Slaughter and May has awarded bonuses of between 9% and 16% to all its associates. In addition it has raised trainee, NQ and 1PQE salaries.

In the firm's traditional, and admirably semi-socialist, way, all lawyers within their PQE band will receive the same discretionary performance bonus. At the top end of the scale it means that 5PQEs will take home an extra 16% of their annual salary.

PQE  Bonus % 
 NQ - 0.5 PQE  9% 
 1 - 2 PQE  12%
 2.5 - 4 PQE  14%  
 4.5 - 6.5 PQE  16%  

The bonuses will arrive in a lump sum in associates' December paypackets, and mirror the sizeable percentages awarded last crimbo.

    Surely one 3PQE will spend her bonus wisely.

The firm has also raised some junior salaries. With effect from January 2018, trainee salaries will rise by £1,000, the NQ salary by £2,000, the 6 month PQE salary by £1,500 and the 1PQE salary by £1,000.

PQE  Current salary  New salary 
 First year trainee  £43,000  £44,000
 Second year trainee  £48,000  £49,000
 NQ  £78,000  £80,000
 1PQE  £87,000  £88,000
 2PQE  £98,500  £98,500
 3PQE  £108,000  £108,000

The firm has not raised the salaries of other PQE bands after it awarded major raises in last year's sweeping benefits review. A source close to the firm said the latest small increases represented a rebalancing exercise to bring the trainee, NQ and 1PQE salaries in line with the market - albeit the Magic Circle market, not the US firm market. In a letter seen by RollOnFriday, Executive Partner Paul Stacey told staff that the raises were being implemented because "we aim to pay broadly in line with the average of the other Magic Circle firms' total cash (salary and bonus)".

However a spokesman did not rule out further increases next year, telling RollOnFriday that a salary review would take place in the spring.