference outside London is £90k per year?

I’m not saying it’s not a good deal, it’s just not an accurate comparison.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Cue Trowers merging with DWF, based on salaries.

(2)(3)

Anon

Arguably 70k in brum is better than 140k in London and hours will be way better.

(43)(5)

Roger That

K&E NQs are on about £90k gross more (excluding bonus). Do you think the cost of living difference outside London is £90k per year?

I’m not saying it’s not a good deal, it’s just not an accurate comparison.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Am guessing they’ll increase London trainee salary aswell now?

(0)(4)

Anon

You’d be very surprised at the hours those in the Birmingham office work.
I stayed at HL for 2 year post qualification. During those years, I met perhaps 5/6 associates from the Birmingham office. Their hours were incredibly similar to London hours, to the extent I would say they were the same. In fact, a couple of the associates actually commuted into London regularly (twice a week or so) because they were needed there.

It always struck me as a very poor deal. I know a few of them were very unhappy with the set up and applied numerous times to transfer to the London office. Perhaps this has changed with the rise of wfh, but I can’t imagine it’s overhauled the set up completely.

Unfortunately it’s just not the case that regional = better work life balance, especially when you’re at the regional office of a city firm.

(41)(4)

A

Could not agree more. HL Birmingham do London work and London hours with London billables!!

(3)(1)

Anon

Erm…… What’s the incentive for being in London now?

If London salaries don’t see a big jump to keep ahead of the regions I suspect London lawyers will start moving into the regions…

(5)(4)

J

Or they will be waiting for the 4 day week to be implemented and full working from home so they can be on London salary from the regions…

(5)(0)

Anon

I’m sure the 2 Birmingham trainees will be very happy with this news

(5)(0)

Anonymous

While the hardworking support staff in most law firms get nothing extra and are earning just above minimum wage, despite the stress they’re under.

(3)(1)

Ex-HL

This headline is misleading. HL take on two NQs in Birmingham per year, if that. They are then traipsed back and forth between London and Birmingham because 99% of their staff are in the City. This affects such a small minority. I’m pleased for those individuals though. Make that dough.

(5)(0)

Comments are closed.

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