Herbert Smith is the latest firm to announce salary increases with one and two year PQE associates faring best under the revisions, which add an average of 15 per cent to associate salaries.
While associates with three years’ PQE will see salaries increase by just 11%, from £81,000 to £90,000, this does bring the salary for that level of experience in line with rival firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Freshfields announced a 21.6% rise for three years PQE, up from £74,000 to £90,000.
At Herbert Smith, associates with one and two years PQE have seen a rise of 16.9% with the former group rising from £59,000 to £69,000 while the latter increases from £72,000 to £81,000.
Associates also have the opportunity to enhance their salaries with a bonus structure kicking in when they have completed 1,600 hours including at least 1,500 chargeable hours and 100-plus accountable hours.
For lawyers with up to three-and-a-half years PQE, bonuses of up to 15% of their salary are available while for those with four years PQE and above the bonus ceiling is 25%, which is up from 20 per cent last year.
In terms of trainees, last year the salary was £31,000 with the figure jumping to £36,000 this year while newly qualified (NQ) lawyers will earn £64,000 under the new arrangements, up from £55,000 last year. For NQs this represents an increase of 16.4%.
To compare these salaries with other City firms, at Clifford Chance NQs will pick up a salary of £63,500 this year while at Allen & Overy the sum is £64,900, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer it is £65,000 and at Linklaters, NQs are paid £64,000.