Shearman ups associate pay by 6.4 per cent after record year in City

Shearman & Sterling has boosted associate salary rates across the board in its latest UK lawyer salary review, a move which follows a London turnover rise of 20 per cent. 

Although there were no special bonuses on the back of the financial results, the US firm has chosen to increase pay rates across its three-tier merit-based structure by 6.4 per cent. 

This means that UK junior associates’ salaries will now range from £83,000 (NQ rate) to £114,000, compared to £78,000 to £108,000 last year.

Meanwhile mid-level associates – those with between three-and-a-half and six years’ post-qualification experience (PQE) experience – will now earn between £115,000 and £145,000, up 5.5 per cent compared to the £109,000 to £142,000 bracket last year. 

Senior associates with six-and-a-half year’s PQE or more will earn £146,000 “and above” – the firm did not provide a maximum figure for this bracket.

The changes only apply to English-qualified lawyers and those training to be English-qualified in the US firm’s London and Abu Dhabi offices. 

A spokesperson for the firm, which kept 11 of its 13 trainees last year, confirmed that first and second year trainee rates would not be changed.

Shearman was one of the obvious winners in the US reporting season. The firm’s London office saw its turnover grow from $112.6m to $134.8m during the year, while its global revenue inched up 9.1 per cent to $820.5m.

EMEA managing partner Nick Buckworth credited the increase on the firm’s global three-year growth plan, which was spearheaded by the firm’s former European chief Creighton Condon after he was made senior partner in 2012 (2 May 2012).

Major hires for the London office during the year included a three-strong private equity team from Weil Gotshal & Manges, including high-profile partner Mark Soundy (15 May 2013). The move was effectively a London practice launch for Shearman, which only carried out a small amount of private equity work in the City through corporate partner Jeremy Kutner.

Buckworth said: “The latest salary rate increases are testament to our ongoing commitment to rewarding the very talented lawyers we have working at Shearman & Sterling and recognising their contribution to the firm’s success. We continue to focus on and support individual associate career development and progression.”