Meagre Slaughter and May pay rises create two-tier Magic Circle
06 May 2016
It seems a two tier Magic Circle may be developing, as Slaughter and May
announces pay rises which leave its associates on up to £15,000 less than their peers.
Trainee and NQ salaries are both rising by £1,500, while 1PQE pay is increasing by £3,500. Both 2PQE and 3PQE salaries are increasing by £3,250. Insiders have dismissed the increases as "at best in line with inflation
", saying that S&M's lawyers are "pretty disillusioned
" because the firm has failed to match the bumper raises which Allen & Overy
gave its lawyers last year
*Unlike the other firms, Linklaters releases figures which include the bonus along with the salary, so its figures appear higher. The figures in this table are a median salary plus a median bonus.
|Allen & Overy
| Not yet
| Not yet
|| Not yet
|Slaughter and May (old pay)
**Freshfields NQs and 1PQEs fall within Freshfields' "Career Milestones Foundation" band which pays between £67,500 and £77,500. 2PQEs and 3PQEs fall within "CM1" which pays between £87,500 and £100,000. RollOnFriday takes the figure in the middle.
The result is that a significant gap pay has been reinforced, with NQs at Slaughter
and May being paid £7,000 less than their A&O counterparts, rising to a
£15,250 difference at 3PQE level. An associate said, "we don't expect to keep up with US firms, but when a lawyer at the same PQE at another MC firm is earning £10k more than you when your firm has just made up 10 new partners, it starts to grate
||Earning just £99,750: how it feels
Slaughter and May's refusal to match A&O establishes a two-tier Magic Circle for pay, with only A&O lawyers currently in the upper band, alone with their gold. Linklaters
has also given pay rises
in 2016, but it included bonuses in its figures which, once discounted, drop it back into the bottom tier with everyone else.
It remains to be seen which way Freshfields
and Clifford Chance
will jump. Neither has announced 2016 pay reviews, and staff are waiting to learn whether management will elevate them to A&O wealth, or conclude that what's good enough for Slaughters is good enough