Macfarlanes newly qualified lawyers to earn £100k in second boost to salaries this year

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Law firm Macfarlanes has increased base salaries for its newly qualified lawyers to £100,000, up 11 per cent, according to reports.

The silver circle firm already boosted wages earlier this summer, and admitted that the raises, which followed an early review of salaries, were an “unusual step,” according to Legal Cheek, which first reported the news.

“The past 18 months have been a sustained period of high activity levels across our practices and it is right that we recognise the significant contribution made by our fee earners during that period,” explained senior partner Sebastian Prichard Jones.

Bonuses will still be paid in addition to the new base salary for newly qualified lawyers at Macfarlanes.

Trainees have also benefitted from the announcement, with their salaries raised to £50,000 in year one and £55,000 in year two – a jump of £2,000 and £2,500 respectively.

The salary hikes put newly qualified lawyers at Macfarlanes on par with their peers at Hogan Lovells and so-called ‘magic circle’ firms Freshfields, and Slaughter and May.

The news comes amid an increasingly crowded pay war between City law firms with at least ten different City law firms increasing salaries for junior lawyers in the last three weeks, in a bid to recruit and retain legal talent.

From next year, newly qualified lawyers at Ropes & Gray will take home £147,000, up 13 per cent from £130,000 while their peers at Reed Smith will receive £107,500 – a boost of 19 per cent.

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Earlier this month, magic circle law firm Clifford Chance also joined the pay war for junior legal talent by hiking starting salaries for newly qualified lawyers to £107,500.


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