(3) Linklaters Median salary: 71,000? Bonus: 10,000 Linklaters which is arguably the Citys top training contract provider, offering 110 places annually saw its turnover increase by 1.6 per cent to 1.26bn over the last financial year. According to Legal Week, the firm saw a boost in pre-tax profits of six per cent to 420m, leaving a healthy sum of over 402.5m to be divvied out amongst its 2,387 lawyers and 287 partners. Furthermore, May 2015 saw the firm boost pay for its junior lawyers. And while first-year trainee pay saw a rise of five per cent, newly qualified lawyers were given an extra 5.5 per cent. (4) Hogan LovellsMedian salary: £72,000 Bonus: None Much like Linklaters, Hogan Lovells bumped up the salaries of its newly qualified lawyers in 2015 by 5,000 to 70,000 in order to match the salary on offer at magic circle firm Slaughter and May. This “war of the wages” saw a hike that was more than double the pay rise given to newly qualified lawyers at Hogan Lovells the prior year, when salaries rose by 2,000 to 65,000 to make Hogan Lovells one of the top-paying law firms in the City. While it no longer maintains its top spot, the company still pays its staff an equal amount to those of magic circle businesses. (5) Herbert Smith Freehills Median salary: £69,000? Bonus: 2,700 On par with most of the firms on the list, Freehills pitched into the City salary war in 2015. But while magic circle firms may continue to pay higher salaries for more experienced lawyers than Freehills does, the firm saved its biggest increases for those with two or three years’ PQE to reduce that gap. Lawyers with two years’ PQE received a ten per cent salary bump from 79,000 to 87,000 and those with three years’ PQE were handed an eight per cent rise to 89,000. Meanwhile, magic circle firm Clifford Chance was trumped by Freehills, whose median 2,700 bonus adds to its 69,000 salary to push it above Clifford Chance’s 70,000 median salary. By Shan Schutte
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