Mayer Brown boosts NQ lawyer pay to £120k

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By Emily Hinkley on


£12.5k increase

Mayer Brown has increased salaries for its newly qualified (NQ) solicitors in London to £120,000, Legal Cheek can reveal

The firm has upped base rates in the City by a little over 12% from £107,500 to £120,000. The rise took effect on 1 July 2023.

The recent increase puts the MB’s juniors on the same cash levels as their counterparts at Hogan Lovells and Herbert Smith Freehills, the Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2023 shows.

The 2023 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Mayer Brown trainees in London earn £50,000 in their first year of training, then £55,000 in their second year. The firm offers around 15 training contracts in London each year.

A raft of firms have increased salaries in recent weeks including Bird & Bird, HFWDentons, Taylor Wessing, Travers Smith, CMS, Simmons & Simmons, and Ashurst.

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Embarrassing for Slaughters now


Slaughter and May have always been a Ben. It’s been like this since




Plus 139k for Finance 1PQE and 150K for Finance 2 PQE


2pqe is higher. Although might be banded. Different people i’ve spoken to have said more.


Here we go, shed up next?


Can anyone confirm rise of Dentons or AG?


Dentons is 95k (reported by LC last week, though they haven’t updated the Most List yet!)


Any ES insiders confirm of any potential rises?


Will pinset rise?


Considering we’re not in the best economic state right now, why do so many city firms keep rising their salaries

Barney the tree

Most of these rises are really just to match inflation (e.g. 3-5%). It’s nice but it’s not on the levels of previous years.

Firms match pay rises with competitors because the lateral market is vibrant and NQ-4PQE lawyers will gladly jumpy ship if there’s a higher salary (which firms are acutely aware of)

Optimistic future trainee

Might seem counterintuitive but hardly any other career in the city (except investment banking) requires the sheer slaving away and sacrifice of self/social life that corporate law does. So it’s only right that compensation reflects that.




hsf wya


Tbh I think HSF are positioned pretty well, a little less money than FBD/CC et al but also a little less hours/availability expectations in most teams as far as I can see and from what I’ve heard from friends in those other firms. More money would be lovely but that would probably come at the expense of my slightly better work-life balance, so I’m happy with the compromise


I know people have said this enough times already but the Magic Circle/Silver Circle etc is really dead.

I’m an NQ almost 1PQE now and when I was in uni these law firm titles were everything for students who were applying for vac schemes and TCs. The uni students now aren’t focusing on titles as much


I am 6 years old but I am 7 next week


Tell that to the top clients, who still choose them in droves. There’s a reason MC lawyers are so busy.


Because of NQ pay? Why do nqs and trainees think they determine the market of what magic circle is. Its hilarious

Ian mathematics

still better to train at mc as exit opportunities + career prospects are the best.

functional brain

There are several reasons MC > SC:

(1) Pay banding is usually better at MC, with greater bunching in the SC.
(2) Significantly stronger exit-ops.
(3) A better pedigree of clients, who pick you for their hardest matters – even if SC works on the same deals as MC, the MC firm will always be chosen for the more legally complex component.

Also, I don’t know how you’ve so rapidly become disconnected with what uni students want – if you ask someone to pick between HSF and SM, I can tell you what they’re going to do 90% of the time.

Rebel without a clause

To your points:

1) This is generally true from what I know from friends at multiple SC and MC firms, but is firm/team dependent and MC doesn’t always pay more through the PQE bands
2) Hard disagree with “significantly”. This is a generalisation and oversimplification which may sometimes be true but that is again firm and team dependent
3) Just not true in the slightest, do you really believe that MC firms always have smarter/more capable solicitors than SC firms?

There are myriad reasons why someone would accept a TC at one firm over another, an outdated label doesn’t make a firm any better than another.

I turned down a TC at an MC firm for an SC firm, and would have turned down SM for HSF too – they’re very different firms with very different cultures, and SM just doesn’t appeal to me at all.


She’s is likely to rise next


Eversheds to 100k; AG to 97.5k


Will pinset rise?

Rehabilitated workaholic

K&E associate here. Should I move to Mayer Brown for better work life balance, despite the £100k pay cut?


Might as well mate, 157k 2y pqe

Asking K&E associate

Is the work life balance that bad or does the salary make up for it?

Rehabilitated workaholic

I am averaging 70 hours of billable work each week. You are so swamped that you have no time to do things outside of work.


Pinset to 105k confirmed for next week.


Shoosmiths to rise to 90k, finally.

I work at the Shoo shop

I can confirm that this is unverified.


Knights plc to 87k..


Russel Cooke to 91k for NQs (inclusive of bonus)


Can anyone confirm what’s the NQ salary for faegre drinker and Marriott Harrison?


Can anyone please confirm what the NQ salary is for faegre drinker and Marriott Harrison?? Always a bit dubious what the NQ rate will be when there is no disclosure online

RPC Trainee

I really need to get a new job


Fieldfisher to 102k, finally confirmed.


Clyde to 105k…yeaaa baby

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