Slaughter and May raises junior associate pay and hands out end-of-year bonuses of up to 16%

Slaughter and May has announced that it will hand out end-of-year associate bonuses of up to 16%, alongside an increase in pay rates for junior lawyers and trainees.

The bonuses, which the firm said it will pay to “associates achieving a good or exceptional level of performance”, will see newly-qualified lawyers receive a 9% bonus, while associates with between four-and-a-half and six-and-a-half years’ post-qualification experience (PQE) will take home a 16% bonus.

Associates with between one and two years’ PQE will receive a 12% bonus, while two-and-a-half to four PQE associates will get a 14% payout.

The bonuses will be included in associates’ December pay.

The firm is also raising some of its junior salaries to “reflect current market rates”, after choosing to freeze pay and benefits in June this year.

NQ pay is going up £2,000 to £80,000, while 1PQE pay is increasing by £1,000 to £88,000. Pay for associates at six months post-qualification is being raised by £1,500 to £84,000.

Pay for 2PQE and 3PQE associates is being held at current levels – £98,500 and £108,000 respectively.

The magic circle firm is also increasing its trainee rates by £1,000, with first-years now earning £44,000 and second-years taking home £49,000. All changes will come into effect in January.

Last year, Slaughters ushered in a series of pay and benefits reforms, including increasing London associate salaries by up to 10%.

The changes saw Slaughters move away from performance-based pay, a decision that senior partner Steve Cooke said would “clearly differentiate” the firm from its competitors.