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Are the good times finally over? Well that depends on your law firm. The start of May typically coincides with law firms announcing new pay bands for their trainee solicitors and associates.
If youve been keeping a close eye on Lawyer2B.com this week then you wont have failed to notice that Linklaters, the first magic circle firm to announce salary rises, is hiking its lawyer pay by an average of 2.5 per cent, which is less than the rate of inflation.
Its newly qualified solicitors (NQs) are the biggest winners with a salary increase of 3.9 per cent to 66,600. Seat one trainees get the second largest rise, with their salaries jumping by 3.6 per cent to 37,400.
But more worryingly top ten City firm Herbert Smith has confirmed that it wont be increasing its lawyers pay. This is in stark contrast to 2007 when like many of its rivals the firm raised salaries by an average of 15 per cent, with trainees seeing a rise from 31,000 to 36,000. NQs, meanwhile, saw their salaries rise by 16.4 per cent from 55,000 to 64,000.
Youll be pleased to know that its not all bad news. As we reported earlier today (1 May) Bird & Bird has shrugged off the gloomy economic climate and announced a whopping 19 per cent jump in its first year trainee salaries from 31,000 to 37,000. Meanwhile, second year trainees will see their pay increase by 14 per cent from 35,000 to 40,000. The move should bring Bird & Birds remuneration closer to its larger City rivals (see Lawyer2B.com salary index).
Shearman & Sterling was the first US firm to boost its trainee and NQ pay rates. NQs at Shearman will now earn 80,000 an increase of 7 per cent while first and second year trainees will receive 39,000 and 41,500 respectively.
Pinsent Masons has taken a more innovative approach to trainee pay and has launched a brand new performance-related bonus scheme, with successful candidates in line for a 5,000 windfall on qualification (See story).
Lawyer2B.com will continue to bring you all the latest on salary announcements so keep logging on. And dont forget to get in touch if your firm is increasing trainee pay.