City pay war: Macfarlanes boosts NQ rates to £107.5k

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By Legal Cheek on


Also confirms autumn retention score of 92%

Macfarlanes’ London office

City law firm Macfarlanes has increased the salaries of its newly qualified (NQ) associates by 7.5%, Legal Cheek can reveal.

The firm’s most junior lawyers will now earn a base rate £107,500, up from a previous figure of £100,000. The cash injection sees Macs’ NQs draw level with their counterparts at the likes of Allen & Overy, Hogan Lovells, Linklaters and Reed Smith.

The silver circle player said firmwide bonuses, which are uncapped and awarded to all staff, will be paid this year at 11.2%.

At the same time, Macs confirmed an autumn 2022 retention score of 92%, with 23 of its 25 final seat trainees committing their futures to the firm.

Jat Bains, graduate recruitment partner, said: “Our trainees are our partners of the future and we are delighted that so many are continuing to build their careers with us.”

Applications are open for the Legal Cheek September UK Virtual Law Fair 2022

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2022 shows trainee pay currently sits at £50,000 in year one, rising to £55,000 in year two.

And NQ pay isn’t the only thing on the up. Macs has reported a 16% increase in turnover to £303.7 million while operating profit climbed to £164.2 million — a 15% uptick on the previous year. Profit per equity partner (PEP) jumped 19% to £2.48 million.

Commenting on the results, senior partner Sebastian Prichard Jones said:

“I would like to pay tribute to both our fee-earning and business services teams for their dedication in a period in which there was a high demand for legal services during often difficult circumstances as the pandemic unwound. These results are a reflection of everyone’s collective hard work and commitment to our clients. By comparison, the outlook for the year ahead seems more challenging and we are already starting to see much more caution in the market.”

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