Clifford Chance has bumped up pay for its trainees from £46,600 to £48,000 for first years and from £52,500 to £54,000 for second years. A rise of 3%.

The hike, which is effective from September, means that CC trainees will be the most handsomely rewarded of the Magic Circle firms in the UK.

Allen & Overy has also increased salary this week, from £45,000 to £46,500 (first years) and from £50,000 to £52,500 (second years). Nice, although £3k less than CC over the two-year training contract.

It remains to be seen whether the other Magic Circle firms will also boost salary. At Linklaters, trainee salary stands at £47,000 for first years and £52,500 for second years. Trainees at Freshfields and Slaughter and May receive the lowest wages out of the Magic Circle firms with both firms offering salaries of £45,000 for first years and £51,000 for second years. £6k less than CC over the two years.


For a month's net salary, second-year trainees at CC could purchase a golden toad

However, the trainees with the biggest, shiniest watches in London are likely to be found at the US firms. Davis Polk & Wardwell showers first year trainees with a salary of £55,000 and second years with £60,000. Kirkland & Ellis, Sidley Austin, Milbank, Debevoise & Plimpton, Sullivan & Cromwell et al pay £50,000 (first years) and £55,000 (second years). 

Trainee salary rises at CC and A&O, follow the NQ gold rush when Freshfields hiked the pay for NQs to £100k in May. The Magic Circle and a number of City firms scrambled to match Freshfields (and each other); although at some of those firms, the opportunity for NQs to reach six figures is dependent on a discretionary bonus.  

The pay rises in the City have been widely seen as a move to turn junior eyes back from US firms, which, without a thought for the bank balances of partners at UK firms, have sprayed their NQs with salaries of over £140,000 (and that's not counting the bonus).

Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 09 August 19 10:40

in the year 2000 my CC NQ salary was bumped up to £50k. in case that gives some perspective. i cannot recall the then price of 10'' golden toads.

Anonymous 09 August 19 15:53

The challenges of finding an inflationary index that can apply to both salaries and retail prices are immense.  It is for this reason that I propose that we abandon the RPI, and ASHE, and instead peg everything to the price of a 10" Collection China Cloisonne 24k Gold Toad Spittor Animal Statue as at 9 August 2019.

Anonymous 14 August 19 09:34

Do any parents still encourage their progeny into medicine or law?  If so, the children should be revolting.

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