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Clifford Chance’s newly-qualified lawyers can now earn up to £76,200 for 2013/14, but it’s not quite soon enough for its associates to start tootling in to Canary Wharf in BMWs. The full amount is conditional on receiving the maximum bonus of £12,700, or 20 per cent of the basic £63,500 pay rate for NQs.
But solicitors at smaller competitors will still balk at the amounts CC’s young lawyers are receiving. Including the full bonuses, one, two and three-year PQEs will receive £90,350, £101,660 and £114,140 respectively. These include bonuses of up to £26,340 for 3 PQEs, or 23 per cent of the basic rate. And senior associate bonuses are static at 40 per cent of regular pay.
Clifford Chance is roughly on a par with its magic circle rivals: only Linklaters pays a higher basic rate to NQs, although Freshfields – which operates a different system based on merit not tenure – pays £65,000-£72,500 o those on its first ‘milestone’.
In the environment of cuts elsewhere in the profession (the Bar Council and Bar Standards Board have both slammed the Government’s legal aid policy today), Clifford Chance associates don’t seem to be doing too badly.