Minimum of £23,703 in London and £21,024 elsewhere
The Law Society has recommended a 4% rise to the minimum salary for trainee solicitors across England and Wales.
The Chancery Lane bigwigs say rookies undertaking a training contract or qualifying work experience (QWE) should now be paid at least £23,703 in London and £21,024 outside of the capital. The new rates come into effect on 1 September 2022.
But like with all the Law Society’s recommended uplifts, the new pay levels are completely unenforceable — i.e. firms can simply ignore them — following the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) decision in 2014 to scrap statutory minimums.
“This increase in the recommended salary for aspiring solicitors is considered to be appropriate at this time,” Law Society vice president Lubna Shuja said. “It is expected that the rise in inflation will continue. There are a range of factors which will have to be taken into account during our discussions around the minimum salary policy and uplift next year, including the rising cost-of-living expenses and the economic impact that has had, and will have, on solicitors’ businesses.”
Continuing, Shuja said the Society is “pleased to see some legal businesses have taken steps to offer one-off hardship payments to lower-salaried employees”, which will “go some way to relieving the strain on junior lawyers’ finances”.
Research published last year found that 20% of rookies in London and 16% of trainees in the regions were being paid below the current minimums of £22,794 and £20,217.