DLA Piper boosts London salaries after delayed review and ups holiday allowance

DLA Piper has increased holiday allowance for UK staff and boosted pay for London trainees and associates.

The moves come after the firm delayed salary reviews until July to assess what its rivals were doing first. DLA, which traditionally reviews salaries in May, will now backdate all increases to the start of that month.

The pay overhaul means newly qualified (NQ) London lawyers will take home £75,000, up 7% from £70,000, with first-year trainees now earning £44,000, up from £42,000, with second-year trainees getting £49,000, up from £47,000.

For more senior lawyers, combined salary including bonus potential for lawyers with one year’s post qualification experience (PQE) is up to £82,000 from £76,500, while lawyers with two years’ PQE can make £95,000 including bonus, up from £85,000.

Outside of London, the firm has opted to hold UK trainee salaries at last year’s rate of £27,000 for first-years and £30,000 for second-years, while NQs have received a £1,000 increase to £42,000.

The firm has also reviewed its staff benefits, with holiday allowance for all UK staff increasing from 25 days to 28, with the option of purchasing additional days of leave. The firm has also launched an online discount and cashback scheme.

DLA UK managing partner Sandra Wallace (pictured) said: “We consistently recognise the contributions of our people and want to reward them competitively. With that in mind, delaying our associate salary review was the right decision to make; it’s meant that we are now better positioned in the market – both in London and the rest of England.”

The firm has also overhauled its bonus system, but declined to comment on exactly how it has changed.

Wallace said: “We reviewed bonuses in line with business objectives, and employees now have more opportunity to earn a bonus and the amounts – we believe – are more compelling.”

Yesterday, Legal Week reported that the firm had extended parental leave in Hong Kong, with new and expectant mothers now having access to 18 weeks of fully paid maternity leave and paternity leave doubling from five to 10 days with full pay.

DLA salaries in London:  

  • NQ: £75,000
  • PQE1: average earnings including bonus potential: £82,000
  • PQE2: average earnings including bonus potential: £95,000
  • Trainee year 1: £44,000
  • Trainee year 2: £49,000

DLA UK salaries outside London: 

  • NQ: £42,000
  • PQE1: average earnings including bonus potential: £46,500
  • PQE2: average earnings including bonus potential: £53,000
  • Trainee year 1: £27,000
  • Trainee year 2: £30,000