EXCLUSIVE: DLA Piper raises London newly qualified lawyer pay to £110k

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By Rhys Duncan on


Regional salaries receive boost to £75k

International firm DLA Piper has raised the salaries of its newly qualified lawyers, taking City recruits up to £110,000 with their regional counterparts rising to £75,000.

The new figures represent a 10% increase across the board for the firm’s newest associates, with the previous figures sitting at £100,000 and £68,500.

With trainee pay remaining the same, rookies in the City office will continue to receive £50,000 in year one, and £55,000 in year two, with regional trainees on £34,000 and £37,500 respectively.

The 2024 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

The firm has also announced its PGDL and SQE grants. Students in London will receive £12,500 for their conversion courses, with graduates taking online courses or those in the regions awarded £8,750.

For the SQE students can then expect a London grant of £17,000, with those elsewhere handed £12,000.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List shows that the outfit takes on around 65 trainees each year.

This pay boost is the latest in a string of rises that have hit firms across the UK in recent months. Fellow international firms Herbert Smith Freehills and Hogan Lovells both increased their NQ salaries to £135,000 in recent weeks, with Macfarlanes going further to hit £140,000.

HFW has also boosted its NQ pay up to £100k, with Bird & Bird climbing to £98,000.

These more recent changes follow a significant shift in the Magic Circle, with Freshfields, Linklaters, A&O Shearman, and Clifford Chance all boosting rates to £150,000 earlier this year. Slaughter and May has so far stood firm, keeping junior lawyer pay at £125,000.



Ffs shed, AG and SH what’s going on???


If twobirds and HFW are anything to go off, it’s not looking good

Shed Sheeran

Sheds will be 65k regions/100k London


Who’s rising next you reckon? Ashurst has been quiet 👀

We want a legalcheek merch store

Props to LC for the exclusive stories, here and the PW one.


Who’s rising next that non MC/US/SC??


AG, Shed, SH – any thoughts orrr?


Is the guy in pic a lawyer 🤣


I’ve heard Skadden are cancelling their London training contract programme. Can anyone confirm?

Skadden 2026 Trainee

Where did this come from?

City City

Yes heard similar. Thanks Brexit


What does that mean ? Skadden only recruits via VS. Are you saying they are cancelling their VS from next cycle ? What is the reason ? Are they not doing well ?

FTS @...

Fake news – opposite actually. Skadden looking to increase TC intake to Latham levels over the next 5 years in increments.


Thank you. Thought so. I hope the grad rec sends a note to all future trainees quelling the rumours.


Farrer & Co on £83K is criminal for a London firm

City trainee

The question is whether Farrer’s work remit is genuinely deserving of any more than £83k. If you ask any professional with ample knowledge of Farrer’s typical workload, I assure that they will answer no. Being in London alone does not entitle one to a large NQ salary.

Clairvoyant Carl

Summer 2024 horizon scanning:

CMS to £120k.

AG and Sheds both move at some point this summer as they have been at current levels for over 2 years. Wont be as strong as CMS. Likely match DLA there or thereabouts – £107.5k to £110k.

Dentons falls further with raise to £98k

Shut that shed door

Sheds has confirmed 100k Nq internally. Announcement should be made soon.


Is this true? Not heard anything in the regions – any ideas?

the shed

55.5 in regions, confirmed internally

SH Final Seat Trainee

Heard SH will increase by September after PEP and profit increases, not sure to what though?

LC Comments be like

Come onnnnnn, where are your rises Digby & Sneed?! (the highest ranked firm specialising in salmon & fisheries law in all of Peterborough)

Thou shall not receive a raise

Any news on the insurance firms?


Cost of living and interest rates are rising and yet you have all these city firm salaries rising 😅😂😂


When you reckon AG will rise next?


CMS are not moving to £120 . Let’s be for real..I can see Bakers and Ashurst rising though

Disgruntled Ash

Ashurst has risen, don’t know how they’ve kept it quiet. It’s not on par with HSF and Macs and the bunching has gotten worse.


Salary rises getting boring now 🥱


If skadden are cancelling their TCs what’s happening to those starting 2024, 2025 and 2026

Scad Arbitration

Getting let go mate but trying to place them with other firms where possible i.e. someone fails SQE and is let go from their TC.


Will they try to get everyone placed with other firms?


Is there a single source for this that isn’t LC comments?

Curious George

Wait as in, all those with confirmed TCS are getting let go?

P, W Lev, Fin N, Q


P, W executive committee partner

That CP satisfaction letter won’t draft itself


Any news from Baker???


He ran out of dough.


Nothing rising here.

Don’t put ketchup on roast dinners

The real winners here are the regional NQs. £75k in the regions is bonkers.

£75k in cities like Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester etc will go a lot further than £110k in London.


Professor Numbnuts will make it all better!!!!


Any news on SPB ?


HL doing £85k in Birmingham is insane

DLAggrieved Piper

As someone working at DLA I can tell you this isn’t close to being matched at the upper levels. Some serious crunching of the bands going on which, given that you have to cycle through four layers (associate, senior associate, legal director and salaried partner) to even have a hope of earning the big bucks from the equity is increasingly hard to escape.

DLAwesome (5pqe)

Bunching happens everywhere and is likely based on performance (both personally and team). I had c.10% raise putting me c.25k above NQ (plus bonus). Also, partners almost exclusively join the equity so there is actually one less level than at the majority of other firms.

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