Herbert Smith freezes associate pay; makes 10 of counsel

Herbert Smith freezes associate pay; makes 10 of counselHerbert Smith will not be increasing associate salaries this year, with pay levels for trainees, newly qualifieds and those with post-qualification experience (PQE) of one, two and three years remaining unchanged.

Last year the firm raised salaries by an average of 15 per cent, with trainees seeing a rise from £31,000 to £36,000. Newly-qualifieds saw their salaries rise 16.4 per cent from £55,000 to £64,000.

For associates with one and two years PQE, salaries rose 16.9 per cent to £69,000 and £81,000 respectively. Those with three years PQE saw a rise of 11 per cent to £90,000.

A firm spokesman observed that associates will naturally receive a pay rise by moving through the PQE levels, and said the firm felt that keeping salaries static is a prudent business decision in the current business climate.

Meanwhile Herbert Smith has also promoted 10 senior associates to the of counsel role, all at its London office.

The of counsel role, which was introduced two years ago following a period of poor retention at the firm, is available to senior associates throughout the firm’s international network.

The fact that all the promotions have come in the London office is a direct contrast with the firm’s latest round of partnership promotions, which saw the majority of promotions made overseas.

The of counsel promotions are reasonably evenly split between practice areas with the real estate, competition, litigation and IP groups receiving two apiece, while corporate and real estate dispute resolution have received one each.

Managing partner David Willis said: “These promotions are a testament to the high standing [the new of counsel] have within their practice areas and to the contribution they make to the broader success of the firm.”

This year’s promotions are:

Philip Beer – Real estate
Jill Chung – Real estate
Charlotte Bijlani – Real estate dispute resolution
Ray Cahill – EU/Competition
Tim Briggs – EU/Competition
John Williams – Corporate
Adam Nell – Litigation
Hayley Evans – Litigation
Morag Peberdy – IP
Kate Brimsted – IP