Hogan Lovells ups NQ pay to £120k in London and £75k in Birmingham

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Boosts of 12% and 7%

Hogan Lovells’ London office

Hogan Lovells has become the latest City law firm to raise the salaries of its newly qualified (NQ) associates.

The hike will take NQ rates in the capital from £107,500 to £120,000, a 12% uplift. The firm has also increased salaries by 7% for juniors in Birmingham, from £70,000 to £75,000.

The Legal Cheek 2023 Firms Most List shows NQs at HL are now on the same levels of cash as their counterparts at Herbert Smith Freehills and just below the £125,000 offered by four members of the Magic Circle: Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Allen & Overy and Linklaters. However, the latter two only made the jump to £125,000 earlier this month.

The 2023 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

The MC’s fifth member, Slaughter and May, recently confirmed that their NQ rate will remain fixed at £115,000 for now.

Hogan Lovells offers around 50 training contracts each year and pays trainees £50,000 in their first year, rising to £55,000 in their second year.

A firm spokesperson said:

“Following our annual salary review in the UK, we have increased salaries for our newly-qualified lawyers. The base salary for newly-qualified lawyers, effective from 1 May 2023, has increased from £107,500 to £120,000 in London. We currently operate a merit-based pay model with broad salary bands for our qualified lawyers to ensure that we are able to take into account an individual’s performance when determining salary within the relevant salary band.”

Another recent NQ raise came from Macfarlanes, which last week increased junior lawyer pay to £115,000, plus individual and firmwide bonuses.

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Front Row Sitter, Esq

Wow, this is huge! Is the magic circle running out of magic?!?!?! (I am a fresher)



MaGiC CiRcLe

How do Slaughters even have any associates left at this rate?


You don’t join Slaughter and May for the salary. You join for the prestige, the multi-specialism, and the quality of work. The firm is the No 1 trusted adviser to UK listed companies, and through its close alliance with Cravath, increasingly heavily involved in New York boardrooms as well.


MaGiC CiRcLe

Do let us know who your mortgage is with, Willy. Wish mine took prestige as payment!

functional brain

Prestige is delayed payment. By the time you’re fighting for some role as general counsel or partnership, the person with magic circle training and a few years experience is always going to come on top over HL.


If £250 after tax is the difference between you comfortably affording your mortgage or not then you’ve over-extended with your property purchase. For pennies in the pound I’d take the long term view so I agree with the ‘prestige’ school of thought.


Because nobody in their right mind is going to leave a job – particularly one which looks so good on a CV as being an associate at Slaughters – for an extra £250 a month after tax.

People on this website have such a bizarre view of how the job market works. Sensible lawyers don’t just run blindly after wherever the money is. They think about what they want their career to look like in ten or twenty years time, and they make decisions accordingly. And whether you want to be a partner or a senior in-house lawyer or do something completely different, spending the junior end of your career at a Magic Circle firm will open vastly more doors than spending it at Hogan Lovells. Not to say, of course, that HL are a bad firm – but the opportunities, the deal exposure, the brand name simply aren’t the same.


Exactly – this whole drama about “trainees will jump ship on qualification” hasn’t happened, precisely because when it comes down to it, there is no point going through the stress and hassle of moving jobs for a very minor post-tax gain. It looks far better on your CV if you’re not a job surfer, too.


Even in 2-5 years time. The salary bunching at places like Lovells is a bit of a joke, and the quality of work and training doesn’t match up to the Magic Circle. You’d be mad to jump from Slaughters to HL as an NQ for £5k a year, when in three years time you’ll be doing better work for more money having developed better skills


Do you know of any good lateral opportunities?


Slayyyyyyy 💅💅💅💅


My lawyer children both applied for Hogan Lovells but were rejected at the first stage. Now they both have TC’s in my one my firm! (I am old). I prefer this to the big stuffy hogan lovells


Fair play for openly bragging about nepotism.


Horses for courses I guess. I am sure that your kids were intellectually up to scratch but Hogans have a very definite corporate culture and concluded that your offspring wouldn’t fit in.

That said, far more chance of making partnership at HL and far more likely to leave Slaughters disappointed.


