£26,068 in London and £23,122 elsewhere
The Law Society of England and Wales has increased its minimum salary recommendations for aspiring solicitors by 10%.
Rookies undertaking a training contract or qualifying work experience (QWE) should be paid a minimum of £26,068 in London and £23,122 elsewhere, according to the Chancery Lane-based body. The recommended rates come into effect on 1 September 2023.
“We consider the increase in the recommended salary for aspiring solicitors to be appropriate at this time,” said Law Society President Lubna Shuja. “There are a range of factors that were considered during our discussions around the minimum salary policy and uplift, including the rise in cost-of-living expenses — which have particularly hit those on lower salaries — and the economic impact on solicitors’ businesses,” said Law Society President Lubna Shuja.
Shuja continued: “We encourage employers to consider this recommendation when looking at how much they will pay their employees.”
Legal Cheek’s Firms Most List 2023 shows that trainee rates across the City are much higher than the minimum guidelines, with the highest paid rookies topping out at £60,000 in their first year. But some trainees continue to be paid less than the Society’s guidelines, particularly those working in areas of the law supported by legal aid.
As with all The Law Society’s recommended salary increases, the new levels are only a guideline and are completely unenforceable — i.e., firms can simply ignore them — following the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) decision to scrap statutory minimums in 2014.