"Hurrah! We're almost in as much demand as HGV drivers."
Slaughter and May has raised trainee salaries for the second time in a year.
New starters will get £50k, up from £47k. Second year trainees will get £55k, up £2,500 from £52,500. The firm had raised trainee salary in February from £45k to £47k (first year trainees), and £51k to £52.5k (second year trainees).
The uplift in pay, effective from 1 September, means that Slaughters' trainees will now be paid the same as their peers at Clifford Chance, Freshfields and Linklaters. Fellow Magic Circle firm Allen & Overy pays its trainees £47.5k in their first year, and £53k for year two.
Over the summer, Slaughter and May also boosted base salary for its newly-qualified solicitors to £100,000, matching Clifford Chance, Freshfields and Linklaters. Allen & Overy also pays its NQs £100k - but only when a bonus is included.
As pay wars continue to escalate to attract junior talent, a source told RollOnFriday that Freshfields has raised the salary of 1PQE lawyers to £130k. RollOnFriday asked the firm about this, but a spokeswoman said, as a matter of policy, the firm did not comment on pay.
In other news, Slaughter and May has also announced that Deborah Finkler has been elected as the firm’s first Managing Partner. In a significant change for the firm's leadership structure, the newly created role will take on the functions of the current head roles of Practice Partner, as well as strategic elements of the Executive Partner’s role. Finkler will start the new role in May 2022, when current Practice Partner David Wittmann and Executive Partner Paul Stacey step down.
“I am delighted to announce Deborah’s appointment," said the firm's Senior Partner, Steve Cooke. "Her reputation as a practitioner is outstanding and she combines this experience with great knowledge of the firm from her time as Head of our Disputes and Investigations Group and as a previous member of the Partnership Board. These were roles to which she brought great drive and integrity and make her ideally equipped to be the firm’s first Managing Partner”.
“It is an exciting challenge for me, and I am grateful for the support of my partners as I step up," said Finkler. "I am looking forward to shaping the role of and hiring the COO over the coming months."
Georgia Dawson became the first woman to lead a Magic Circle firm when she started the role as Freshfields Senior Partner in January this year. Linklaters' first female Senior Partner, Aedamar Comiskey, stepped into the position in July this year. Elsewhere in the City, HSF's first female Senior Partner, Rebecca Maslen-Stannage began her term in May this year. And Karen Davies took up the role as Ashurst's global Chair in August.