Shearman & Sterling has announced hefty pay rises for its London lawyers in a bid to keep ahead of the top UK firms.

The entire Magic Circle (with the possible exception of Slaughter and May) has significantly hiked its salaries over the last few months. Clifford Chance announced this week that its newly qualified solicitors could expect to be paid total compensation of £85,000 p.a. (including bonus). This is uncomfortably close to Shearman's basic NQ pay of £88,000 p.a.. So the firm has bumped it to £95,000. A bonus will take this to over £100,000.

Salaries have risen across the board. Associates with three and a half years' PQE see their basic pay rise from £115,000 to £126,000, and associates with at least six and a half years PQE jump from £146,000 p.a. to £156,000 p.a..

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Shearman has also jumped on the remote working bandwagon currently being championed by the Magic Circle. It has formalised its agile working policy and made it available to all associates, although it hasn't clarified how many days a month lawyers will be allowed to work from home. And earning this sort of wedge is probably incompatible with tapping away at a Blackberry in your pyjamas while watching Trisha.

London Managing Partner Nick Buckworth said "our staff clearly told us that having the ability to work flexibly was of increasing importance. We are pleased to have put in place new processes that enable our team to work in a more agile way."
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