Ashurst boosts trainee and NQ pay following two-year pay freeze

Ashurst has broken its two-year pay freeze for London-based trainees and newly-qualified lawyers, upping its junior pay bands by up to 3.3 per cent.

First-year trainees have been gifted a 2.6 per cent pay rise from £38,000 to £39,000, while second-year trainees saw their salaries bumped up 2.3 per cent from £43,000 to £44,000. Newly-qualified lawyers saw their pay packets increased from £61,000 to £63,000 – a rise of 3.3 per cent.

The pay rises mark a sea-change for Ashurst, which opted to keep salary levels for trainees and NQs static for the second year running in June 2013 (5 June 2013).

Ashurst has a merit-based system for associates, but its “spot rates” or average salaries fall at about £69,000 at 1 year PQE, £77,000 at 2 years, and £85,000 at 3 years’ PQE.

The figures remain flat following substantial pay hikes last year, which saw Ashurst increase pay for its 1-year PQE lawyers by 3 per cent from £67,000 to £69,000. At 2 years’ PQE, salaries rose by 4 per cent to £77,000.

A number of firms have released details of their remuneration packages for 2014/15 in recent weeks. Newly-qualified lawyers at Slaughter and May saw their pay increased by 3.2 per cent to £65,000 (30 April 2014), while Linklaters’ three-year PQE lawyers received a salary boost of £93,500 (12 May 2014).