Hogan Lovells enters pay war, boosting NQ lawyer salaries to £135k in London and £85k in Birmingham

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By Legal Cheek on


More rises

Hogan Lovells has become the latest major law firm to increase the salaries of its new associates, raising rates in London to £135,000.

The pay boost equates to an extra £15,000 or 12% with salaries previous sitting at £120,000.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List shows that Hogan Lovells recruits around 50 trainees each year, with first-year trainees also seeing their pay increase; £50,000 to £56,000 in year one and from £55,000 to £61,000 in year two.

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Newly qualified associates in the firm’s Birmingham office will also see their pay increase, from £75,000 to £85,000. Trainee salaries have also increased from £35,000 to £37,500 in year one and from £38,500 to £41,000 in year two.

The increases are effective from 1 May.

“Base salaries are only one component of lawyer remuneration,” a spokesperson for the firm said. “We operate a total compensation matrix that includes a competitive bonus scheme, taking into account both chargeable work and other contributions to the firm and our values.”

The salary increases follow a series of rises across the Magic Circle, with Freshfields, Linklaters, A&O Shearman, and Clifford Chance all boosting rates to £150,000. Slaughter and May has so far stood firm, keeping junior lawyer pay at £125,000.



Thinking about making a HogLove move. Does anyone have intel on bunching up to 5PQE?

Disgruntled HL associate

Bunching is terrible. Poor pay rises for anyone senior. Earlier in the year management proudly reporting 20% PEP increases but doing nothing to address banding. Morale is not good.

Salary report enjoyer

Recruiter salary reports would suggest that HogLove pay at 5PQE tops out at ~ 160k.

So, yes, lots of bunching.

Can confirm

This is pretty much accurate. Don’t be fooled by the big NQ headline.


I’d say the bunching is almost worse than that… The much hyped bonus scheme is pretty underwhelming as well to be honest.


While at top US firms like K&E, Weil, Goodwin etc top senior associates are being paid £350 base .+ £100 minimum bonus if you hit bonus


Lots of bunching. What’s worse is the complete lack of salary transparency. Nobody knows what the bands are or where they sit on that band. So counterintuitive.


Slaughters is going to £165k, you heard it here first.


Lol not true


Lool law firms said cost of living crisis who?


Who rising next then that’s no MC/SC/US?


Surely has to be DLA, Ashurst, CMS etc.

They should be on at least 125k

As d

Lool no way DLA moving £125k. I imagine AG, Shed, Stephenson Harwood will be next.


2birds @98

Disgruntled vac schemer

RIP to Clyde on 80k still

Future US trainee

HogLov absolutely mogging Slaughters


If you’re on £85k in birms your basically a millionaire 🤣😂😂


HLs Birmingham office is tiny and has does not have a large head count.

There are very few fee earners working there and not many trainees.

It’s like a satellite London office.

It doesn’t offer the full service of work and range of teams and practice areas.

It’s a great salary for the few who work there but not great career prospects.

Less than pleased HL associate

HL yo yos on the Birmingham office. Support office, proper office. No one ever knows. Depends on what management feels week to week. Good news is this week they’re in favour. Well good news for them.



It’s true!

Rupert; you know the name, you know the game 🇺🇸


Chicken feed, dear boy/girl/nonbinary.



What’s the deal with elite US firms like Latham, Willkie, Sidley, Fried Frank paying trainees less than places like Hogan Lovells?


The deal is the payoff. Trainee pay is miserable for two years, and you get paid not that much less than your equivalent somewhere like HL.

But in return when you qualify you get paid so much significantly more than your equivalent at HL that those two years are worth waiting out…


Macs at 140k. Expect announcement shortly.


Everyone at Macs is leaving to go in house or US lmaooo.


Hmm 140k… but then you’d have to work at Macs.

If I wanted a firm stuck in the past I’d choose Debs or S&M.


Please explain/expand on Macs being stuck in the past?

Perfectly calm Slaughters partner


Don’t worry, we still have our prestige and FTSE clients!


Add to that multi-specialism and being the most trusted advisor to more FTSE 100 chairmen than any other firm on earth.

let the pay war begin

Any intel on HSF?

Let the pay war continue

when you upping HSF?

Angry SH Trainee

Lol and Stephenson Harwood are still stuck on 95k. Seems like they keep hiring more and more lateral partners who are at the end of their careers rather than investing in new talent. No wonder all the good associates are leaving. Hope they increase soon.

Bemused SH New Lateral

Don’t you have a bundle to do?

Regional observer

85k in the regions is bonkers

It wasn’t too long ago the going rate was £45k…


Things are getting super expensive! Our firm offers trainees 75k now and rightly so! It doesn’t matter where you live – West Midlands is getting super expensive! So all firms should pay more now inflation has pushed things to sky high! Paying circa 40k is really crap!

Hopeful incoming trainee

What do we think slaughters will do next?

Insights on Dorsey

Any thoughts on Dorsey & Whitney?? They are meant to be a US firm but pay their NQs £95k so Pinsets earn more than them. Perhaps they give a big bonus or something


Got an 8:30 res. Sea urchin ceviche


CMS is justified to be on £125k ?

OC Minion

And OC still keeps paying its mid-level associates approx. 100k – morale is very low at the moment…




I love how almost every fiend gets trolled 🤣

Tho I’ve nv seen any trolling toward hsf? Is that golden firm 🤔

aspiring SM window cleaner

Yes because everyone actually likes HSF trainees they’re nice


With so many rises as recent, any firm could rise…except plexus law.


With the recent increases this isn’t accurate, it may have been ~ 160 when the Nq rate was under or around ~120


Everyone is leapfrogging S&M -it’s almost embarrassing.

aspiring SM window cleaner

Can we get some genuine insight on SM please? Word of raises?

Slaughter NQ

I actually don’t wait an increase. It would attract the wrong type of applicant.


Would that be an actually competent person that wants to work? Look at the state of the fourth seaters and tell me we don’t need a payrise to attract the right people.


So… is there talk of raise yet? 140? 150?

Disgruntled SH associate

Can I get some insight on what it is actually like to work at QE. Get the hours may be bad but are the people nice/work interesting?

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