CMS has upped pay for its newly-qualified (NQ) lawyers for second time in a year, after raising their salaries to sums of £100,000 a year.
The £5,000 pay rise for CMS’ freshly trained lawyers comes just a few months after the firm upped pay for its NQs to £95,000 a year in December 2021, according to legal news website LegalCheek which first broke the news.
The pay hikes put the law firm’s NQ salaries ahead of those offered UK firms such as DLA Piper and Eversheds Sutherlands – which both pay their NQs £95,000 – and on par with major players such as Macfarlanes and Squire Patton Boggs.
The pay rises bring CMS closer to those offered to NQs in Magic Circle firms including Linklaters and Allen & Overy, which currently offer newly trained lawyers sums of £107,500 a year.
At the upper end of the Magic Circle, Slaughter and May offers its NQs £115,000 while both Freshfields and Clifford Chance offer NQs salaries of £125,000 per annum.
The pay hikes come in midst of an ongoing battle for legal talent, that shows no signs of slowing down.
The recruitment war has seen the UK’s top law firms offer increasingly outrageous salaries in their efforts to win over and keep hold of employees.
The talent war comes after a boom in demand for legal services on the back of Covid-19 increased demand for new lawyers as labour shortages across the UK economy, made worse by the “Great Resignation,” also exasperated the hiring issues faced by major professional services firms.
The high salaries being offered to London NQs by US players – of up to £160,000 a year – have also pushed up the salaries on offer, as UK law firms have been increasingly forced to compete for top talent.
CMS has been approached for comment.