Shearman boosts trainee pay to £55k and £60k — also ups law school maintenance support

By on

Grants of £17k during PGDL and SQE

Shearman & Sterling has increased salaries for trainees in London and upped the financial support for training contract holders, Legal Cheek can reveal.

The global law firm has boosted year one rates to £55,000, an uplift of 10% from £50,000, while year two rates now sit at £60,000 — a bump of 9% from £55,000.

The improved year two pays sees the firm draw level with fellow US law firms Debevoise & Plimpton, Fried Frank, Gibson Dunn and Sidley Austin.

The 2023 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List shows Shearman’s newly qualified associates earn a hefty £145,000.

Those with training contracts lined up will also receive additional financial support. Shearman confirmed maintenance grants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) and Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) have increased from £11,000 to £17,000, split across two payments.

Each year the firm recruits around 15 trainees into its London office.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, news and careers advice:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Newsletter


Recession who?

It behinds lads and girls…money war part 2. Who’s next?


Silly LPC Student

Does the difference in the work and hours that a trainee and an NQ do justify the disparity in salary?



No. What justifies it is you would have to be literally insane to pay a glorified law student 100k plus and clients would likely think it was a racket.


Anon 2

Can’t speak from personal experience yet but everyone I’ve spoken to says the jump to NQ is fairly dramatic. Do agree with the point re client perspective though



Depends what seat trainee and if they are any good. A 4th seater and an NQ the difference is usually negligible. Generally the difference between a 1st seater and an NQ is more noticeable. That being said some trainees are better than NQs from Day 1. In fact some are better than certain partners at firm’s that I have worked…



It’s not about that. Trainees can’t do a lot without a qualified person signing off, therefore trainees are billed out a lot lower. It doesn’t take rocket science



Given the fact that the firm appears to be falling apart like a clown car currently, this is certainly a bold play.

I suspect that a lot of good students from top universities are turning down Shearman offers because they’re aware of how dire the situation is, and HR are resorting to measures like this to shore up their position. I also suspect – based on how inactive the market is, particularly in banking/finance (Shearman’s traditional specialism) – that they’ll be cutting trainee numbers quietly.



And there are still some city firms paying 7k


Comments are closed.

Related Stories