Pinsents raises NQ lawyer salaries to £97k

Avatar photo

By Legal Cheek on


£63k in regions

Pinsent Masons has become the latest major law firm to raise salaries for its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers, increasing rates in London to £97,000.

Junior lawyer salaries previously stood at £92,000, meaning today’s increase of £5,000 represents a 5% rise.

The firm’s regional NQs have also been handed a modest rise of 3%, from £61,000 to £63,000.

The 2024 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2024 shows the new rate puts Pinsents’ London lot £2k ahead of their counterparts at Addleshaw Goddard, Bird & Bird and Dentons (£95,000), and £3k behind those at DLA Piper, Squire Patton Boggs and Taylor Wessing (£100,000).

Pinsents recruits around 70 trainees each year on a starting salary of £47,000 in London and £30,500 elsewhere.

Yesterday, Legal Cheek reported that Clifford Chance has followed Freshfields and Linklaters in raising NQ rates to £150,000.



Is it just NQs and salary bunching, or across the board?




Iz u


Just make it 100k and spare yourself some embarrassment.

100k with good work life balance = sweet deal

I mean with a bonus it’ll still amount to about £100k….

Short Tube

Pinsents? Bonus?

Kirkland NQ

My maid asked me to tell you she is laughing at this salary.


I mean considering they could probably leave the office between 6 – 7.30ish, that’s a pretty sweet deal. While you’re wiping your pain at 3 am lol.


if you think pinsents fee earners are leaving at 6-7.30 you clearly have no idea about how the legal industry works

pm associate

I’m a pinsents fee earner who leaves the office at 6. Banking/corporate teams obviously leave late like everywhere else, but there are some teams where it’s legitimately easier


Everything thinking this is pathetic but really it is just reflective of the current NQ market and now dire it is.

Trainees at firms like Pinsents, Gowling, Squires, Eversheds and so on cannot make the jump to a better firm in this market and their current firms are fully aware of this hence they are not increasing the NQ salary by much.

They know their trainees have nowhere else to go.


Trainees who have managed to obtain some exposure to good PE deals can easily jump to the US shops, especially as conditions stabilise. It’s the non-corporate people who have no place to run.


Bro you must be deluded lmao

“Easily jump to US shops” lool that ain’t happening

A few PE deals isn’t enough to land you a US Nq role, at least not in this market

US firms are being more selective now than ever. They want MC trained NQs and candidates who have multiple or all transactional seats for corporate, funds or finance roles

I can’t speak on non corp but I imagine it’s the same


Could I please ask why they can’t jump to a better firm? Is it because of the quality of their training and work?

I’m keen to know the chances of trainees in such firms to move to a US law firm after qualification. Thank you.


It’s all about the job market in the legal sector, which is reflective of the economic state in the UK.

The UK economy has taken a hit and so have many industries who are making employees redundant. Unfortunately, the legal industry is not any different.

After covid there was a boost in hiring and many law firms needed more people, especially NQs. In 2020 the trainees of that time were able to train at smaller firms and move to Magic Circle and US firms. The last trainee cohort who were able to move laterally quite easily were the ones who qualified in 2022.

The current market is very dire and there are not many NQ roles going. Trainees are lucky if they are retained and need to hope for the best and be very onit with external applications if not. I have friends who are final seaters and they aren’t being kept on and they are struggling to find external roles at firms of the same level to their current one meaning they may have to take a huge pay cut and move to a much smaller firm or even go in house.

I hope this helps.


Or they are content staying where they are?


Bold of you to assume all trainees have that luxury


Loool that’s quite an assumption that they can’t move..

Truth Serum

First of all it’s quite sad that you spammed the legal cheek comments at 1am with nonsense.

Secondly, it is not an assumption, it’s the facts. I’m a 2nd seat trainee at one of those firms and I have friends at the other firms and we are all in the same bucket.

Quite a few of the final seat trainees at my firm haven’t been retained and the ones who have are qualifying into their back up options as their department of choice either isn’t hiring or is only taking on a small number.

The lateral market at NQ level is not looking great right now.

In a decent market people have jumped from boutique firms to US but that is very unlikely to happen in the current market.

Awww don’t cry

Cry me a river loooll


So they now pay higher wages than Watson Farley, AG, and the shed? That’s not right?

Have some sources

Is it true the shed are rising to £110k allegedly?


What city firm (non US/MC firm) will rise next you reckon??


It still boggles me that CMS are £105k

(Sources confirmed)

Shed to rise to £110k


Erm there’s a reason why ppl go to mid market, if you’re in an advisory seat you’re must definitely leaving between 6 – 7 on average


I’m at one of these firms and I leave around 7 on average and I’m in finance while earning 100k. I’m content with what I’ve dealt with .


DLA £75k in Manchester and Leeds – you heard it here first!

Join the conversation

Related Stories