Ashurst raises NQ pay to £65,000

Ashurst has announced a modest pay rise for newly-qualified lawyers, which will see the group paid £65,000, an increase of £1,000 on last year’s salary.

The 1.5 per cent increase is a dramatically lower than last year’s rise, when the firm announced pay increases for NQ lawyers of 16 per cent.

Ashurst abolished its PQE system in July last year, and now assesses remuneration, career progression and cost to clients on a competency-based system.

However the salary band for junior assistant 2 (J2), which is roughly equivalent to that the old PQE 2 level in terms of experience, goes up to £72,500, HR director Peter Griffith said.

Nevertheless the actual amount paid will vary from individual to individual, he added.

“It isn’t a right that because you’ve been qualified for two years you are entitled to a certain amount of money. There are some people that are excellent and others that are not so excellent.”

This year’s lower rise comes against a backdrop of double digit growth in turnover at the silver circle firm, which announced £323m in revenue for 2007-08 (The Lawyer,