Both firms have increased newly qualified salaries to £55,000 to match the amount paid by Linklaters, which raised its salaries with effect from 1 May.
Freshfields has also increased the salaries of second-year associates by 12.9 per cent, taking them from £62,000 to £70,000. Additionally, it has extended its performance-related bonus scheme to newly qualified solicitors. Until now the firm has only paid bonuses to associates with a miniumum of two year’s post-qualified experience.
Simmons, which previously paid its newly qualifieds £50,000, has also announced pay hikes for its trainees. First-year trainees will now receive £31,000 compared to £29,000 previously.
Clifford Chance is now the only magic circle firm not to have raised trainee and associate pay. Allen & Overy raised its salaries at the same time as Linklaters.