Here comes the sun at Clifford Chance

As London basks in Friday sunshine, the junior ranks of the magic circle are feeling even happier than the rest of the city’s workforce as the pay rises just keep on coming.

Clifford Chance is the latest firm to boost its trainee and junior associate wages, with its generous approach reflecting the mood at its rivals. One-year PQEs will now take home £67,500 while second-year PQEs are the luckiest of the lot, with salaries rising by a huge 7.5 per cent to £84,000. Meanwhile, third-year PQE pay packets now sing to the tune of £93,500.

The firm’s salary rises see it out-pay Slaughter and May while Linklaters also lags behind in every category but third-year PQE, at which level it breaks even.

But for those looking to earn top dollar without crossing the pond to US firms, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer represents the best bet: its switch to a career milestone (CM) system does away with strict PQE rankings but still allows some comparison: a 3-year PQE, or CM2 lawyer, can now earn from £107,500 all the way up to £115k.

From Fleet Street to Canary Wharf, the sun is coming out.

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