London-based Macfarlanes has become the first non ‘magic-circle’ City law firm to pay newly qualified solicitors packages worth £100,000.
Base salaries for the newly qualified will rise by £5,000 to £90,000 and they’ll also pocket a 10 per cent annual bonus as well.
The company will increase salaries by £4,000 to £48,000 for first-year trainees, and by £3,500 to £52,500 for those in their second year.
“Our expectation is that our newly qualified solicitors will earn in excess of £100,000 this financial year taking into account all elements of their package,” the firm said.
Catherine Morgan-Guest, graduate recruitment and trainee development manager said, “It is always rewarding to see our trainees choosing to develop their careers with us. We look forward to seeing this new cohort progress through the firm in the years ahead.”
Founded in 1875, the firm also said new lawyers can expect to receive uncapped bonuses, worth nearly 10 per cent of annual salaries.
Starting pay for fully qualified solicitors has risen sharply in the City, as many firms compete for talent. US firms have led this rise.
City office for Texas-based firm, Vinson & Elkins increased their pay packages by 4 percent to £153,000. This compares to the five elite UK firms in the ‘magic circle’ who pay newly qualified solicitors packages between £90,500 and £100,000.
Legal practice has thrived in the UK, despite the pandemic, due to the support high-starting salaries offer. Figures show that legal profession had an increase of nearly 20 per cent overall revenue on March last year, totalling £4.06 billion.