CMS and Simmons raise NQ lawyer salaries

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By Emily Hinkley on


£105k and £107.5k

CMS and Simmons & Simmons are the latest big legal players to increase the salaries of their newly qualified (NQ) solicitors in London.

Base pay at CMS’s London office has moved from £100,000 to £105,000, which equates to an extra £5,000 or 5%.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2023 shows NQs are now on the same levels of cash as their counterparts at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and Norton Rose Fulbright.

Last year the firm boosted London trainee rates from by 5-7% and increased future rookie maintenance grants to £10,000 in London, and £7,500 for those studying elsewhere.

The 2023 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Beyond London, salaries in the firm’s regional offices are also up. Base rates in Bristol now sit at £68,000 (previously £65,000), while Manchester and Sheffield pay has moved to £60,000 (previously £57,500). Glasgow and Edinburgh NQs will now earn £60,000 too (previously £57,500). This marks increases of around 4%.

Simmons, meanwhile, has announced its London NQs London will earn a base rate of £107,500, up a little over 2% from £105,000. This change puts Simmons’ NQ salaries in line with the likes of Mayer Brown and Reed Smith.

Simmons has also bumped NQ pay in the Bristol office to £72,000. Previously £69,000, this is an extra £3,000 or approximately 4%. The new salaries are effective from 1 July 2023.

Our Firms Most List 2023 shows CMS dishes out around 95 TCs each year while Simmons provides around 24.

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