BCLP junior lawyer pay hits £105k

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By Aishah Hussain on


Trainee pay rises too

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner office London lawyer
BCLP’s London office

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) awarded its newly qualified (NQ) solicitors a £10,000 pay rise earlier this year, placing them on six-figure salaries.

NQs in the transatlantic firm’s London office now earn £105,000, up by 10.5% from £95,000, effective January 2023. It means they earn the same level awarded to new associates at firms including Ashurst, Norton Rose Fulbright, Simmons & Simmons and Travers Smith, our Firms Most List shows.

It also means BCLP trainees see their salaries almost double upon qualification as they earn £55,000 in their second year of training. First-year trainees earn £50,000. These rates, previously £48,000 and £52,000, were effective from February 2023.

The 2023 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

“BCLP made the decision to increase NQ salaries from £95,000 to £105,000, effective January 2023,” a firm spokesperson said. “We also adjusted associate salaries at the same time.”

“In a competitive talent market, the salary is an important part of compensation, as are the other benefits and rewards that we provide, such as our new parental leave policy and investment hours policy, which balances high performance with time out from the office,” they said. “The aim of this wider view of reward and compensation is to build higher-performing, cohesive, and supported teams.”

Earlier this year, the firm ramped up support for new parents and introduced a “time-off bonus scheme” to help its lawyers switch-off whilst on holiday.

The pay gap is widening among members of the Silver Circle, an elite grouping of law firms traditionally consisting of Ashurst, BCLP, Herbert Smith Freehills, Macfarlanes and Travers Smith. Macfarlanes increased junior lawyer pay last month to £115,000. See how they compare in terms of salary in the table below:

Silver Circle salary standings:

Firm Trainee pay (Year 1) Trainee pay (Year 2) NQ base rates
Ashurst £50,000 £55,000 £105,000
BCLP £50,000 £55,000 £105,000
Herbert Smith Freehills £50,000 £55,000 £120,000
Macfarlanes £50,000 £55,000 £115,000
Travers Smith £50,000 £55,000 £105,000

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