City associates pay rises, but US firms still lead the way

Associate pay is up at top UK firms, but it still trails pampered chums at US firms

Those lucky City boys and girls have received good news in recent weeks.

At Clifford Chance, salaries for NQ lawyers have jumped by 3.25 per cent, from £61,500 to £63,500. And this goes to up to £76,200 with the maximum bonus.

One-year PQE associates’ wages have increased by 0.7 per cent, from £69,000 to £69,500. With bonuses, this can reach £90,350.

Second-year PQE associates’ pay packets have risen by 2.5 per cent, from £76,300 to £78,200, which can increase to £101,660 with bonuses, while third-years will see their wage packets bulge by 0.9 per cent, from £87,000 to £87,800 – or a maximum of £114,140 including the full bonus.

Ashurst has left NQ wages unchanged at £61,000. However, the firm has upped one-year PQE pay by 3 per cent, from £67,000 to £69,000. Second-year PQE salaries have risen by 4 per cent, from £74,000 to £77,000.

Herbert Smith Freehills has increased all pay bands this year.NQ pay has increased by 2.4 per cent from £61,500 to £63,000. First-year PQE salary has gone up by 0.7 per cent, from £68,500 to £69,000, while second-years saw their wages rise 2.6 per cent, from £75,00 to £77,000. Pay for third-years has risen by 1.2 per cent, from £85,000 to £86,000.

It all sounds very jammy, but when compared to the £103,000 earned by some NQs at US outposts in London we suspect some may go just a little green-eyed with envy. After all, too much is never enough.