Slaughters Joins NQ Salary War

Slaughter and May is increasing newly-qualified salaries to £115,000 and boosting pay at all post-qualified experience (PQE) levels, which the magic circle firm said shows it is ‘recognising the importance of our associates at all levels’.

The firm will increase NQ pay by 7% from May, meaning it will offer the second-highest NQ salary among members of the magic circle behind Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer – which is also increasing its NQ pay by 25% to £125,000 from May.

The three other magic circle firms – Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Linklaters – all currently offer NQ pay of £107,500, significantly below the current highest of £161,700 paid by US firm Gibson Dunn.

Slaughter and May said that it was also increasing salaries ‘at all PQE levels from May, with some levels seeing an increase of up to 20%’, and introducing ‘an updated model that moves associates through PQE levels every six months providing twice-yearly pay progression’.

It has also committed to pay bonuses twice per year rather than annually, based on the firm’s performance, and to develop ‘a working practices code to support our principles in relation to work-life balance’ following a review of pay and benefits.

Slaughter and May’s senior partner Steve Cooke said: ‘By raising salaries significantly, putting forward some concrete proposals in relation to work-life balance and strengthening support for career development, we are recognising the importance of our associates at all levels.’