HSF and CMS hold City associate pay rates while Jones Day hikes London NQ salaries to £100,000


Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) and CMS have held London trainee and associate salaries at the same levels for 2017-18, while US firm Jones Day has boosted pay for newly qualified (NQ) London lawyers by 18%.

Jones Day has increased City NQ lawyer salaries by 18% from £85,000 to £100,000.

The US firm has also increased its rates for its trainees. First year trainee pay has increased by 4% from £45,000 to £47,000, while second year trainees will take home £54,000 – an 8% increase on last year.

Meanwhile, HSF has held its trainee and NQ salaries for this year after it hiked its payscales and rolled bonuses and base salaries together last year. Associates at the firm receive different total packages depending on performance.

From this year, the firm has changed the way it calculates bonuses on the scale, with associate performances looked at in greater detail.

In a statement, HSF said: “We are introducing more flexibility to be able to consider an associate’s wider contribution to the firm, alongside their performance and skills, when determining their compensation packages. We will be able to better reward our very strongest performers.”

The firm also said it is “looking to review its salary structure”, with no changes to the current scale expected before next year.

First year trainees at the firm will continue to receive £44,000, while second year trainees will receive £48,000.

Total compensation for high performing NQs ranges from £82,000 to £90,000, while high-performing lawyers with one year’s post-qualification experience (PQE) receive between £87,000 and £95,000.

Those with two years’ PQE receive between £97,000 and £107,000, while high performing three-year PQE associates receive between £112,000 and £122,000, including bonus.

Elsewhere, London trainees at CMS will continue to earn £40,000 in their first year, and £45,000 in their second. City NQ lawyers will continue to receive £67,500.

However, the firm has introduced a series of salary increases across the firm’s other offices.

First year trainees at its Bristol office will now receive £37,000, up 16% from £32,000 last year, while second year trainees will take home £39,000, up 15% from £34,000 last year.

Pay for NQ lawyers in Bristol has been boosted by 3%, from £47,000 to £49,000.

The firm’s first year trainees in its Scotland offices will now receive £24,000, up 7% from £22,500 last year. NQ lawyers in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen will take home £39,000.

NQ lawyers in the firm’s Sheffield and Manchester office will receive £40,000, the same rates as last year.