Clifford Chance boosts salaries

Clifford Chance has revealed its pay rises for 2016.

Trainee pay goes up 3.5 per cent, with first-year salaries boosted from £42,000 to £43,500, while the second-year salary jumps from £47,300 to £49,000.

In 2015, salaries for newly-qualified solicitors stood at £70,000. With maximum bonuses, top remuneration at NQ level in 2015 was £84,000. Meanwhile, a 1PQE received £75,500 in 2015, or a maximum £98,150 with a bonus.

This year, the firm has remained silent on whether base salaries have changed but say that when the fixed-amount bonus – which the “vast majority” of junior lawyers will receive – is taken into account, total compensation for an NQ will be £85,000, while 1PQEs will pick up £95,000.

London managing partner David Bickerton said: “In the ‘early years’ (NQ and PQE1) we expect our lawyers to work hard to develop the skills and good habits of an exceptional lawyer so their contribution is assessed on the basis of whether or not they are acquiring these skills and habits. At these levels, lawyers receive a salary and a binary bonus. If the lawyer is developing the skills and habits they will require they will receive the binary bonus, so the vast majority of junior lawyers will receive it.”

Last year, 2PQEs took home a base salary of £88,000. This year, Clifford Chance has only published average figures for those who have made a ‘good’ and ‘exceptional’ contribution to the firm.

‘Good’ 2PQEs will take home something in the region of £100,000, while ‘exceptional’ ones will get an average £119,000. The most a 2PQE could have received last year was £114,000.

Meanwhile, ‘good’ 3PQEs will be paid around £111,000 and exceptional ones an average of £130,000. In 2015, the base salary for 3PQEs was £98,500 while maximum pay was £128,050.