Slaughter and May

boosted its associate and trainee pay last week, making its lawyers among the best paid in the City.

Traditionally, the top 10 firm conducts biannual pay reviews and last week’s rises come just six months after Slaughters followed other firms by improving associate and trainee salaries.

Slaughters associates across all PQE bands have seen their take-home pay boosted. Lawyers with two years’ PQE saw the biggest rise, of 7.7 per cent. They now earn £84,000, up from £78,000. Those with one year’s PQE receive £71,500, up from £67,000.

Slaughters trainees now take home £38,000 in base salary during their first seat and £43,000 during their second seat, increases of 5.6 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively.

Slaughters’ trainees now earn an equal amount to their counterparts at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. The two are the most generous of UK-headquartered firms in terms of trainee pay and are only pipped in London by US firms including Weil Gotshal & Manges and Jones Day.

Freshfields remained sanguine about Slaughters’ move. Freshfields’ HR director Tim Cole commented: “Obviously, we monitor salaries across the market as closely as possible, but our practice is to make adjustments in May each year.”

Meanwhile, Slaughters newly qualifieds’ pay was nudged up by 2.3 per cent to £65,000, in line with magic circle rivals Allen & Overy and Freshfields.

In addition, associates and trainees at Slaughters are eligible for a discretionary 15 per cent bonus. The firm has no chargeable hours target.

Linklaters is the only top 10 firm that offers both its trainees and associates a performance-related bonus of up to 40 per cent, as well as a firmwide bonus.