Any news on whether HSF will go to 125 or higher?


Irrelevant given the significant bunching up the PQE ladder.

Pay War 3: Revenge of the Silver Circle

And so it begins

Money Money Money

DLA has lost its ‘kings of the region’ title – anyone heard any news if they’re going to increase?


The regional increase is a game changer. DLA will have to increase to 70k and then AG and Eversheds will probably go up a little


Perhaps, but isn’t there only ~1 NQ in Brum at any one time for HL? I’m not too familiar with how HL are set up but thought their regional office was more a “business support services” hub. Happy to be corrected.

In any event, good news for HL’s NQs and let the pay war commence.


Who’s going to raise next in the regions? 👀


100k in the regions sounds completely absurd but at this rate is not far off

HSF Partnership



Embarrassing for the large international firms that pay £80k for London NQ’s when HL’s Bristol office is offering £75k. Looking at you, Insurance Defendant firms.


Even more embarrassing that HL dont have a Bristol office


Think about the wider ‘people package’

Yeahhh baby

Yeaahhh baby 😎 will the shed or DLA rise 👀


Yh boii! Slaughters get in the 🗑🗑

Proof Reeder

There must be a typo. It says NQs only get £75k in Birmingham.


That’s very good in Birmingham if you don’t know..


Talk about being damned by faint praise.


75k in brum is like 150k in London

Yeah but

But you have to live in Brum and do Brum work and have Brum opportunities. All to earn what a plumber makes.

bunch of grapes

Can someone share intel on NQ – 6 PQE+ at HL? What’s the bunching like?


It’s tight.


The difference between NQ-2PQE seems to have gone from about £17.5k to £10k… so pretty bunchy… seems they’ve made the headline NQ rate appealing at the expense of rewarding people higher up the PQE bands, although I assume most people will be better off overall.


Any insiders at shed or DLA confirm any NQ rises whether in London or in regions?


I don’t see Sheds increasing. Bunching is pretty bad and can’t see them wanting to up salaries again anytime soon. Hopefully will be proven wrong but not holding my breath.

Leather (faux) shoe stew for dinner

What’s the chat at Simmons? Any intel?

spb nq 95k too low fam

wot abut spb fam ? my shoes got holes in em innit


Yeah you’re not NQ, don’t gas yourself lol


Any rumours on CMS increases?


Come on CMS!!!


Lool this like watching the races


Cms raising to 117.5k as reported from insiders last week.

I haven’t heard anything

Is this legit though or wishful thinking?

Cms insider

Yeah right. No way they’re going from 100k to 117.5k especially with the latest financial results and reduced partners pot.


Not really – haven’t heard it

Trust me them

Pinset to go to £110k heard it here first #trustmebro


Kennedys goingg to 90k trust me


So, when will FBD and CC push NQ to 130?

stressed and tired trainee

What about trainee pay? Come on HL you can do better.

Marcus the nosey fresher

any word on Freshfields upping??

Another fresher

I wanna know too. Anyone at the firm heard anything? Surely they’ll want to keep leading the way in terms of NQ salary increases


Absolutely embarrassing if Eversheds, a top 10 firm, do not increase to at least high 60’s.

Sarcasm doesn’t get through on social media

Eversheds is a what now?!

Future trainee

Where’s Ashurst??

STB associate

Why would you work at a UK firm when you can make £180k at a true elite US (read: not K&E / Latham)?

Actual STB NQ

STB NQs are not earning £180k. It’s currently £172k pegged to the dollar cap so varies from £170k-£172k.

Yhh boi

Pinsets masons apparently moved to 110k yhh boiii



Trust me

Kennedys moving to 90k



Great news for the one trainee a year in Brum

At least it isn't the North

The good news, you’re getting a pay rise. The bad news, you have to live in Birmingham.

Trust me bro



Yes, ES is a top 10. What firm are you at fresher?


ES to move up to 115 this week, I’m sure DLA will do the same


Pinset masons to 100k and NRF to go 125k – yeaaaa boiiii


Any danger Baker McKenzie?

Fried Frank NQ

Peanuts. My shoeshiner earns more!

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