Macfarlanes and Travers hike associate pay rates

Macfarlanes and Travers Smith have boosted their associate pay rates, with base salaries for newly qualified (NQ) lawyers at both firms rising to £75,000.

Macfarlanes does not operate a strict associate lockstep, with pay divided into bands covering the potential spectrum of what lawyers can earn, but base pay for NQs has been hiked by almost 6% from £71,000 to £75,000.

In total, NQs can expect to be paid between £81,300 and £90,000 when their salary and potential bonus is added together. This range assumes individual performance bonuses of 8%-15% and a firmwide bonus of 5%.

Base pay for lawyers with one year post-qualification experience (PQE) is now £81,000. The firm declined to provide salary bands for 1PQE or 2PQE lawyers because pay begins to diverge at this stage based on performance.

However, the firm did provide the potential range for 3PQE, which is between £107,350 and £123,000.

Macfarlanes operates two bonus schemes; one an individual bonus scheme for lawyers, payable in July, and a firmwide bonus scheme for all staff paid in October. The firm said it expects the firmwide bonus to be approximately 7.5% this year.

There is also the potential for fee earners to receive up to 10% of their salary as a bonus for exceptional performance.

Last year, 1PQE lawyers received between £77,000 and £79,000, 2PQE lawyers between £80,000 and £88,000 and 3PQE lawyers between £85,000 and £98,000.

Meanwhile, Travers has also increased associate salaries, with pay for NQ lawyers up 5% from £71,500 to £75,000.

Lawyers with one year PQE will be paid £82,000, while 2PQE lawyers will receive £92,000 and 3PQE lawyers will be paid £102,000.

Last year, lawyers at 1PQE were paid £79,000, 2PQE associates were paid £91,000 and 3PQE lawyers received £100,000.

Pay for trainees has also been increased, with first-years now receiving £43,500, up from £42,500 last year, and second-years taking home £49,000, up from £47,000.