Regulator boosts minimum trainee pay

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has announced a small hike in the minimum salary firms must pay to trainee solicitors.

The minimum annual salary for trainees working in London has been increased from £17,110 to £17,660 with effect from today (1 August). Meanwhile, the minimum pay for trainees working elsewhere in England and Wales has been increased from £15,332 to £15,820. These new levels will be in place for a 12-month period.

The SRA also specifies two recommended salary levels for trainees. This figure is now £18,090 in London and £16,100 elsewhere.

As first reported on in May the minimum trainee salary was spared the axe after the SRA completed a consultation, which showed overwhelming support for retaining the status quo. However, the eventual fate of the minimum salary will only be determined once the regulator completes its review of legal education and training.

Commenting on the new minimum salary levels Melissa Worth, president of the Trainee Solicitors’ Group, said: “I don’t think that the increase is any less than usual. That’s not to say that I don’t think trainees should get paid more. Compared to other graduates £16,000 is low. However, if we complain too much about the minimum salary the SRA may abolish altogether. Apparently, many firms struggle to pay trainees even the minimum salary.”