Slaughters plays catch-up with new associate salaries

Slaughter and May has finally announced a pay hike for its associates, coming in just behind the majority of the magic circle.

The long-anticipated announcement, the firm’s second in six months, sees Slaughters gift its newly qualified associates (NQs) a 5.8 per cent rise, taking base salary to £63,500 from where it stood at £60,000.

Associates with one year’s post-qualification experience (PQE) will get £67,000; two-year PQEs will take home £78,000 and third-year PQEs will receive £86,000.

This means that Slaughters is behind Allen & Overy (A&O), Linklaters and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, who now offer NQs £65,000, £64,000 and £65,000 respectively. Slaughters’ pay rise takes it broadly in line with Clifford Chance, the first firm to hike pay for associates.

But Slaughters also operates a bonus system. The firm has no target hours and all fee-earners are eligible for a 15 per cent bonus. This means that a Slaughters’ one-year PQE could earn over £77,000 in total remuneration.

Like A&O, Slaughters had already increased its pay for associates by 12 to 15 per cent in the autumn and both firms were leading the market until Clifford Chance announced its pay rise (see The Lawyer, 12 April).

Slaughters declined to comment.