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Newly qualified and trainee solicitors across the City have been celebrating after receiving their biggest pay rises for several years.
Herbert Smith, Norton Rose, Simmons & Simmons and SJ Berwin have boosted their newly qualified's salaries by 10 per cent to £55,000. Linklaters, which kicked off the salary hikes, has increased its newly qualified's salaries by 6 per cent to £55,100.
Magic circle firms Allen & Overy (A&O) and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have increased their newly qualified's salaries to £52,000 and £55,000 respectively. Freshfields has also extended its performance-related bonus to its most junior lawyers for the first time.
Lovells has announced newly qualified pay rises just below the benchmark of £53,000. The firm has also beefed up its performance-related bonus for all associates to 30 per cent from 2007.
Trainees have also benefitted from the recent wave of pay rises. A&O and Linklaters are now paying their first- year trainees £33,000 and £31,300 respectively. Herbert Smith, Linklaters and Lovells have increased their first-year trainee pay to £31,000. Meanwhile, national firms Addleshaw Goddard and Eversheds now pay their first-year trainees in London £29,000.
For second-year trainees, A&O is now paying £37,000, Lovells and Herbert Smith £35,000 and Norton Rose £33,000. Addleshaws and Eversheds will pay their London-based second-year trainees £32,000.
Lovells is also extending a number of its staff benefits, including interest-free season ticket loans, to its LPC students. Clare Harris, head of graduate recruitment at Lovells, attributed the pay rises to a number of factors. "Investment banking is very active and management consultancy is back online," she said. "Firms are also very mindful of student debt."
At the time Lawyer 2B went to press, Clifford Chance, which shocked the market by slashing its newly qualified salaries in 2003, was the only magic circle firm not to have announced associate pay rises.