Linklaters increases newly-qualified lawyer pay to £125,000
Exclusive: Matches Magic Circle rivals Clifford Chance and Freshfields
Linklaters has increased newly-qualified (NQ) solicitor pay to £125,000, Legal Cheek can reveal.
NQs in the London office have seen their salaries increase by 16% from £107,500 to £125,000 as of 1 May.
Linklaters pays trainees £50,000 in their first year, rising to £55,000 in their second year, meaning their salaries more than double upon securing an NQ position at the firm. This is just the base rate, with any bonus applied on top taking total NQ earnings to an even higher sum.
Links rookies are now remunerated the same as their peers at fellow Magic Circle firms Clifford Chance and Freshfields. Allen & Overy, meanwhile, pays NQs £107,500 upon qualification, whilst Slaughter and May pays £115,000, according to our 2023 Firms Most List.
News of the pay rise comes almost one year on from when we exclusively revealed the firm told its juniors it won’t “rush” into matching the salaries offered by some of its closest rivals. It said at the time it’d consider “the impact of any changes and the wider economic context”.
In its latest financials the firm recorded revenues of £1.78 billion and a 5% increase in profit per equity partner (PEP) to £1.87 million.
Linklaters is one of the largest training contract providers in London, offering 100 places each year, topped only by Clifford Chance who provide 110.
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Second Seat Trainee begging for another pay war
Let the games begin…
Considering 10 years plus pqe criminal barristers who sleep little and fight in court everyday for people’s liberty aren’t even earning this, one wonders how these salaries, especially in current climate, could ever be justified. (Speaking as an impoverished and disgruntled criminal barrister.)
The world isn’t just buddy. It’s capitalist. Supply and demand sets the rates. That’s why premier league footballers get paid millions because there’s just a few of them while nurses get paid 30k if they’re lucky despite adding more “value” in substantive terms to society.
It can be justified very easily – corporate clients are willing to pay higher amounts per hour for legal services. Commercial law will always pay more than criminal law. This isn’t new or revolutionary. Money is exchanging hands between willing parties.
If criminal barristers want to make commercial rates they should have chosen a different career. If you want to sleep little and fight in court every day for people’s liberty, be a criminal barrister. If you want to make money, go into commercial law.