Reed Smith's latest salary and bonus review in London will give junior lawyers a £25k bonus if they hit 2,000 hours in a year. 

"Most people will get a salary bump this year (save for those made senior last year)" a contented source told RollOnFriday. Here is the latest salary alongside last year's pay:

  2019 2020
NQs and junior associates

£77,000 to £88,000 

£90,000 to £100,000

Mid-level (2/3 PQE to 4/6 PQE)

£89,000 to £115,000 £95,000 to £125,000
Senior associates  £110,000 plus

£110,000 plus (unchanged from 2018)


As well as the salary increases, the firm has changed its bonus structure. Under the previous system there was a fixed component for lawyers who hit their target hours: juniors got £7,500, mid-level associates got £10,650 and senior lawyers received £14,500.

The firm has now introduced a tier system to dangle a gold carrot for hard-working (or beasted) associates who reach 2,000 hours; juniors will be rewarded with a £25k bonus, mid-level associates will get a £40k bonus, while senior lawyers will earn a tidy bonus of £60k. Here's the bonus table:

Junior associates  
1,700 hours £8,500
1,800 hours £12,000
1,900 hours £18,000
2,000 hours £25,000
Mid-level associates (2/3 PQE to 4/6 PQE)  
1,700 hours £12,750
1,800 hours £18,000
1,900 hours £27,000
2,000 hours £40,000
Senior associates   
1,700 hours £16,500
1,800 hours £25,000
1,900 hours £40,000
2,000 hours £60,000

Money hamster

Made to work for it though

The firm has increased its billable hour targets from 1,650 to 1,700 hours. "Credited" billable hours will count towards the total, such as pro-bono matters and "innovation" work. A Reed Smith spokesman said the latter would comprise of "pre-approved projects" which deliver "innovative solutions that improve the way we work or the services and products that we deliver to our clients.” Which may be a joy/nightmare depending on an associate's willingness to embrace every law firm's favourite buzzword.

As was the case in previous years, there will also be a discretionary element added to the bonuses. 

Reed Smith's spokesman said the salary and bonus changes ensured the firm remained “competitive with the market" and enabled it "to continue to attract and retain the top talent".

If your firm has recently increased salaries or bonuses, spill the beans.

Tip Off ROF


Anonymagic 24 January 20 11:24

Can someone please shed light on why the salary difference between a NQ and a senior associate would be so low? 


Traditionally, a senior associate (someone 6-8 PQE) should be making 2x what a NQ makes. 


How is it possible that there is only £20k-30k difference between the two?


Something is not right!

SPB toiler 24 January 20 12:12

Meanwhile the mill owners at SPB ask for more sweat, dripping by the light of the lamp, for even less pay. Where are our raises?!

Dearie 25 January 20 21:16

Any idiot can grind out hours - actually tends to be the major idiots who do. Whereas those who are more efficient and get their work done in a timely fashion are pilloried. But hey each idiot to their own.

Anonymous 29 January 20 05:35

Ok so there's 80000 hours in an average career. 2000 hours per year. They will literally never finish their careers..! Bebop boom pow

Related News