Lawyer salary

HSF raises base salary for NQ lawyers to £120,000

Leapfrogs A&O, Links and Slaughters

Herbert Smith Freehills has increased the base salary for Newly Qualified (NQ) solicitors to £120,000.

This increase occurs legal cheek exclusively revealed today that Linklaters had informed lawyers he would not be ‘rushing’ to raise his NQ salary, while fellow Magic Circle member Allen & Overy had opted against NQ raises – for now – in light of “difficult” economic conditions.

Effective today, HSF’s most junior associates will receive an additional £15,000, or 14%, to their base salary, plus a discretionary bonus. Rates were previously set at £105,000.

The company will also increase the salaries of associates higher in the qualification scale and “make significant investments in all groups of associates”.

The NQ pay move sees the company overtake A&O and Linklaters (both £107,500) as well as Slaughter and May (£115,000). Clifford Chance and Freshfields are offering an NQ rate of £125,000.

The 2022 legal cheek List of the most

Alison Brown, HSF Executive Partner, said:

“It is essential that we continue to attract the best talent. We also want to recognize top performing lawyers at all levels. It is therefore essential for us to prioritize justice and equity for the entire population of lawyers. These new salary increases reflect the true depth of talent we hold in our NQ and across the partner population and demonstrate that we value their contribution, as the next generation leaders of our firm.

Our list of most companies shows that the company takes on around 60 interns each year, earning £50,000 in the first year and £55,000 in the second.