HFW and Bird & Bird become latest firms to up NQ lawyer pay

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By Legal Cheek on


£100k and £98k

HFW and Bird & Bird have become the latest City law firms to increase the salaries of their most junior associates.

Rates from newly qualified (NQ) associates at HFW have moved from £95,000 to £100,000, an uplift of just over 5%. Bird & Bird, meanwhile, has upped pay by 3% from £95,000 to £98,000.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List shows HFW recruits around 18 trainee each year while Bird & Bird takes on roughly 21.

“Combined with our bonus, our compensation package is significantly more generous than our competitors for strong performers,” said Corrin Kaye, chief people officer at HFW.

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“But compensation is just one factor in what makes people want to join and stay with a firm, and we always aim to take a broader view by offering the best possible combination of rewarding work for market-leading clients, a friendly and supportive environment, good work-life balance, and opportunities to develop,” she continued.

Meanwhile, a statement from Bird & Bird read: “Although pay is important, at Bird & Bird, our culture is also central. We rank highly in the City as one of the best law firms to work at and that’s a combination of our commitment to fostering an inclusive culture and the cutting-edge nature of a lot of the work our lawyers do.”


Shed Bundy

Going from 95k to 100k and 98k respectively feels incredibly stingy… no doubt Sheds will do the same…


Oh ffs

Shed Zeppelin

Should find out later this week


Bird & Bird is likely one of the few firms that can actually get away with saying their culture justifies their lower pay imho. 98k at Bird and Bird is arguably pretty good.

Coulda Been Records-er

Using culture-er to justify-er underpaying-er is non-sensical-er.

The culture-er doesn’t pay-er for the long hours-er that B&B lawyers-er do in fact-er work-er.


They rose before AG and Watson Farley??


Rose before S&M 😂


Culture at B&B is indeed excellent (having worked at a range of MC and SC firms previously) so i expect they can probably get away with this unlike many firms


I mean 98k is good whack and if it’s to be true the hrs are reasonably bliss at B&B, very good deal imo


Ngl, I have no idea what HFW do.

Kirkland NQ

Legal Cheek seem to have left a typo – there’s no way that law firms can be paying NQs that little.


Loool birds are taking the piss, why can’t they just bump it up to 100k 🤣😂 I would feel I’m being trolled if I was an NQ there

Lame Bird

3% is so embarrassing B&B. Culture doesn’t justify being the only firm in the city to increase it by less than the rate of inflatio lolz

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