City salaries still leave regions in out in the cold

City lawyers' earnings are continuing to soar ahead of their national colleagues, according to the latest salary survey from recruitment consultants Michael Page Legal.

The twice-yearly survey of 500 firms throughout the UK found that experienced regional lawyers are often earning £25,000 to £30,000 less than their colleagues in the City.

Newly-qualified City solicitors' salaries have increased by about £6,000 in the past three years and by up to £15,000 for those with around four years of experience.

This latest survey reflects a continuing rise in pay, with the bleak days of the early 1990s now a distant memory.

Michael Page consultant Dan Richards said the upward pressure on solicitors' salaries was coming from the influx of generously-paying US firms, as well as a thriving economy.

“In the City particularly the push has come from the impact of US firms but also the buoyant economy and an increase in corporate instructions. And if your people are working 70, 80 or 90-hour weeks, you have to pay them well,” said Richards.

He said he thought the ceiling for salaries had not yet been reached and the upward trend was likely to continue for some time.