Freshfields raises associate salaries and allows band progression

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has announced a marginal increase in its associate salaries, with pay rising between 2 and 3 per cent for lawyers in their first three years following qualification.

In addition to increasing the value of each salary band, the firm is allowing junior solicitors to progress through its associate lockstep.

Newly qualified (NQ) solicitors will earn £61,500 in 2011-12, up from £60,000 last year. Those with one-year post-qualification experience (PQE) will take home £69,500 as opposed to £68,000 in 2010-11.

Two-year PQEs will take home £77,000, up from £75,000, while three-year PQEs will see their pay packet go up from £86,000 to £88,000. A Freshfields spokesperson confirmed that pay above the three-year level would also go up but said the firm did not reveal these salaries.

Last year, Freshfields became the first UK firm to lift the salary freeze that many had put in place at the beginning of the recession (25 February 2010).

Magic circle rivals Allen & Overy and Linklaters have both announced that their salary bands will remain at 2010-11 levels for the new financial year, but they will allow lawyers to pass through the bands as before (16 May 2011).

Slaughter and May’s twice-yearly pay review, meanwhile, resulted in marginal pay rises on a similar scale to those at Freshfields.