Slaughter and May has confirmed the exact amounts of its pay rises after RollOnFriday revealed yesterday that it had concluded its salary review to the sound of a slow fart. Staff were apparently left unimpressed by hikes "at best in line with inflation", of "around £2,000".

The firm has now confirmed its rises, and some bands are getting even less than £2k. Trainee salaries are rising by £1,500. A first year trainee will be paid £42,500, up from £41,000, while a second year tainee will be on £47,500, up from £46,000.

Insiders told RollOnFriday that staff were "disillusioned" with the hikes, ostensibly because they failed to match Allen & Overy's bumper salaries, which were brought in to staff delight last year.

It is clear that Slaughters really has shied away from matching Allen & Overy. NQ salaries also rise by £1,500, to £71,500, remaining £7,000 less than an A&O NQ's salary. It's the same story at every level. Slaughters has raised 1PQE pay by £3,500, but there's a gulf between the £79,000 they're now on and the eye-watering £92,000 a 1PQE receives at A&O. 2PQE pay is increasing by £3,250, to £90,250, but that's over £14,000 less than a 2PQE receives at A&O. The difference rises to £15,250 at 3PQE level.

 £k 2016 rise?
Allen & Overy
 Not yet
 78.5  92  104.5  115
Linklaters*  Yes  81  90  100  111
Clifford Chance
 Not yet
 70  75.5  88  98.5
Freshfields**  Not yet
 70  75  90.6  96.8
Slaughter and May (old pay)
 Yes  (70) 71.5
 (75.5) 79
 (87) 90.25
 (96.5) 99.75

*Unlike the other firms, Links releases figures which include the bonus along with the salary, so its figures appear higher. The figures in this table are a median salary plus a median bonus.
**Freshfields NQs and 1PQEs fall within Freshfields' "Career Milestones Foundation" band which pays between £67,500 and £77,500. 2PQEs and 3PQEs fall within "CM1" which pays between £87,500 and £100,000.

Inside sources told RollOnFriday that Slaughters staff, who on the upside do not have billable hours targets, are "pretty disillusioned". One said, "we don't expect to keep up with US firms, but when a lawyer at the same PQE at another MC firm is earning £10k more than you when your firm has just made up 10 new partners, it starts to grate".

Slaughters' new rates are effective from 1 May. Despite being lickle, they do mean that Slaugher and May pay now trumps salaries at Clifford Chance. CC staff will be waiting eagerly to see if management decides to lift them to A&O levels of wealth with a 2016 pay review or decide, naaah, if S&M can get away with it so can they.


Anonymous 04 May 16 12:13

Whilst there are obvious benefits to having a higher base salary, rather than relying on an annual bonus to top up remuneration, the Slaughter and May figures (plus a bonus), still allows one to keep up with the Joneses. What A&O did is very different. Unsure about Links and their fudging.