City law pay war: Herbert Smith Freehills throws £105k at junior lawyers
The ‘silver circle’ law firm has waded into the ongoing bidding battle for junior lawyers in the City by raising newly qualified lawyer salaries to £105,000, according to reports.
Although their current “total compensation package” is £107,000, this includes both base salary and their bonus. But with the new announcement, Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) lawyers will take home £105,000 as their base salary and their bonus will be paid on top.
HSF also increased salaries for trainees earlier this year. First year trainees wages went up to £50,000 from £47,000 while second year trainees’ salaries were raised to £55,000 from £52,000.
The generous salary hike comes after “a review of the market” by the City law firm, according to Legal Cheek, which first reported the news.
“Investing in our associates and trainees helps us attract, reward and retain the very best legal talent to deliver the high calibre work we undertake for our clients in a competitive market like London,” said HSF executive partner Alison Brown.
She added that “competitive renumeration” was part of the firm’s investment in staff.
The move by HSF follows a string of similar announcements by City law firms competing for junior lawyers.
Earlier this week Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) and Mishcon de Reya announced raises for newly qualified solicitors, who will now take home £95,000 and £83,000 respectively.
From next year, newly qualified lawyers at Ropes & Gray will – we suspect smugly – 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.
Earlier this month, magic circle law firm Clifford Chance joined the pay war for junior legal talent by hiking starting salaries for newly qualified lawyers to £107,500.