A&O joins magic circle rivals in hiking associate pay

Allen & Overy (A&O) has raised associate salaries to match its magic circle rivals, six months after originally freezing pay for its youngest qualified lawyers.

The firm has raised pay for its newly-qualified (NQ) solicitors to £64,000, up from £61,500. First-year lawyers will see salaries rise from £68,500 to £69,500, second-year pay rises from £74,500 to £78,500, and salaries for lawyers with three years’ post-qualification experience (PQE) go up from £86,000 to £89,000. 

A&O originally announced in May that it had frozen pay at the NQ and one to three-year PQE levels (17 May 2013 ), although it did raise salaries for trainees at the financial year-end (23 April 2013 ).

Pay levels now match those offered by the firm’s peers. Clifford Chance (4 June 2013 ), Linklaters (7 May 2013 ) and Slaughter and May (30 April 2013 ) all raised salaries this year. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (10 May 2013 ) also froze associate salaries this year, but its NQ rate was already higher than A&O’s at £65,000.

In a statement, A&O said: ”Following a review of the legal salary market, we will be increasing base salaries at the junior and mid associate level to ensure our total reward proposition remains competitive at all levels and in recognition of the significant contribution our associates make to the success of our business.”

The pay rises are effective today (1 November).

The news was first reported by Roll on Friday.

Magic circle associate salaries
Firm NQ 1 PQE 2 PQE 3 PQE
Allen & Overy £64,000 £69,500 £78,500 £89,000
Clifford Chance £63,500 £69,500 £78,200 £87,800
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer * £65,000-£72,500 £80,000-£92,500 £100,000-£107,500 £115,000
Linklaters £64,000 £69,500 £78,250 £89,000
Slaughter and May £63,000 £69,500 £78,000 £87,500
*bands are career milestones based on merit rather than tenure