german doll

With £7,300 a month to spend, Shearman NQs can now afford 12 loveable companions a year.

Shearman & Sterling has raised the salaries of its newly-qualified solicitors to £145,000, RollOnFriday can reveal.

The US firm had already raised NQ pay from £120,000 to £135,000 in April this year, but since then it had been leapfrogged by the likes of Latham & Watkins, Akin Gump, Simpson Thacher, Kirkland & Ellis and a number of other US firms in London. Last week ROF revealed that Weil had decided to increase its NQ pay to £145k as well, from £133,000.

But now Shearman has matched its competitors, and the knock-on effect has benefitted its more qualified solicitors.

Pay for Shearman & Sterling 1PQEs has increased by ten grand to £155,000, 3PQEs will now be on a huge £195,000 instead of a huge £170,000, and 6PQEs will be paid £250,000.

Shearman & Sterling has one of the happiest workforces in UK law, placing joint second in the RollOnFriday Firm of the Year 2021 Survey, in which lawyers rate their satisfaction with their firms. A juicy autumn pay bump should help secure its status as a competitive destination in a superheated market for trainees and laterals.

Reading this and work as a lawyer in-house? Then please do take a minute to complete our poll below. Thanks! 


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Cursed image 10 September 21 09:14

Hope ROF takes responsibility when everyone who looks into that doll's eyes dies 7 days later.

Mazespinnnnnn 10 September 21 11:13

With the NI, student loans repayment plan 2 and pension contributions being taken into account… the recent government tax measures has revealed something we always knew but no one wanted to openly say.

With the new NI measures, this will be £ 75,771.20 after NI, repayment plan 2 and pension contributions.

The Magic Circle lawyers on around 6 figures have a take home salary of roughly £57,035.

If you’re at an international firm or mid level city firm earning around 80k plus you are on a take home salary of roughly £47,835. 

Considering the differing expectations, different firm cultures and work life balance, it becomes questionable whether that 10k difference is worth the extra stress, less free time and extra inches around your waist from a sedentary lifestyle. 

If you’re at a US firm earning around 120k a year, your take home salary is roughly £63,435. 

That 120k US salary is a mere 7k addition from the 100k magic circle salary. 

The nuances in salary discussions are seldom brought up when we talk about the differences in salary. 

What does everyone think? Interested to hear your thoughts

ABCDE FC 10 September 21 12:13

@Mazespinnnnnn - the difference is huge when bonus is taken into account and goes up significantly every PQE so you can't ignore that. There's no right or wrong answer but if you want to get paid vastly more than associates at MC/SC/international firms, you go to a top-paying US firm. 

Anon 10 September 21 14:01


I’m not interested in a higher salary for the extra money in my pocket. I strive for more because it allows me to impress young women I meet in bars by telling them how much money I make. They will be much more impressed by 150k than 100k because they’re not going to be thinking about tax etc 

Anon 10 September 21 14:21

You also can't ignore the fact that, over a certain amount, the additional pay is all disposable income. If you have kids and a London mortgage the high salaries at SC/MC level don't necessarily mean there's much left over each month. An extra couple of grand net a month can make a huge difference if you're able to save it/overpay the mortgage etc. 

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