Freshfields ups associate pay as it boosts trainee wages for first time since 2008

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has increased its trainee salaries after a five year freeze in addition to increasing its merit-based associate wages, which were frozen last year.

The magic circle firm will now pay first-year trainees £40,500 while second years will receive £45,500. Previously, first years received £39,000 while second year remuneration stood at £44,000. These salaries had not changed since 2008, when the figures increased from the 2007/8 rate of £38,000 for the first year and £43,000 for the second.

Freshfields has also boosted associate pay. The firm switched to a merit-based system in 2012, (8 May 2012) and now operates a career milestones (CM) system, intended to incentivise a high performance culture. Associates reviews now dictate exactly where they stand within a band and when they should progress to the next rung. Trainees automatically enter the foundation level of the CM system upon qualification.

Those lawyers in the CM foundation stage now earn between £67,500 and £77,500, up from £65,000 and £72,500. Salaries for CM1 are now £87,500 to £100,000, up from £80,000 to £92,500.

Meanwhile, CM2 salaries now stand between £107,500 and £115,000, an increase from £100,000 to £107,500 and CM3 wages are between £120,000 – £135,000, while last year they started at £115,000.

London managing partner Julian Long said: “We have maintained our leading reward position for a number of years. We are now making a further significant investment in our people to recognise and reward outstanding performance.

“Career milestone salary ranges have increased from 1 May: and we are investing further in bonuses. This move is part of our strategy to attract and retain the most talented individuals in the market.”