Shoosmiths raises London NQ lawyer pay by 16% to £87,000

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From £58,000 in regions

Shoosmiths has raised newly qualified (NQ) solicitor salaries in London and the regions by 16%.

London NQ rates will rise from £75,000 to £87,000, the firm confirmed today, whilst the salaries of those qualifying in its regional offices will increase from £50,000 to £58,000. The new salaries will take effect from 1 November 2022.

Shoosmiths offers about 30 training contracts each year across nine city centres including London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. NQs in the Thames Valley office previously on £55,000 will also receive a 16% pay rise.

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Shoosmiths chief executive officer, David Jackson, said in a statement: “In a highly competitive market for talent, we are committed to providing competitive pay within a positive, engaged working environment that emphasises culture, learning and development and quality of work.”

UK-headquartered law firms have faced increased pressure in recent years to up the amount they pay junior lawyers and compete with the six-figure salary offerings at some US law firms in London. Pinsent Masons last month increased NQ rates to £96,000 in London and £61,000 in the regions. Earlier in April, Addleshaw Goddard moved NQ rates to £95,000 in London and up to £62,000 in the regions.

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£83k sucker

Mishcon pls


Mad NQ

£83k to £90k raise, effective 1 July 2022.


Does anyone know a good

Shoosmith? I have a dusty pair of iron oxfords that I need welded.


Oh dear




Actually, it was welded in the context of metal re reference to a smith, you Wally.



Here before the comments section is invaded by freshers pretending to be K&E NQs with their non-existent Lambos



£87k for a 9-6 job. Not bad, not bad at all.



87k for about 9-6 day, that’s pretty decent.



November! Literally half a year away.



This literally makes a mockery of those firms who have still not increased.. Shoosmiths offer a great work life balance and good quality work. Those firms who still claim to offer a value proposition need to take a look in the mirror. namely SQUIRES, CMS, CLYDE AND CO….


25th of Decmber

One of those does not belong with the others…

Clydes have pushed it about as far as they can go with salary I think. Most insurance firms struggle to pay high salaries due to stingy insurance panel bids.

Pretty sure Clydes actually pays the most out of the insurance firms (DWF, Kennedys, DAC)


In the City

Don’t forget Fieldfisher – they’re on fair number of insurer-backed professional negligence cases and they’re up to 85.

RPC did that petty two-tiered NQ package – 80 for people in insurance teams in 85 for the rest.

But then you do have firms with £100k+ nq salaries that are on lot of insurance matters – HSF, Simmons and Mayer Brown are also on a lot of insurance backed professional negligence and D&O matters. Although I think they tend to be on separate high-value matter panels (e.g. £10+m claims, depending on the insurer).



Not quite sure where you’re coming from

Clydes and SQB increased very recently.

CMS pays 95k in London which very decent for what it is .



SQB is



No one would ever say that about shoosmiths who actually works at shoosmiths


Mystic BALLS Gazer

This was silver circle territory not long ago at all…

SC firms, will raise to 115k NQ…



Oooo good whack, it wasn’t that long ago CC was 87k. And if they’re still doing 9-6 (cos obviously that could change) this is a good deal.


US firm associate

The Shoosmiths NQ salary is half my firm’s but fair enough, they probably have a great work life balance. Does anyone know their billable hours target in London?

I find it hilarious how the US firms all backdate their pay increases while the UK firms announce raises 6 months in advance. They’re so desperate to keep pay down. This is the sort of desperate stunt you pull when you’re losing the war against the US firms (I know Shoosmiths aren’t competing with US firms but still having to respond to the pay war)



It’s not a secret they’re losing the pay war, and it’s not a war they’ll win.


Freedom of Information

Legal Cheek should ask every firm that increases their salary what the 1-3PQE rates are.

If the firm doesn’t respond, Legal Cheek should include a line stating that they asked for this information but [Firm Name] didn’t respond and readers can draw their own conclusions.

If Legal Cheek (and other publications) start doing this, it’ll just be a matter of time before some firms crack and reveal


Lovely stuff

This is a big move by Shoosmiths.

Remember – this is a firm that has traditionally been viewed as a regional hitter amongst the likes of Mills & Reeve, Gateley etc


Shoo Zone

Good whack but could you please get on with measuring my son’s shoe size?


Kirkland NQ

Do they mean £87k a month, or do lawyers really get paid that little in London?


Kirkland slayer!

Well even you do not get paid that much per month or even half of it so please KMA.


I am the lord of the bus said he.

Never thought I’d see the day where Shooeys pay the likes of Mishcon and Gowling…



Shoosmiths are carving an attractive niche for themselves. 87k with work life balance at 9-5/6? this will temp many strong candidates.


The true pic

Love the comments here that Shoosmiths is 9-6pm. Don’t be fooled, some departments have it easy, but many lawyers work continuous 10-14 hour days!



Shoosmiths now pay more than Mishcons. £83k over here and having to do in excess of 2,000 hours (target is 1,500). Feeling mugged.



Don’t worry about it, you still have the PResTigE of working for the firm that sued the British Government!



MDR target is 1500


Regional Pay War Spectator

Big from Shooeys. Regional firms that aren’t completely hamstrung by big insurance offerings (Hill Dicks, Mills & Reeve, Gateley, Browne Jacobson, TLT) should be aiming for this.

Nobody at these firms in the regions is expecting DLA money but everyone who signed up 12-18 months ago on the promise of a decent work life balance in exchange for earning £5-8k off the top of the market has seen a fundamental shift this year to 50% less cash for 10% less work.


Regional Pay War Enjoyer

I think it is regional solicitors who have come out on top from the pay war.

Sure most London UK firms have increased 20k or so which is great.

But a year ago the norm for regional pay was £45k with one or two firms touching £50k. Now regional pay has it £65k (and I believe will hit 70k by the new year)

A 15 – 20k increase is a hell of a lot more significant in regions like Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester etc than in London.



62k in Nottingham at Sheds. Log off at 6pm most days. Probs equivalent to making 85 – 90 in London.



There are 3 or 4 very similar comments about Shoosmiths having 9-6 days. It feels like an orchestrated HR campaign to drive recruitment.


Notshoosmiths HR

My thoughts exactly!



Shoosmiths lawyers do not work nine to six, complete baloney! Salary hikes come at a price…



They do.

My mate’s dad’s friend’s uncle works there and he said so.

He can also get you banned from Xbox Live.



They probably work 9-6 more comparatively compared to most other city firms. Corporate and banking will always have its long hours but can imagine most of their other departments will have 9 – 6 or 7. Heck there are some US firms that have 9-6 hours (albeit its not consistent but still).


Apple Smith

It is always interesting how quiet DWF is at times involving salary increases…



DWF aren’t just quiet about salary increases, they are silent on salary altogether.

Try and find a source that states the current salaries of DWF that is under 24 months old




Doooshane, bring me my Laurrrren bakh

So, 9-6 isn’t a thing. It’s almost always 8:30-6:30, but the odd quieter day you’ll be out before 6. Mind you, that is in the regions only.

In London, it’s 8:30-7 as a minimum.

But across the board it’s longer when WFH and generally most FE in transactional teams are doing 10 hours a day minimum.


Notshoosmiths HR

My thoughts exactly!


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